My favorite Charlie Manuel quote is, and will probably always be, “We need to be more focused or something.” A strong second, though, is “I mean, what the hell?” That one finds its way into print regularly, and with it Manuel usually manages to perfectly capture his combination of anger and frustration with his team, a player or a situation.
Yesterday Charlie Manuel used his game three starter and his game four starter in game two of the five-game series with the Rockies. Only one of them got hurt, but it still wasn’t the way things are traditionally done. The Phillies lost the game, so Manuel owns that one now as the Phils head to Colorado needing to win at least one of two if they want to keep their season alive.
The Phils lost game two the NLDS yesterday, falling 5-4. Carlos Gonzalez and his speed helped create a run for Colorado in the first and Yorvit Torrealba blasted a two-run homer off of Hamels in the fourth to make it 3-0. A single by Rockies pitcher Aaron Cook sparked another rally in the fifth as the lead was extended to 4-0. The Phils came back with three runs in the sixth to get within one, but a leadoff double by Ryan Spilborghs led to another Colorado run to make it 5-3. The Phils got a late solo blast from Werth to cut the lead to 5-4, but that was how it ended.
Yesterday will also be remembered because Phillies starter Cole Hamels’ wife Heidi went into labor during the game. This article suggests that Hamels did not receive that news until he was done pitching for the day.
The Phillies and Rockies are tied at one game apiece in their five-game NLDS. Game three is Saturday night in Colorado.
Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter.
He faced a Rockies lineup that went (1) Gonzalez (LF/L) (2) Fowler (CF/S) (3) Helton (1B/L) (4) Tulowitzki (SS/R) (5) Atkins (3B/R) (6) Torrealba (C/R) (7) Spilborghs (RF/L) (8) Barmes (2B/R). The righty Atkins stays in the lineup with the lefty Stewart on the bench. Gonzalez and Fowler switch places at the top of the order. The righty Spilborghs starts in right with the lefty Hawpe on the bench. Iannetta was on the bench again despite his 296/406/580 line against lefties on the season. Torrealba hit 220/288/322 against lefties for the year.
The Rockies had lefties Jason Giambi, Ian Stewart, Brad Hawpe and Seth Smith on the bench to start the game, along with righty and Chris Iannetta and switch-hitter Eric Young.
Gonzalez led off the game for the Rockies. Hamels didn’t get the call on a close 1-2 pitch that looked good to me. Gonzalez singled into right on a 3-2 pitch. Fowler was next and Hamels had Gonzalez picked off first as Gonzalez took off for second. Hamels threw to first and Howard had plenty of time, but double-clutched the throw and Gonzalez was safe at second. Fowler bunted an 0-1 pitch back to Hamels for the first out, moving Gonzalez to third. Helton hit a swinging bunt up the first base line on a 2-1 pitch. Hamels fielded and threw home, but Gonzalez was safe and Colorado led 1-0 with Helton safe at first. Hamels probably would have had Helton at first if he had gone there. Tulowitzki got behind 0-2 and then grounded into a double-play to end the inning, third to second to first.
More bad defense from Howard early in the game after he threw a ball away early in game one. Howard was fantastic defensively early in the season, but his fielding tailed off towards the end of the season. In game one he threw a ball away and yesterday the Phillies should have had Gonzalez at second, which would have saved them a run.
Sixteen pitches in the first inning for Hamels.
Atkins lined softly to Howard to start the second inning. Torrealba was next and he hit a ground ball in the hole between short and third. Rollins fielded, but Torrealba beat his throw to first for a single. Hamels struck Spilborghs out swinging 0-2 for the second out, and it brought Barmes to the plate with two outs and a man on first. Barmes struck out swinging 1-2 to end the frame.
Thirteen pitches in the inning for Hamels had him at 29 for the game.
Hamels struck Cook out on three pitches to start the top of the third. Gonzalez was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch past a diving Utley and into right field for his second single of the day. Fowler struck out looking 2-2 for the second out. With Hamels ahead of Helton 0-1, he again picked Gonzalez off as the runner took off for second. This time Howard delivered to second and Gonzalez was tagged out to set the Rockies down.
Thirteen pitches in the inning for Hamels. 42.
Helton was back at the dish to start the fourth and lined a 2-2 pitch into center. Tulowitzki popped a 1-2 pitch to Utley for the first out and Hamels struck out Atkins for the second. Torrealba was next, though, and he lined a 1-1 pitch out to left to put Colorado up 3-0. Spilborghs flew to left on an 0-2 pitch to end the inning.
Long inning for Hamels. Twenty-four pitches had him at 66 for the game.
Barmes flew to center to for the first out of the fifth, but Cook was next and he blooped a 1-2 pitch into right for a single. Gonzalez lined a double to right, sending Cook to third. It brought up Fowler with men on second and third and one down and Fowler hit a ball to the warning track in left. Ibanez took it for the second out, but it was deep enough for the runners to move up. 4-0 with two outs and Gonzalez on third. Helton popped to Rollins to leave Gonzalez stranded.
Seventeen pitches in the inning put Hamels at 83.
Blanton started the sixth after Dobbs hit for Hamels in the bottom of the fifth. He got Tulowitzki on a ground ball to third for the first out. Lefty Ian Stewart hit for the righty Atkins and Blanton struck him out swinging 2-2. Torrealba grounded to short for the third out.
Blanton was back to start the seventh, too, with the Phillies now down 4-3. Spilborghs was the first hitter to face him and he lofted a double to left that fell just in front of the sliding Ibanez. Barmes was next and he put down a bunt. Blanton fielded and tried to get Spilborghs at third, but Spilborghs was safe with Barmes safe at first. Lefty Seth Smith hit for the pitcher Jose Contreras and Happ came in to pitch to him. With the pitcher’s spot due to lead off the bottom of the inning, Cairo took over at third for Feliz as part of a double-switch. Happ wouldn’t be in the game long. Smith smashed a 2-1 pitch off his left leg, just below the knee. Spilborghs held third, but Barmes moved to second and Smith was safe at first with a single. Eyre came in to pitch to Gonzalez with the bases loaded and nobody out. He stuck out Gonzalez for the first out and stayed on to pitch to the switch-hitter Fowler. Fowler hit a fly ball to right deep enough to score Spilborghs and extend the Rockies lead to 5-3. Eyre then got Helton on a pop to shortstop to end the inning and leave two men stranded.
Fowler is much better against lefties, but Manuel leaves Eyre in to face him anyway and Fowler delivers the RBI that proves to be the game-winner. Lots of lefties left to face in the game, though, including Helton right behind Fowler. I think an interesting question is whether Manuel would have brought in a righty to pitch to Fowler if Happ had been able to stay in the game and got Gonzalez like Eyre did. He then could have brought Eyre in to face Helton. I think he probably wouldn’t have and kept Happ in to pitch to Fowler as well, given they still had more than two innings to play.
Second time in the game the Phillies pitcher tries to get an out at a base other than first and it doesn’t work. Hamels tried to get Gonzalez at home on Helton’s dribbler up the first base line and that didn’t work either.
Myers started the eighth with the Phils still down by two. He hit the leadoff man Tulowitzki and walked Stewart behind him. Torrealba bunted the runners to second and third for the first out before Myers walked Spilborghs intentionally to set up the double-play. Barmes hit an 0-1 pitch to third. It might have been a double-play, but Cairo had to come home and did. Tulowitzki was forced for the second out with the bases still loaded. Lefty Jason Giambi hit for the pitcher Matt Belisle. Bastardo came in to pitch to Giambi and struck him out swinging 1-2 to leave the bases loaded.
Huge out by Bastardo. Myers didn’t pitch well.
Madson came in to pitch the ninth with the Phils down 5-4. He got Gonzalez to pop to short and then struck out Fowler and Helton.
Madson looked fantastic, setting down two of the Rockies’ lefties.
The Phillies lineup against righty Aaron Cook went (1) Rollins (SS/S) (2) Victorino (CF/S) (3) Utley (2B/L) (4) Howard (1B/L) (5) Werth (RF/R) (6) Ibanez (LF/L) (7) Feliz (3B/R) (8) Ruiz (C/R).
The Phillies started the game with a five-man bench that included righties Francisco and Cairo and lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako.
Rollins led off the bottom of the first with the Phillies down 1-0. He grounded an 0-1 pitch to second for the first out. Victorino was next and he got behind 0-2 before he singled to left. Utley hit a 1-1 pitch to second and Colorado nearly turned two, but Utley just beat Tulowitzki’s relay to keep the inning alive. Howard struck out looking to end the inning.
Werth led off the second and got ahead 3-0 before he flew to left for the first out. Ibanez dumped a 2-2 pitch into center in front of Fowler for a single, putting a man aboard for Feliz. Feliz struck out looking 0-2 for the second out. Cook struck Ruiz out swinging 1-2 to end the inning.
Hamels drew a five-pitch walk to start the third. Rollins hit an 0-1 pitch to first. Helton tagged the bag and threw to second where Hamels was tagged out to complete the double-play. Victorino was next and he reached on a single back up the middle off the glove of Barmes. Utley struck out looking 1-2 to leave Victorino stranded.
Cook had thrown 45 pitches through three innings.
Howard led off the fourth and singled to center on a 3-1 pitch to lead things off. Werth followed and hit into a double-play. Ibanez grounded softly to second for the third out. Down 4-0, Feliz grounded to short to start the fifth. Ruiz followed and drew a five-pitch walk and Dobbs hit for Hamels. Dobbs flew to right on a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Rollins lined to short on the first pitch of his at-bat to end the inning.
Victorino led off the sixth and hit a ground ball back up the middle. Barmes got to it and fielded, but his throw to first was off the glove of Helton and Victorino took second on the throwing error by Barmes. Utley was next and lined a single to right, sending Victorino to third. Howard was next and he lined a 1-1 pitch into the right field corner. The ball rolled to the wall, scoring Victorino to make it 4-1 and moving Utley to third. Righty Jose Contreras came on to pitch to Werth. With the infield back for the Rockies, Werth couldn’t put the ball in play and struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Colorado left the righty Contreras in to pitch to Ibanez and Ibanez smashed the first pitch he saw from Contreras into center for a two-run single. 4-3. Feliz got behind 0-2 and then blooped a ball behind second base that dropped for a hit, moving Ibanez to second. Ruiz again swung at the first pitch and grounded into a double-play to end the inning.
Ruiz has had terrible results swinging at the first pitch in the series.
Righty Matt Belisle came in to protect the 5-3 Colorado lead in the seventh and set the Phils down in order. Cairo hit the ball well, but it was taken by Fowler for the first out. Rollins struck out swinging 1-2 and Victorino grounded to second.
Righty Rafael Betancourt started the eighth for Colorado. He got Utley and Howard on a pair of ground balls, but Werth connected on an 0-1 pitch and blasted it out to right-center to get the Phillies within one at 5-4. Lefty Franklin Morales came in to pitch to Ibanez. Ibanez hit his 1-1 pitch hard, but on the ground to Barmes to end the inning.
Betancourt gets through the lefties Utley and Howard and then gets hurt by the righty. Joe Beimel was presumably available after throwing just two pitches in game one, but doesn’t appear in the game for Colorado.
The lefty Morales was still on the mound to start the ninth, so Manuel announced the righty Francisco as his pinch-hitter. The Rockies called on their closer, righty Huston Street to pitch to Francisco. Francisco went down on a ground ball to third for the first out. Stairs hit for Ruiz next and drew a walk. Cliff Lee ran for him at first. Cairo came to the plate as the winning run, but flew to right for the second out. Rollins was next and he laced a 1-2 pitch into right for a single that moved Lee to second. Street got Victorino to line a 2-2 pitch to second to end the game.
Rollins was 1-for-5 in the game with a huge single in the ninth. 2-for-9 with two singles in the series.
Victorino was 3-for-5 in the game and is 4-for-9 with a double in the series.
Utley was 1-for-4 with a single in the game. 2-for-8 in the set.
Howard was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. 4-for-8 with two doubles in the first two games.
Werth 1-for-4 with a homer. 3-for-7 with a triple and a homer so far.
Ibanez was 2-for-4 with two RBI. 4-for-8 with a double and four RBI.
Feliz 1-for-3 in the game and 3-for-7 in the series. Cairo was 0-for-2 in the game.
Ruiz was 0-for-2 with a walk. He hit into a critical double-play in the sixth. I implore him to stop swinging at the first pitch. He’s 1-for-5 with two walks in the series.
Stairs had a huge at-bat in the ninth and drew a walk to put the tying run on base.
Dobbs was 0-for-1 in the game.
Carlos Gonzalez is the guy who has done the most for the Rockies offensively. He’s 5-for-9 with a double in the series. Torrealba had a big home run in game two, he’s 3-for-6 with a double and a home run. Tulowitzki is the only other Rockie with more than one hit — he’s 2-for-7 with a double.
No game today. Game three is tomorrow night in Colorado and starts at 9:37. Game four is Sunday night and doesn’t start till 10:07. Fantastic.
One of Happ, Blanton or Martinez will start game three. Blanton threw 19 pitches in game two and Happ four. Happ says his leg will be okay. I think there’s close to no chance it’s Happ in game three.
In the article linked above, Manuel says that he used both Blanton and Happ in the game because he was trying to win. It didn’t happen, though, and it hurt the Phillies chances to win the series. I think it was a bad idea. I know he said he might do it for days before it happened. I didn’t believe him. I also don’t think there’s any chance that not knowing who is pitching game three is going to help Blanton or Martinez.
Happ had X-rays on his leg and says he’s okay. Probably a little less okay than he would have been if Seth Smith hadn’t smashed a line drive off his body, though, but I’m just guessing.
I think the Phillies should start Pedro tomorrow and Blanton in game four. My guess is they will, too, but I’m far from sure.
Martinez says he could throw 90 to 100 pitches in a start if he goes in game three. He threw 130 pitches against the Mets on September 13, really he did, and then threw 56 and 83 in his last two starts of the season.
This article considers the possibility that game three will be postponed due to weather.
Todd Zolecki’s Twitter page says that Heidi Hamels gave birth to a baby boy this morning at 9 AM.