Thursday, October 08, 2009
Phillies look to take commanding 2-0 lead to Denver
If Cliff Lee set the tone in yesterday's complete game effort (view the video slide show here), then World Series MVP Cole Hamels has his work cut out for him. Hamels looks to continue the home success for the Phillies, who have now won eighth straight playoff games at Citizens Bank Park, and put the Phillies in control of the NLDS before flying to Denver for game three.
Hamels is coming off a mediocre start in his regular season finale but there are few pitchers who have shown the ability to perform in the spotlight like Hamels. This season Hamels has pitched well in games on the road against the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers (his best game of the season, and maybe career) and the Phillies came away winners in those games. Last postseason saw Hamels go 4-0, with a bizarre weather situation likely keeping him from going 5-0. Hamels is 4-1 with a 2.16 ERA in the postseason in his career, with the one loss coming in his debut against the Rockies in 2007. He has not given up more than three runs in any of his starts.
Looking to get the Rockies even in the series before heading back home will be Aaron Cook. Cook earned a win in his last start against Milwaukee but that was his first win since July. In his previous start against the Phillies, in Philadelphia, Cook took a loss but received no run support. Unfortunately for Cook, Cliff Lee was making his Citizens Bank Park debut for the Phillies in that same game as the Phillies won 3-1.
Yesterday saw the Phillies offense receive contributions from everyone in the lineup. What will game two have in store? Should the Phillies come away victorious the series will shift to Colorado's Coors Field with the defending World Series champions needing just one win to move to the NLCS. A win for Colorado is crucial. Game one winners in NLDS history are 25-3.
First pitch: 2:37 pm
Pitching probables (regular season stats)
Cole Hamels (10-11, 4.32 ERA) vs. Aaron Cook (11-6, 4.16 ERA)
NLDS, Best of Five, Phillies lead 1-0
10.07 Game 1 (Philadelphia) - W 5-1
10.08 Game 2 (Philadelphia) - 2:37 pm
10.10 Game 3 (Colorado) - 9:37 pm
10.11 Game 4 (Colorado) - TBA*
10.13 Game 5 (Philadelphia) - TBA*
* If necessary