Rockies vs. Phillies – The Philly Perspective

October 13, 2009

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40 Tech, a site that claims to be “Tech for those over 40, but not yet over the hill.”  In actuality, though, it’s a good tech site, regardless of your age.]

What a game. What a series. Fans of the Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies have a concoction of NoDoz and Maalox coursing through their bloodstreams today, following the 2:15 a.m. finish on the East Coast for game three, and the tension of three of the four games of the series. Like two heavyweight prizefighters, the two teams traded near-knockout punches in the eighth and ninth inning of game four, with the Rockies climbing off the deck to take the lead in the 8th, before the Phillies rallied to take the lead for good with two outs in the ninth. In the process, the Phillies took the series, three games to one. So, what is the take on the series in Philadelphia?

Evenly Matched
It might seem odd to call two teams evenly matched when a series only goes four games, but the last three games of this series were close, tense, and exciting. You had the feeling that the results of each game would have been different if they played one more inning in each game. The talk in Philadelphia is that the experience the Phillies gained in last year’s World Series’ run made the difference, helping them to remain patient and never panic.

Carlos Gonzalez is a Stud
Manny Ramirez may have seemed unstoppable in the National League Championship series last year, but Gonzalez topped that. Phillies fans are glad they won’t see him again during this postseason. Baseball doesn’t hand out a Most Valuable Player award during the Division Series, but if it did, Gonzalez might be one of the rare players who wins a series MVP award while playing for the losing team.

This isn’t the Last We’ve Seen of the Rockies
The Rockies have a young core that any team would love to have. Troy Tulowitzki had some rough spots in clutch moments, but is one of the better shortstops in the game. Despite his implosions in games three and four, Huston Street was one of the premiere closers in the game this year. I also don’t think I’ve seen so many live arms in the bullpen as I saw in this series.

Most Clutch Philly Team Ever
This team is the most clutch team in Philadelphia sports history. You have to understand the pessimism of Philadelphia sports fans, beaten into us by years of our teams finding new ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. This Phillies team is an abberation, coming up big time and time again. From the record-breaking sprint to overtake the Mets for the Division Title in 2007, to the epic ninth inning last night, this team exhibits resilience not often seen in these parts.

The 9th Inning of Game 4 Will Go Down in Philadelphia Sports Lore
If the Phillies manage to repeat as World Series Champions this year, the ninth inning of Game 4 will go down in Philadelphia Sports lore, alongside Matt Stairs’ home run in the NLCS last year, the infamous “Black Friday” game I attended in the 1977 NLCS, and the legendary comeback against Nolan Ryan in the 1980 NLCS to cap off four straight extra inning games. I’m sure the 9th inning was just as frustrating to Rockies’ fans as the 8th was to Phillies’ fans. Regardless of where your allegiances rest, cherish this series. We were treated to three close, exciting games, capped off by a heart-stopping finish. Now bring on the Dodgers.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kosmo
    Oct 13, 2009 @ 09:35:24

    Thanks for the guest article, Evan.

    Carlos Gonzalez is definitely a stud. When he faltered early in the season (and was sent down to the minors), there was chatter about how badly the Rockies had been taken in the Holliday deal.

    Not so much of that chatter now.

    While it’s too early to say that CarGo will make people forget about Matt Holliday, he is definitely starting to bust out. Overall, he show 30 homer power (13 homers in 278 AB, a shade under a half season) and 30 steal speed (16 steals in 20 attempts). He was dreadful in June (.607 OPS), but sandwiched a tremendous August (1.146 OPS) between productive months in July and September (.860ish OPS in both).

    If he wasn’t the unofficial MVP of the series, I’m not sure who was. 10 hits in 17 at bats, including a homer, 2 doubles, and a couple of steals. And he only struck out once.

    Going into this year, the main knock on CarGo was that he had all the tools, but might not have the mindset to put them all together. Those concerns are fading.

    And the best part? He hasn’t turned 24 yet …
    .-= kosmo´s last blog ..Where Does a Baseball Fan Go in the Offseason? =-.


  2. Living with Balls
    Oct 14, 2009 @ 12:14:06

    Phils could be poised for another World Series title. They certainly have the bats and a couple of good arms to get it done. That bullpen could be their achillies heal thouh.


  3. Evan Kline
    Oct 15, 2009 @ 11:34:48

    The bullpen is definitely the worry in Philly. That could be the reason that the Phils go with Pedro in game 2, and put Happ and Blanton in the pen.
    .-= Evan Kline´s last blog ..5 Fantastic WordPress Plugins You May Not Know About =-.


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