Phillies captivated by tiebreaker drama
NL East champs happy for Rockies, glad to know next foe
PHILADELPHIA -- They were playing the Rockies, then the Padres.Then the Rockies again, and then the Padres. No wait, the Rockies. The Phillies are definitely playing the Rockies in the National League Division Series, as determined after a thrilling back-and-forth tiebreaker game at Coors Field on Monday night. Colorado defeated San Diego in a see-saw 13-inning battle, 9-8, to earn a spot in the postseason. "I went to bed thinking it could be anybody," said Greg Dobbs, who turned in after San Diego scored two runs in the top of the 13th inning, before Colorado scored three in the bottom half. "I was tired, so I figured I'd find out in the morning. My wife came in and showed me the laptop and said, 'You're not going to believe this.' "It was a tremendous comeback. I couldn't believe it." While the players all said that they ultimately didn't care who their first-round opponent would be in the best-of-five series that begins Wednesday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park at 3 p.m. ET on TBS, they were thrilled to see both teams empty out their bullpens. "It was the only thing on TV, besides football," said Brett Myers, who watched it at his home with a small gathering of teammates. "It didn't matter. They knew who they were playing. We didn't. After [Scott Hairston's go-ahead] two-run homer, we thought it was over. But [the Rockies have] a lot of heart, too, and battled back against one of the greatest closers of all time. Good for them." Chris Coste made the common mistake of looking into flights to San Diego before the final out was recorded. He found a "great rate" for his wife and family members to fly out, and was about to click the confirm button, then thought he might want to wait. "I was all for it," Coste said. "I said to myself, 'I'm probably going to laugh about this tomorrow because the Rockies will probably come back.' I couldn't believe it. I found flights to Denver, too, so it worked out." As a catcher, Coste had thoughts on the game's final play, when it appeared Michael Barrett had blocked the plate and prevented Matt Holliday from touching home plate. No matter, since home-plate umpire Tim McClelland called Holliday safe.
"The Rockies could have easily gotten another hit and won the game," Coste said. "It's a shame that it had to end on any kind of controversial note. Michael Barrett made a great block, and Matt Holliday didn't make a great slide. That's why you don't go headfirst. If he goes feet first, he slides right through his legs and it's not even a question. To go headfirst, it almost cost him that win."Maybe it's fitting that the Phillies and Rockies, the two hottest teams down the stretch, wind up playing each other in the first round. "We're both good-hitting ballclubs," Myers said. "We're going to have fun and try to win ballgames. So are they."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.