Rockies receive rare gift from Torrealba
Catcher's homer off Hamels his first since May 6
PHILADELPHIA -- Clint Barmes, the Rockies' second baseman, is well aware that there are four players on the roster who have hit more than 20 home runs this season.
After all, he is one of them.
But when asked about the rare power display of catcher Yorvit Torrealba on Thursday in Game 2 of the National League Division Series, a two-run homer off Cole Hamels that gave Colorado a lead it wouldn't relinquish, Barmes shrugged.
"We're going to need every big hit we can get from here on out," Barnes said, noting that it's not just the Rockies' sluggers, such as Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki, who will have to lend a helping hand to assist the offense moving forward.
|Gm. 1||PHI 5, COL 1||Wrap||Video|
|Gm. 2||COL 5, PHI 4||Wrap||Video|
|Gm. 3||PHI 6, COL 5||Wrap||Video|
|Gm. 4||PHI 5, COL 4||Wrap||Video|
To be sure, Torrealba's home run off Hamels in the fourth inning was plenty big, as it helped the Rockies to a 5-4 victory over the Phillies, a victory that allowed them to earn a split heading to Saturday's Game 3 at Coors Field.
It was also altogether unusual, considering that it was Torrealba's first home run since May 6.
"[Torrealba's] swinging the bat very well, and he's had some huge hits for us, even if they haven't been home runs," Barmes said. "It's not surprising. He has got some pop."
Just not a whole lot of it.
Oddly enough, this wasn't his first postseason home. During the 2007 NL Championship Series, against Arizona, he hit a three-run homer in a 4-1 victory in Game 3 that helped propel Colorado to its first World Series appearance.
Torrealba is hitting .421 for his career in nine NLDS games, including a 2003 stint with the San Francisco Giants.
On Thursday, though, he wasn't exactly trying to take Hamels deep with two outs and Helton, who singled to start the inning, on base.
"I tried to slow myself down a little bit instead of being kind of jumpy," Torrealba said "The first pitch, he threw me a breaking ball, so I said to myself, 'He's going to try to get me out with off-speed.' He threw a curveball, and I was able to stay back long enough to hit it out of the ballpark.
"I knew right away when I hit it, it was gone."
Which sounds a little funny for a player who doesn't exactly have what anyone would consider a lineage of power in his career, something he was reminded about when he returned to the dugout after the home run.
"Well, everybody was surprised. I forgot when the last time I hit a home run was. [My teammates] don't even believe it," Torrealba said. "I don't even believe it myself, I'm telling you. I'm being honest, I forgot when was the last time I hit one."
The home run held up, though there were plenty of anxious moments that followed, even after the Rockies took a four-run lead into the sixth inning.
The Phillies would cut the lead to one run after scoring three in the sixth inning. The teams then traded runs from there before Rockies closer Huston Street got Shane Victorino to line out to Barmes to end the game.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.