10/08/09 6:33 PM EST
Phillies Short Hops: Game 2
Hamels' rough start too much for Philly to overcome
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
Aaron Cook tamed the Phillies through five, and Cole Hamels put his team in a hole it couldn't crawl out of despite rallying late. Frozen moment
It sure looked like a frozen moment because the 46,528 fans at Citizens Bank Park froze when they saw their young star-in-the-making left-hander, J.A. Happ, hobble off the mound after facing one batter in the seventh. Happ came in relief and took Seth Smith's line drive off the left leg, then had to be removed from the game. He suffered a contusion; X-rays were negative. Big number
0-for-9 -- That's how the Phillies fared with runners on base against Cook in the first five innings. In that span, the Phils fell behind, 4-0, and they didn't put a runner in scoring position until the sixth. Game balls
Playing in his first postseason since 2000, Ibanez did his best to keep the Phillies in it when he hit a two-run single in the sixth that cut his team's deficit to one.
Victorino hit .357 during the NLDS last season, and he's on a good track once again. The Phils' No. 2 hitter finished Thursday going 3-for-5 with a run scored. But with the tying run at second in the bottom of the ninth, he made the final out despite getting some good wood on a line drive to second base.
Eyre checked into the game in the seventh with the Phillies trailing, 4-3, and the bases loaded with nobody out. But he got a strikeout and two fly balls to yield just one run, keeping his team within reach in an inning when the Rockies could've widened the gap.
Sense of October
Matt Stairs' nerve-wracking, eight-pitch at-bat against Rockies closer Huston Street in the bottom of the ninth. Stairs, serving as a pinch-hitter, drew a walk despite falling behind, 1-2, in the count. Because of that, the Phils' top of the order came to bat in that do-or-die frame.
5 AB, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 2 LOB
Comment: Rollins kept a two-out rally going in the ninth, but this was not the type of game the Phillies hoped to get from their leadoff hitter -- especially with all those sluggers following him in the order.
5 IP, 4 R, 7 H, 0 BB, 5 Ks
Comment: Hamels wasn't his usual playoff self, but he wasn't as bad as the four runs and seven hits in his line indicated.
"This is a short series. We've got to pick it up. Now we've got to keep pushing and win to give [Hamels] another opportunity." -- Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz
When they oppose the Rockies' Jason Hammel in Game 3 at Coors Field on Saturday at 9:37 p.m. ET on TBS and Postseason.TV, the Phillies will look to take a 2-1 edge. With Joe Blanton being used in relief and Happ leaving Game 2 with an injury, Philadelphia could use veteran Pedro Martinez as its next starter.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.