Thursday, October 8, 2009

Rockies tie the series at one as Hamels, Utley continue to struggle

The Phillies lost their first home postseason game since Colorado beat them in game two of the 2007 NLDS this afternoon. There were plenty of encouraging and discouraging things to take from the game but in the end, the Rockies took home field advantage away from the Phillies by splitting the series in Philly.

Positives: The Phillies showed their comeback spirit, falling just short of a dramatic come from behind victory in the ninth. Jayson Werth remains on fire and Raul Ibanez is hitting well, although not for power. Scott Eyre and Ryan Madson were tremendous out of the bullpen.

Negatives: They lost. Cole Hamels' inconsistent season continued as he struggled to keep the Rockies off the board. Joe Blanton was used and J.A. Happ was injured, which may force Charlie to send Pedro to the hill for game three. Chase Utley's funk continues; he picked up a hit for the second straight day but is still struggling at the plate. He's looking bad and has gone down looking three times in the last two games. As I mentioned in my mid-game post, while it'd be a radical move, Charlie may want to consider moving Utley down in the lineup. The postseason is no time to submit a lineup that is not the best it could possibly be. Utley is the best overall hitter on the Phillies but the real Utley hasn't shown up in more than a month. Werth is hitting the cover off the ball and is more than capable to fill in batting third. Ibanez could stay in the six spot or move up to fifth and let Utley hit sixth to aleviate some pressure from Chase while he struggles.

It'll be interesting to see if Charlie makes any drastic moves, who he names starter for game three and if the weather allows game three to be played on Saturday night.

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