I wrote yesterday that we'd be playing either an opposite or a clone. As it happens, the Rockies won, and it's hard to imagine a team more similar to the Phils. You've got:
- Momentum. The Phils went 13-4 in their last 17 games, starting with a 12-4 win over Colorado, to stage arguably the greatest comeback in baseball history and seize the NL East. The Rockies won an almost unfathomable 14 of their last 15 to upend the Padres for the wild card, taking the last with a three-run rally in the bottom of the 13th against perhaps the most accomplished closer in the annals of the game. You can't make this stuff up.
- Booming Bats. The Phillies and Rockies are 1-2 in runs scored and OPS and tied for first in team on-base percentage. The Phillies have five guys with more than 20 home runs; Colorado has four. The Rockies have five guys with more than 90 RBI; the Phils have four. Both lineups are led by MVP candidates: Jimmy Rollins for the Phils, Matt Holliday for the Rox.
- One great young starter. They face off in Game One and, presumably, Game Five if need be, and it might well be the case that whoever gets the better of it between Philly's Cole Hamels (15-5, 3.39) and Colorado's Jeff Francis (17-9, 4.22) will pitch his team into the NLCS.
- Ex-closerrama. Just as the Phils feature three former 9th-inning specialists in their bullpen (Gordon, Alfonseca, Mesa) backing up current short man Brett Myers, the Rox have Brian Fuentes, LaTroy Hawkins, and Jorge Julio supporting Manny Corpas.
- Rookie saviors. Without the contributions of Kyle Kendrick (10-4, 3.89), the Phillies would be watching this week's action on TV. The same is true of the Rockies with Franklin Morales (3-2, 3.43) and Ubaldo Jiminez (4-4, 4.22)--as the Phils found out when both Rockies rookies defeated them last month.
Check back later for a full Game One preview.