If you wanted to see one of those totally strange and unpredictable Coors Field games, you definitely got one today. (Discounting last night's Kendrickan oddity, of course.) Hits! Walks! Errors! Saves! Home runs! Wild pitches! Stolen bases! Umpire errors! The Halladay Death Stare! This game had it all.
Jason Hammel straight up sucked, walking the first three batters of the game on 12 balls and four strikes. Neither Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, or Chase Utley even swung during their at bats. Ryan Howard would be the first Phillie to swing, on a 1-1 pitch. Howard struck out with the bases loaded, and Pence could only manage a sac fly to score Rollins. Raul Ibanez struck out to end the top of the first inning, the Phillies only managing to get one run off of three consecutive walks. Hammel calmed down in the walk department after that, but gave up six runs on eight hits, four runs coming from the second inning alone.
Roy Halladay didn't have his best stuff today, giving up eight hits and five runs (four earned, THANKS, RYAN) over seven innings. He battled the Rockies, the lead-off batter reaching in six of seven innings. Howard didn't make things easier for Halladay in the first inning, committing two (2) errors on a single play: dropping a ball hit right to him, and then flipping it *over* Halladay's head (remember that Halladay is something like ten feet tall). It was a great moment.
Howard would atone for his transgressions. He hit a double in the second which brought in two runs, and hit a two-run home run in the fifth off of Rex Brothers. Brothers has the distinction of serving up Howard's first homer off a lefty this year. Second-half Howard eats pitchers alive. Utley also had a good day, going 2-for-3, and was retired just once. Wilson Valdez, in for Polanco and the owner of a nifty play in foul ground, went 2-for-4 with a triple. In fact, every single starter had a hit, including Halladay. Halladay even scored a run on a wild pitch, which demonstrated that Jerry Meals (today's home plate umpire) really sucks at making calls at the plate. Halladay slid between the legs of Hammel to get to the plate, and Meals called him safe despite the ball getting there a full five minutes before Halladay did.
Just when it seemed that things couldn't get any stranger, the relievers came in. Bastardo gave up only his second home run of the year, a solo shot to Todd Helton. Bastardo then told Coors Field to shove it, striking out two consecutive batters to end the eighth. Then, Brad Lidge (yes, him!), not Ryan Madson, came in to get the save. (Madson is in LA with his wife, who is giving birth.) Lidge, a Denver native, got his 100th save as a Phillie, and the sweep of the Rockies was complete.
The Phillies thankfully leave Denver tonight and head to...dammit, really? They go to San Francisco to face the Giants? Ew. Lee is on the mound tomorrow, facing off against Madison Bumgarner, finalist for Most Old Timey Sounding Name of an Actual Real Person.