After yesterday's slush-out in Colorado, the Phillies and the Rockies played the first game of a day-night doubleheader at frigid Coors Field. With the temperature hovering around 40 degrees and a good 10-15 mph breeze blowing straight in, the Rockies didn't figure to score many runs against Roy Halladay. Meanwhile, the Phillies had righty Aaron Cook, who was sporting a 1-3 record and a 6.03 ERA.
Easy, right? Sure. Blow on your hands and follow the jump to feel the numbchucks...
So it was only natural that the Rockies came out in the bottom of the first and led off with two straight singles, and a few sacrifices later, had a 1-0 lead on a Brad Hawpe sacrifice fly. The Rockies then led off each of the first four innings against Halladay, and there was just this sense that the game would not go to script. But then things took an uneasy turn off, say a cliff.
Oh, the Phillies' 4th started promisingly enough, as Ryan Howard's leadoff single was followed by a Werth RBI double. But after Raul Ibanez walked, Carlos Ruiz hit into a 5-4 double play on which it appeared he injured himself running to first. On an ensuing double by Wilson Valdez, Ruiz gimped all the way from first to third, and paused in obvious pain there when he was lifted for Paul Hoover. With Brian Schneider already on the disabled list, Hoover will be pressed into service for game two. During the game the Phillies announced that Ruiz had a right knee injury and is, for the moment, listed as day-to-day. Stay tuned. Ruiz's injury came after the Phillies flew elbow-injured Brad Lidge back to Philadelphia to have the orthopedic gang take a look at the swelling. (Mild optimists, however, took note that Jimmy Rollins had a 3-for-6 day in sunnier and warmer Florida.)
The bottom of the inning continued the uneasy pall, as Halladay turned into a lucky Kyle Kendrick. After Ian Stewart led off with a single, Miguel Olivo hit a ground rule double that Stewart would have scored easily on had it hopped off the fence. So with runners on second and third with nobody out, Halladay wriggled out of the jam, aided by Stewart foolishly trying to score on a ball that barely trickled away from Hoover.
The Rockies hit Halladay hard, and his cutter didn't appear to be moving very crisply on such a cold day. He had his shortest outing yet as a Phillie, throwing 6.1 innings, 3 runs, but only 2 earned on 121 pitches. One of those runs is arguable, too, as Brad Hawpe's 2-run, improbably scored triple off the right field scoreboard was missed twice by Jayson Werth as it rolled on the ground.
With Halladay out of the game and a man on third, J.C. Romero came in and, of course, imploded. But he didn't. So Baez would in the 8th. But he didn't! And then, of course, Chad (the Imploder) Durbin gave it up in the 9th! But he didn't.
Before I go on, I'd like to add a note about the Phillies' crummy defensive play, but really, I'm too worried about Chooch.
Hey, what did you want? More than three innings of scoreless Romero-Baez-Durbin? Iz you nutz? It was time to take this game around the side of the barn. So, in the 10th, Chad Durbin threw a nice meaty first-pitch strike to Olivo, who slammed it to left field for the walk-off home run, and wound up 5-for-5 with one RBI, and me banging my head on the keyboard for benching him, because hey, the guy was in a slump, Halladay was on the mound, and it was cold.
Guess that's what happens when you play in 40-degree weather. We'll see in a few minutes what happens when you play in 30-degree weather, as it's 38 degrees now and falling. Hope somebody ran out in the first game and bought up Denver's supply of linament oil and Icy Hot for Jamie Moyer.