Rockies pound Phils to take control
Matsui's grand slam the tipping point in Game 2 victory
PHILADELPHIA -- After years of hearing about how crazy Coors Field was in the Rockies' early days, before they won big and before they stopped winning much at all, third baseman Garrett Atkins can't wait to be greeted with greater bedlam in a couple days.
The Rockies are winning like never before. Their 10-5 victory over the Phillies on Thursday, which featured Kazuo Matsui's grand slam, double and triple, gave them a two-game sweep at Citizens Bank Park and has them needing one victory to take the National League Division Series.
"I remember the way people have talked about Coors in the olden days, with sellout crowds every night and how fun it was to play there," Atkins said. "I can see how that could happen."
The Rockies, who trailed before Matsui's slam off reliever Kyle Lohse gave them a 6-3 lead in the fourth inning, will arrive for Game 3 of the best-of-five series on Saturday night having won 16 of their last 17.
"I figure after the season's over at some point you can reflect back and it will be hard to believe," said left fielder Matt Holliday, who hit a home run in both series games and has gone deep six times in six games at Citizens Bank Park this season.
The only other time the 15-year-old Rockies made the postseason, 1995, they fell to the Braves, three games to one. The Rockies had never won more than 83 games until this year, with the total at 92, and just broke a string of six losing seasons.
Of course, seven teams have squandered 2-0 leads in the 84 five-game series since they were introduced along with division play in 1969. So the Phillies have hope.
"We have another game to play," said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, whose club fell before the largest crowd in Citizens Bank Park history, 45,991. "We've lost two in a row. We've played those games before this year quite a bit. We've got another one to play, and, like, we win, we go on."
Still, an intrepid reporter, admitting that he hadn't seen much of the Rockies, asked manager Clint Hurdle to compare this team to the 1927 Yankees -- a team that was so hot it still burns bright.
"I think we are far removed from that, but shame on you for not seeing our club more," Hurdle said. "We've been on a nice roll."
Troy Tulowitzki cracked a first-inning homer off losing pitcher Kyle Kendrick's first pitch to him, and Holliday blasted the next pitch deep for a 2-0 lead.
Rockies rookie starter Franklin Morales lasted just three innings, mainly because Phillies heart-and-soul Jimmy Rollins homered to lead off the bottom of the first and added a two-run triple in the bottom of the second.
The game turned in the top of the fourth, when Hurdle's pitching change turned out much better than Manuel's.
With two on and two down, pinch-hitter Seth Smith's pool-cue single to third loaded the bases for Matsui. Manuel removed Kendrick for Lohse, whose low-and-inside pitch on a 2-1 count wound up in the right-field seats.
Long Road Back
|Just seven teams in baseball history have overcome 0-2 deficits to win a best-of-five series:|
|1984||San Diego||Chi Cubs|
"It's just that time of the year ... you're a pitcher for the Rockies and whatever they ask you to take, you take," Fogg said.
Yorvit Torrealba's two-run double against Jose Mesa touched off a four-run sixth that included Holliday's RBI single off Clay Condrey.
The Phillies' received a Ryan Howard homer off Jeremy Affeldt in the sixth, added an unearned run in the seventh and loaded the bases on a hit and two walks against Brian Fuentes with two out in the eighth.
But closer Manny Corpas forced a groundout from Carlos Ruiz, and pitched around two hits in the ninth for his second save of the series.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.