10/08/09 7:15 PM ET
Rockies Short Hops: Game 2
Cook, Torrealba rise to occasion to even NLDS
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
Veteran Aaron Cook was solid -- so was his sinker -- and the Rockies did just enough damage against Cole Hamels to hang on late.
The bottom of the ninth was a tense one, but when Shane Victorino lined out to Rockies second baseman Clint Barmes with the go-ahead run on base, Rockies fans everywhere breathed a huge sigh of relief. No NL team has ever come back to win a Division Series after being down 0-2, so the out was a big one, to say the least.
6: Cook is most effective when his sinker is working, and the six ground-ball outs he got in the first five innings show that was especially the case on Thursday. Before running into trouble in the sixth, the 30-year-old righty had forced the Phillies to go 0-for-9 with runners on base and got two double-play balls. Game balls
Torrealba hit just two home runs in 64 games during the regular season this year. Perhaps he was saving them for the playoffs. In the top of the fourth, he took a 1-1 hanging curveball from Hamels and sent it deep to left field for a two-run homer that gave the Rockies a three-run advantage. It was his first home run since May 6.
Cook pitched five solid innings, and despite running into trouble against the Phillies in the sixth, he left with the lead intact. The Rockies couldn't ask for a lot more than that from Cook when facing an offense like Philadelphia's.
Rockies fans had their concerns about Street heading into these playoffs, but so far, so good. Sporting a one-run lead and with runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the 26-year-old right-hander got Victorino -- who came into the at-bat 3-for-4 -- to line out to second base for his first postseason save since 2006.
Sense of October
A brief staredown between Cook and Victorino in the bottom of the third. Cook, worried all afternoon about the Phillies' basestealing -- they had three steals in Game 1 -- flinched over to first base to move the speedy Victorino back to the bag. But the Phillies' center fielder didn't come all the way back, and Cook faked even harder, as both glared at each other for a couple seconds. Neither would budge, and Cook would post five pickoff attempts on Victorino -- who was never on the move -- during Chase Utley's at-bat.
5 AB, 3 H, 1 R, 1 SB, 1 SO
Comment: Gonzalez was a big factor at the top of the order for the Rockies, and a big improvement over Dexter Fowler's leadoff performance in Game 1.
5-plus IP, 3 R, 7 H, 2 BB, 4 Ks
Comment: Cook was dazzling in the first five innings before getting into trouble in the sixth. Two of his three earned runs scored after Jose Contreras came on in relief.
"Anytime you can go back to your home field, series tied or possibly in the lead, it's always huge." -- Torrealba
If the Rockies want to assume control of this series by taking a 2-1 lead in Game 3 at Coors Field on Saturday night, starter Jason Hammel will have to do the job against the Phillies, who will start Pedro Martinez or Joe Blanton. The game will be at 9:37 p.m. ET on TBS and Postseason.TV.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.