Exhale Philadelphia. You may now take a deep breath and sleep well. At 2:14 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, your Fightin’ Phils beat the Rockies 6-5, in a game for the ages, a thriller in the Mile-High City. They now hold a two games to one lead over the Rox in the best of five series.
Chase Utley got the party started in the top half of the first with a solo-shot to right-center, to give the Phillies the early lead. But the Rockies would certainly answer back in the bottom half of the frame with two runs of Phillies starter J.A. Happ.
Happ never looked comfortable in the cold, as he went just three innings, giving up three earned runs on five Rockies hits. He walked two. Joe Blanton would enter the game in the fourth inning and gave up one run to the Rockies in 2.2 innings.
Colorado led the Phillies 3-1 in the fourth and starter Jason Hammel had shut the Phillies down with the exception of Utley’s long-ball. Shane Victorino led the inning off with a walk and Utley followed with a single to right field. Ryan Howard followed Utley’s hit with a single of his own, scoring Victorino. After Jayson Werth walked to load the bases, Raul Ibanez drew his first walk of the evening, scoring Utley to tie the game at three.
After a Pedro Feliz double-play, with no outs, Carlos Ruiz gave the Phillies the lead with a single through the hole at short.
The Rockies would fight back and tie the game off of Blanton before Ruiz played hero again with a single up the middle to score Raul Ibanez.
The Rockies would get the equalizer in the bottom half of the seventh off of Ryan Madson courtesy of a sacrifice fly. The run was charged to Scott Eyre who left the game after injuring what appeared to be his ankle while fielding a bunt from the Rockies Dexter Fowler. There has been no word on the severity of the injury, however, Eyre was able to walk off on his own.
The game remained knotted at five until the top of the ninth. Jimmy Rollins, who had been 0-4 up to that point, worked a lead-off single. After being sacrificed to second on a Victorino bunt, Utley moved him to third on a swinging bunt single up the first base line. Replays later showed that the ball hit Utley in the batters box and should have been ruled a foul ball, however, Utley reached safely.
Ryan Howard then hit a long fly ball to center-field, scoring Rollins, giving the Phillies the 6-5 lead off of Rockies closer Houston Street.
Brad Lidge entered the game in the ninth and got the lead-off batter to ground out to second. The next batter Carlos Gonzalez then walked and swiped second base, putting the tying run in scoring position. Jason Giambi followed with a pop out to third and then Todd Helton drew the walk to put the winning run on base with superstar short stop Troy Tulowitzki at the plate.
While those still awake in the Delaware Valley were chewing on copious amounts of antacids, Brad Lidge put the stomach acids at ease, forcing Tulowitzki to pop out to Ben Francisco to end the game.
The Phillies will look to clinch the series and move onto the NLCS tomorrow when they take on Colorado in game four. That game is scheduled to start a 5:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.