October 7, 2007

BETWEEN THE ROCKS AND A HOT PLACE:

Lights out! Rockies roar into NLCS (Arnie Stapleton, 10/07/07, AP)

Lights out! The blackout at Coors Field was caused by a cranky computer. Blame the Philadelphia Phillies' power outage on rookie Ubaldo Jimenez and a Colorado bullpen that's been untouchable for three weeks.

The Rockies roared into the NL championship series Saturday night, completing a three-game playoff sweep by beating Philadelphia 2-1 on pinch-hitter Jeff Baker's tiebreaking single with two outs in the eighth inning.

Colorado's 17th win in 18 games was fueled by Jimenez, the hard-throwing 23-year-old who allowed one run and three hits over 6 1-3 innings during a pitchers' duel at Coors Field, of all places. Then, those reliable Rockies relievers silenced Philadelphia's dangerous bats for the third straight game.

"We're winning with our bats, our gloves and our arms," Rockies MVP hopeful Matt Holliday said. "We're winning with both youth and experience, with power and little punches. That's a good brand of baseball to be playing."


Euphoria sweeps over Coors Field (Sara Burnett, 10/07/07, Rocky Mountain News)
People who never have met throw their arms around each other. Camera phones are out and the dancing begins — Celebration, then Let's Go Crazy.

"I can't think of a better place in the world to be right now," says Brandon Howard, a 30-year-old fan from Thornton after grabbing his friend, Danny Sachs, in a tight bearhug in the concourse along the third base line.

"For not being a baseball town, this feels like a baseball town to me," Sachs says.


Moyer again at his best in big spot: Though Phillies are eliminated, veteran stellar in huge spot (Joe Frisaro, 10/07/07, MLB.com)
In his heart of hearts, Jamie Moyer truly felt the Phillies were a big break away from turning the tables on the Rockies in the National League Division Series.

"I honestly believe it would have taken one inning for us, one at-bat, one sequence for us to turn this thing around," Moyer said. "Really, coming into this ballpark tonight, I believed if we won tonight, we had a good chance to win the series."

Unfortunately for the Phillies, the momentum-changing moment never arrived. But the 44-year-old veteran pitcher certainly did his part in attempting to get his team rolling.


The curse continues: Arizona sweeps Chicago to start 99th long winter (Associated Press, 10/07/07)
A sweet sweep for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Another cry of "Wait 'Til Next Year" from the crestfallen Chicago Cubs.

Chris Young homered on the game's first pitch, Livan Hernandez wriggled out of several serious jams and Arizona beat the Cubs 5-1 on Saturday night to complete a three-game sweep of their first-round playoff series.

Short on stars and attention — but not pitching and defense — the young Diamondbacks are headed to the NL Championship Series for the second time in the franchise's 10-year history. The previous time they made it this far they went all the way, beating the New York Yankees in the 2001 World Series.

"Probably shocked a lot of people, but this team's been doing it all year," Eric Byrnes said.


Posted by Orrin Judd at October 7, 2007 7:29 AM
Comments

At least the Cubs had the decency not to take a series lead and get our hopes up like 1984 and 2003. Let's make it an even 100 next year!

Posted by: Rick T. at October 7, 2007 8:14 AM

When fans think of their team as "lovable losers", how can they be disappointed when they've got the losing part down?

The odds are still that the White Sox will be the next team from Chicago to play in the Series. Call it the Steve Bartman curse.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 7, 2007 12:53 PM
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