Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Colorado Holliday: Rockies Reach Playoffs

Colorado 9 San Diego 8 - Winners of 13 of their last 14 regular season games, the Colorado Rockies ended their dream run to the playoffs with a thrilling 13-inning 9-8 win over San Diego in the one-game wild card tie-breaker. Once again, Matt Holliday was at the center of the action, driving in the tying run with a triple off Padres' closer Trevor Hoffman, and scoring the game-winner on Jamey Carroll's sacrifice fly. Nothing comes easy for these Rockies. After needing consecutive losses by San Diego in the final two games of the season (they got them), they had to rally for a 4-3 decision against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday to force the tie, but they made the most of it at Coors Field in Denver on Monday.
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Starters Jake Peavy and Josh Fogg were largely ineffective for their respective teams. Peavy allowed 6 runs on 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings, while Fogg lasted only 4, giving up 5 runs on 8 hits. The game see-sawed until Brian Giles tied the game at 6-6, with an RBI double. Then the bullpens took over, putting up zeroes until the climactic 13th inning.Scott Hairston put the Padres ahead 8-6 in the top of the inning with a two-run homer off Jorge Julio, but the Rockies were far from through. Facing the all-time leader in saves, Trevor Hoffman, the Rockies didn't make an out before tying the game on a leadoff double by Kazuo Matsui, another double by Troy Tulowitzki and Holliday's triple. After intentionally walking Todd Helton, Holliday flew home on Carroll's line drive out to right. The winning score came with some controversy. Holliday barreled head-first into Michael Barrett, who was blocking the plate, but the ball bounded away from the catcher and Holliday was called safe even though replays showed that he never actually touched home plate. Holliday was stunned by the collision and lay motionless for several seconds while the stands erupted and Rockies' players poured out onto the field. Despite that the play may have been botched by umpire Tim McClelland, it didn't matter. Hoffman blew saves on consecutive chances - Saturday and Monday - to seal the wild card. He couldn't get it done against either Milwaukee or Colorado and the Rockies certainly had no quit in them. How big was Holliday's final inning triple? Enormous. It sealed the batting championship and gave him one more RBI than Philly's Ryan Howard, 137, and maybe wrapped up the National League MVP award. Holliday also led the league in hits (216) and doubles (50), and was third in runs scored with 120 and his 36 home runs were good for 4th in the league. If that's not enough to qualify for MVP, than what is? Colorado gets a day off to recover before heading to Philadelphia on Wednesday to face the Phillies in the opening round of the playoffs. Here's the schedule for each of the five-game series divisional playoffs: Los Angeles Angels vs. Boston Red Sox Series tied 0-0 Series Breakdown 1. Wed, Oct 3 – at Boston, 6:30 pm EDT (TBS) 2. Fri, Oct 5 – at Boston, 8:30 pm EDT (TBS) 3. Sun, Oct 7 – at LA Angels, 3:00 pm EDT (TBS) 4.* Mon, Oct 8 – at LA Angels, 9:30 pm EDT (TBS) 5.* Wed, Oct 10 – at Boston, 8:30 pm EDT (TBS) New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians 1. Thu, Oct 4 – at Cleveland, 6:30 pm EDT (TBS) 2. Fri, Oct 5 – at Cleveland, 5:00 pm EDT (TBS) 3. Sun, Oct 7 – at NY Yankees, 6:30 pm EDT (TBS) 4.* Mon, Oct 8 – at NY Yankees, 6:00 pm EDT (TBS) 5.* Wed, Oct 10 – at Cleveland, 5:00 pm EDT (TBS) Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks 1. Wed, Oct 3 – at Arizona, 10:00 pm EDT (TBS) 2. Thu, Oct 4 – at Arizona, 10:00 pm EDT (TBS) 3. Sat, Oct 6 – at Chi Cubs, 6:00 pm EDT (TBS) 4.* Sun, Oct 7 – at Chi Cubs, 1:00 pm EDT (TNT) 5.* Tue, Oct 9 – at Arizona, 10:00 pm EDT (TBS) Colorado Rockies vs. Philadelphia Phillies 1. Wed, Oct 3 – at Philadelphia, 3:00 pm EDT (TBS) 2. Thu, Oct 4 – at Philadelphia, 3:00 pm EDT (TBS) 3. Sat, Oct 6 – at Colorado, 9:30 pm EDT (TBS) 4.* Sun, Oct 7 – at Colorado, 10:00 pm EDT (TBS) 5.* Tue, Oct 9 – at Philadelphia, 6:30 pm EDT (TBS) Tomorrow: Playoff Previews and Baseball On Deck's MVP and Cy Young Picks

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