for this game

Baker, Jimenez lead Rockies to NLCS matchup with D-Backs

Oct 7, 2007 - 6:50 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Jeff Baker provided the big hit, but it was an outstanding performance by a 23-year-old rookie that allowed the Colorado Rockies to reach new heights.

Baker singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and Ubaldo Jimenez carried a one-hitter into the seventh as the Rockies completed a three-game sweep over the Philadelphia Phillies with a 2-1 victory on a breezy night at Coors Field.

Yorvit Torrealba had two hits and scored the first run for Colorado , which has won an incredible 17 of 18 games to advance to the NLCS for the first time in its 15-year history.

Colorado will play Arizona on for the right to represent the National League in the World Series. The Diamondbacks completed a sweep of the Chicago Cubs earlier Saturday.

"We'll try to enjoy this for a few days, we don't have to play until Thursday," Rockies left fielder Matt Holliday said. "I want to sit on the couch and watch football tomorrow.

"We started the season and ended the season with Arizona, so we know them well."

Garrett Atkins started the rally against Phillies reliever J.C. Romero (0-1) with a two-out single that left fielder Jayson Werth pulled up on and let drop in front of him for a single.

Brad Hawpe followed by hitting a one hopper to the left of second baseman Chase Utley, who tried to make a diving stop, but the ball tipped off his glove and rolled into short right field, allowing Atkins to move around to third.

Baker, pinch hitting for winning pitcher Brian Fuentes (1-0), then lined a 1-0 offering from Romero into right field, plating Atkins with the go-ahead run.

"I was looking for something up and out over the plate," Baker said. "You don't want to get beat by that and I was trying to slow myself down and get something over the plate and hit it the other way."

"Jeff, coming up in a situation like that without a lot of at-bats and against a tough pitcher like Romero, I'm so happy for him," Holliday said.

Romero entered having allowed just four hits to the last 54 batters he faced.

"I liked Romero there," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He hit the ball at the end of the bat and it found the hole. He didn't kill the ball but it was good enough to get the big run in."

However, the real story was the slender 6-3 Jimenez, who was nearly one-half the age of his mound counterpart Jamie Moyer.

Jimenez carried a 1-0 lead and a one-hitter into the seventh inning when Shane Victorino drilled an 0-2 hanging breaking ball into the left field seats to tie the contest. Carlos Ruiz followed with a single, ending the night for Jimenez, who walked four and struck out five.

"Ubaldo wasn't pitching against Jamie, he was pitching against the Phillies' hitters," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "He made one bad pitch and Victorino hit it out like good hitters do. I'm just very proud of him.

Matt Herges got Colorado out of the seventh, Fuentes survived a foul homer by Pat Burrell in the eighth and Manny Corpas retired Victorino on a groundout for the final out of the ninth, sparking a wild celebration along the first base line.

"It's nice. It's fun. We still have work to take care of, but we're happy to be where we're at right now," said Rockies first baseman Todd Helton. "This team is so much fun."

The high-scoring Phillies, in the playoffs for the first time since 1993, struggled on offense all series, scoring just eight runs, including five runs in Game Two. Philadelphia was held to three hits on Saturday.

"It's playoff baseball. We won our division but we were a little tight," Manuel said. "We were chasing balls out of the zone and that's a sign of being tight."

Jimenez's performance was similar to his outing last Sunday when the Rockies won to force a one-game playoff with San Diego . The Dominican rookie allowed just a run and a hit with a season-high 10 strikeouts that day against Arizona .

"I didn't think he could top last Sunday's performance and I think he did," Hurdle said. "The kid's out there pitching the game of his life and it's like he's pitching against Whitey Ford.

"He was on his game," Torrealba said. "Last Sunday he was throwing harder. He wasn't throwing as hard tonight but he was on his game. He was keeping the ball down."

Philadelphia got a one-out walk by Utley and a two-out single by Ryan Howard in the first inning, but Jimenez struck out Aaron Rowand on three pitches - his third strikeout of the inning - to escape.

The Phillies didn't get another baserunner until Ruiz walked with one out in the fifth but Abraham Nunez grounded into a double play.

In the sixth, a pair of one-out walks to Jimmy Rollins and Utley put Philadelphia in business, but Jimenez reached back and got Burrell on a pop fly to left and Howard on a routine grounder to second. Both pitches were mid-90 miles-per hour fastballs.

"I just had to make the pitches," Jimenez said. "That's a tough team and in that situation you have to trust what you're doing."

The 44-year-old Moyer, just two years younger than the combined age of Game One and Two starters Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick, departed after six innings, allowing a run and five hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

Moyer had posted a 2.66 ERA in four career postseason starts, but hadn't pitched in the playoffs since 2001. He did pitch under pressure last Sunday against Washington , yielding just an unearned run over 5 1/3 innings as the Phillies edged the New York Mets for the NL East title on the final day of the regular season.

Colorado finally broke through against Moyer in the fifth when Torrealba singled with one out, moved to second on a sacrifice and scored when Game Two hero Kaz Matsui lined a triple to left-center. Burrell misplayed the ball in left field, breaking in before moving to his left and making a futile diving attempt.

Matsui hit a grand slam, double and triple in the 10-5 Game Two win. Moyer and the Phillies caught a break in the second when the stiff wind prevented a drive to left field by Atkins from leaving the park. Burrell made the catch at the warning track.

Colorado loaded the bases after two outs in the frame on singles by Brad Hawpe and Ryan Spilborgs and a walk to Torrealba, but Moyer got Jimenez to roll out to third base.

The game was delayed for 14 minutes just prior to the top of the second inning because a computer malfunction caused the lights to shut off.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 3 0
    COLORADO 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 x 2 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: PHI - JAMIE MOYER, TOM GORDON (7TH), J.C. ROMERO (8TH), BRETT MYERS
    (8TH) AND CARLOS RUIZ
    COL - UBALDO JIMENEZ, MATT HERGES (7TH), BRIAN FUENTES
    (8TH), MANNY CORPA

    Oct 7 12:52 AM
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    Phillies vs. RockiesOct 7 12:44 AM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JEFF BAKER SCORED GARRETT ATKINS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BAKER ON FIRST, B HAWPE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 1
    COLORADO 2 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: Y TORREALBA (.556, 2-FOR-2, BB)

    Phillies vs. RockiesOct 7 12:38 AM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY SHANE VICTORINO (1) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF UBALDO JIMENEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 1, COLORADO 1
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: C RUIZ (.250, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Phillies vs. RockiesOct 6 11:51 PM
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  • NL
    AT COLORADO PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY KAZ MATSUI SCORED YORVIT TORREALBA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K MATSUI ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 0
    COLORADO 1 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: T TULOWITZKI (.200, 0-FOR-2)

    Phillies vs. RockiesOct 6 11:19 PM
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