Cole Hamels found trouble in the second inning. Better yet, Todd Helton found Hamels… that’s right, Todd Helton is trouble. On the first pitch of the inning, Helton smacked it off the wall above the 409 sign in the deepest part of the park. After a crazy carom past Aaron Rowand and to Shane Victorino pursuing from right field, Helton beat the ball to third for a triple.
Half-dozen pitches later, Garrett Atkins (Chase Utley’s UCLA teammate) laced a single to left to open the scoring. A one-out walk and single made it 2-0. Hamels, strangely, is clearly struggling. He’s also sweating like Dom DeLuise at a clam bake. It’s quite humid outside today, which for the folks arriving in town from sunny and temperate Colorado, feeling our heavy, thick east-coast air must be misery.
Speaking of misery, the Rockies added another run as sweaty Cole Hamels walked Troy Tulowitzki with the bases loaded.
Hamels is teetering on the edge. He whiffed Holliday to end the threat, but strike one to the possible MVP was a freaking bomb that sailed over the foul/fair pole, onto the concourse and very likely onto the street that borders the park to the north… is that Phillies Way?
Either way, it was a bleeping rocket. Worse, Hamels threw 40 pitches in the second inning.
Contrarily, Jeff Francis continued to deal. He whiffed Ryan Howard to start the frame, got Rowand to ground out on a two-strike pitch and then made Wes Helms pop out harmlessly to second.
Nevertheless, Pat Burrell walked to become the Phillies’ first post-season base runner in 14 years.