|O (for) no! Phillies first 4 hitters go 0-for-15 in opening 4-2 loss to Rockies|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 03 October 2007 12:25|
Chase Utley - ugh. He struck out all four times.
Jimmy Rollins? He went 0-for-3 with a walk.
How about Ryan Howard? Surely Philadelphia's big bopper would come through.
Nope. He went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
The sluggers who put up the big numbers for the Phillies in their late-season run combined to go 0-for-11 with eight strikeouts in their postseason debuts, a punchless 4-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies in Wednesday's NL division series opener.
Throw in No. 2 man Shane Victorino, and the first four hitters in Philadelphia's batting order combined to go 0-for-15 with 12 Ks.
Not even consecutive fifth-inning home runs by Aaron Rowand and Pat Burrell - the first back-to-back homers in Phillies postseason history - were enough to support ace Cole Hamels.
Philadelphia's first postseason game since 1993 was as depressing as the last one: an 8-6 loss at Toronto in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series.
Utley struck out swinging in his first three at-bats against Jeff Francis and he fanned four times in a game for the second time this year, the first time since June 8 at Kansas City.
Howard struck out twice against Francis - not particularly unusual for the slugger who fanned a big league-record 199 times.
With the Phillies trailing 4-2 and a runner on first and one out in the eighth against reliever Brian Fuentes, Rollins popped out, Victorino reached on a fielders' choice and Utley took a called third strike.
The second-largest crowd in the four-year history of Citizens Bank Park came dressed in Phillies red T-shirts and authentic jerseys, wildly waving their white rally towels in excitement of their first postseason game since 1993.
They had extra reason to cheer with Francis on the mound. After all, the 26-year-old lefty was a dud in his only two starts against the Phillies this season, allowing 14 runs in 8 1-3 innings.
But Colorado's 17-game winner got his offspeed pitches over for strikes early and stymied the highest-scoring team in the National League.