This marked the second postseason meeting between the Phillies and Rockies in three seasons; the Rockies swept the Phillies in the 2007 NLDS. The Dodgers and Cardinals last met in the postseason during the 2004 NLDS, which the Cardinals won 3–1.
The Dodgers and Phillies won their respective series—the Dodgers three games to none and the Phillies three games to one. The Phillies defeated the Dodgers in the NLCS by a series score of 4–1, and lost the 2009 World Series to the New York Yankees, 4–2.
Neither team's starting pitcher was particularly effective in the series opener; however, neither team's offense was able to capitalize, as this game set a MLB postseason record for runners left on base combined between the two teams, with 30. Los Angeles starter Randy Wolfloaded the bases with no outs in the first inning, allowing one run to score on a fielding miscue. In the bottom half of the inning, St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter gave up a two-run home run to Matt Kemp, giving the Dodgers a lead they would never relinquish. The St. Louis bullpen gave up only one run over three innings, while the Los Angeles bullpen gave up one run over 51⁄3 innings. Los Angeles slugger Manny Ramirez was held to 1-for-4 with one walk, while St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols was 0-for-3 with two intentional walks.
The game ran 3:54 which made it the longest nine-inning postseason game in history: however, the record was broken four days later by the Rockies and Phillies.
In an amazing pitching duel, Game 2 was dominated by Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright and Dodgers phenom Clayton Kershaw, who was pitching in his first career postseason start. In the second inning, Matt Holliday hit a home run to put the Cardinals ahead 1–0, but Dodger slugger Andre Ethier hit his first career post-season homer to tie it up 1–1 in the bottom of the fourth, the first hit Wainwright allowed. Wainwright dominated throughout his start, retiring the first eleven hitters he faced, while Kershaw kept pitching in and out of trouble. In the seventh inning, a double by Colby Rasmus with no outs scored Mark DeRosa to put St. Louis ahead 2–1, but Rasmus was thrown out at third base, which ended up being a huge play. At the time, it seemed to be enough to allow Wainwright to pitch to victory; in the eighth inning, however, he pitched into a bases-loaded jam. With two outs, Game 1 hero Matt Kemp grounded out to Albert Pujols to end the threat, and going into the ninth inning, Cardinal closer Ryan Franklin was brought in with one out. After retiring Manny Ramirez, Dodger first baseman James Loney hit a fly ball to Holliday, who lost the ball in the lights and it hit off his belly, allowing Loney to reach second on the error. After a walk to Casey Blake, mid-season acquisition Ronnie Belliard hit a clutch two-out single to score pinch runnerJuan Pierre to tie the game, and after Russell Martin walked to load the bases, veteran pinch hitterMark Loretta, who was 0-for-15 career against Franklin, hit a walk-off single to center field to score Blake and the Dodgers won the game in dramatic fashion, spoiling the gem by Wainwright and sending the series back to St. Louis with a 2–0 LA advantage.
The Dodgers swept the Cardinals 3–0, and went on to go face the Phillies in a NLCS rematch. Vicente Padilla silenced the Cardinals bats again by pitching dominantly, allowing no runs on four hits through seven innings. The 47,296 attendance was the largest crowd to see a game at Busch Stadium since it opened in 2006.
Amidst strong, swirling winds at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies cruised to a 5–1 victory behind a dominating performance from Cliff Lee. Philadelphia broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI double by Raúl Ibáñez, who scored two batters later on a single from Carlos Ruiz. Rockies starter Ubaldo Jiménez ran into more trouble in the sixth, giving up an RBI double to Jayson Werth, an RBI triple to Ryan Howard, and an RBI single to Ibanez before being chased from the game with none out. Lee, meanwhile, retired sixteen straight Colorado batters from the second inning into the seventh, picking up the complete game win in his first career postseason start. Lee was one strike away from completing a shutout, but Troy Tulowitzki lined a two-out, two-strike double in the top of the ninth to plate the Rockies' only run.
2008 NLCS and World Series MVP Cole Hamels faced Rockies' starter Aaron Cook in Game 2. In the top of the first inning, the Rockies scored the first run of the game when Todd Helton hit a ball up the first base line that was misplayed by Hamels allowing Carlos Gonzalez to score from third. It was visible that Hamels' focus was not entirely on the game, as his wife had been pregnant for nine months and could have gone into labor during the game. Rockies' catcher Yorvit Torrealba then hit a two-run home run off of Hamels in the fourth inning, after he had not hit a home run since May 6. The Rockies would then add one more run to make it 4–0 Rockies. Cole Hamels would then be told his wife was going into labor, as he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Phillies would fight back in the sixth. After consecutive hits by Shane Victorino and Chase Utley put runners on first and second with nobody out, Ryan Howard hit a line-drive double into the right field corner making the score 4–1 Rockies. Raúl Ibáñez then hit a single to center field scoring two runs to cut the score to 4–3. However, the next three batters would be retired. Charlie Manuel would use potential Game 3 starters Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ in the later innings, with Happ only throwing four pitches and leaving with an injury after being hit on the leg with a line drive. The Rockies would score one more run to make the score 5–3. Jayson Werth hit a home run in the eighth inning to once again close the Rockies lead to one, but the Phillies would be unable to score again. Huston Street retired Shane Victorino with two runners on base with two outs in the ninth inning to send the series to Colorado tied 1–1.
Game 3 was originally scheduled for October 10 at 9:37 p.m. Eastern, but was postponed due to snowy weather in the Denver area. The city received two inches of snow by Saturday morning, and forecasts called for a game-time temperature of 26 °F (−3 °C). The October 10 low was 17 °F (−8 °C), breaking a record set in 1905. This normally would not have been a problem due to Coors Field's underground heating system, and the Rockies have played in freezing conditions before. However, MLB began giving serious thought to postponing the game after hearing that the temperature would barely make it above freezing, and reports of icy roads and numerous accidents clinched the decision. This pushed Game 4 back to October 12, with Game 5, if necessary, to be played the next day in Philadelphia with no travel day.
The temperature at game time (10:07 pm Eastern; 8:07 pm local) was 35 °F (2 °C) and it dropped over the course of the game, which ended after midnight local time. At 4:06, this was the longest nine-inning postseason game ever (breaking a record set four days earlier by the Dodgers and Cardinals.)
Rockies starter Jason Hammel looked strong at first, but eventually lost control and gave up four earned runs before exiting during the fourth inning. It was a seesaw affair, with the teams tying each other four times during the course of the game, before Ryan Howard's sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning off of Rockies closerHuston Street scored Jimmy Rollins, which proved to be the winning run.
Game 4 was originally scheduled to start on Game 3's date and start time, but due to the Saturday postponement was pushed back to Monday with first pitch at 4:07 Mountain Time.
With an extra day of rest, both teams pitched their aces in a rematch of Game 1. The Phillies quickly struck in the first, as the second batter of the game, Shane Victorino, hit a home run into the Rockies bullpen. Jimenez would settle down, virtually matching the Phillies Cliff Lee the rest of the way, his only other run coming on a Jayson Werth solo homer in the sixth. Lee wasn't as dominant as he was in Game 1, but held the Rockies at bay until the sixth when Troy Tulowitzki doubled home Todd Helton to cut the Phillies lead to 2–1.
Jimenez pitched seven innings before giving way to Franklin Morales. The Phillies would load the bases in the eighth with one out, but Rafael Betancourt would get a pop out and strikeout to keep Philadelphia from adding to their lead. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Lee walked Dexter Fowler. Helton then bounced what looked like a tailor made double play ground ball to Chase Utley. Fowler, to avoid running into him, jumped and hurdled over Utley, whose throw to second was wide and an error. Lee was pulled and a double switch was made, Ryan Madson into pitch, Ben Francisco in left field. Tulowitzki promptly stepped up and hit a shallow fly to left that Francisco made a diving catch on to rob the Rockies of the potential tying run. Jason Giambi pinch hit, and on the first pitch punched a game-tying single to left. Yorvit Torrealba followed by hitting a two-run double over the head of Victorino, giving the Rockies their first lead.
In the ninth Colorado again turned to Street, the losing pitcher in Game 3. This time he opened the inning by striking out pinch hitter Greg Dobbs, prompting Ryan Howard to tell his teammates to "get me to the plate, boys." Jimmy Rollins, though, as he did the previous night, singled. After Victorino bounced into a fielders choice that saw Rollins forced out at second, Utley stepped up and went down 2–2 in the count. He would, however, work a walk to bring go-ahead run Ryan Howard to the plate. On a 2–1 pitch, Howard belted a double to the wall in right field, tying the game. Werth followed with a bloop single to shallow right on a 2–2 pitch as the Phillies matched the Rockies three-run rally with one of their own to retake the lead.
Colorado would threaten again in the ninth against Scott Eyre. With one out Carlos Gonzalez singled, tying him with Dante Bichette for the club record for hits in the Division Series at ten. Following a Fowler lineout, Helton singled up middle. Brad Lidge was again summoned from the bullpen and faced Tulowitzki in a rematch of the previous night's final at-bat. Having looked at two sliders, and barely checked his swing on another, Lidge threw Tulowitzki a 2–2 slider. This time Tulowitzki could not check his swing, striking out to end the game, and sending the Phillies to the NLCS with a three games to one series victory. It also marked the first time in Division Series history that all four series winners clinched on the road, as the Dodgers, Angels and Yankees all had completed sweeps on the road previously.
Total attendance: 193,029 Average attendance: 48,257
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