DENVER -- Low-scoring games don't happen often at Coors Field, but Sunday's matchup was an anomaly.Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola and Rockies righty Jeff Hoffman matched each other pitch for pitch, with the young starters holding the opposing offenses in check. The two combined to give up just three runs in
DENVER -- Low-scoring games don't happen often at Coors Field, but Sunday's matchup was an anomaly.
Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola and Rockies righty Jeff Hoffman matched each other pitch for pitch, with the young starters holding the opposing offenses in check. The two combined to give up just three runs in 14 innings, meaning the Phillies' 3-2 win over the Rockies would have to come down to a couple late plays.
For a while, those plays looked like they'd come at the Phillies' expense on the basepaths. In the eighth, Gerardo Parra and Trevor Story threw out Cameron Rupp at the plate trying to score from first on an Andres Blanco pinch-hit double.
Manager Pete Mackanin said third-base coach Juan Samuel felt bad about sending Rupp home.
"He's been good for us all year," Mackanin said. "I'm not gonna be critical of that, because having coached third many years, I've done it myself. I've wanted to crawl into a hole. I've got full confidence in Juan."
Then, leading off the ninth, Odubel Herrera aggressively took second base on a soft bouncer up the middle. But after reaching third, he hesitated while coming home on a Hyun Soo Kim grounder to short, and Story nailed him at the plate.
Mackanin said Herrera waited for the ball to get past the pitcher and that he was surprised Story threw home.
"I'm not critical of that," Mackanin said. "You have to go because if they get a double play, you don't wanna be standing on third with two outs."
There also was a balls-strikes dispute with Nola still pitching in the seventh. Nola threw an 0-1 curveball to Charlie Blackmon while Raimel Tapia stole second. The pitch was called a ball, allowing Blackmon to work the count to 3-1 and eventually give the Rockies a 2-1 lead with an RBI double.
But the Phillies thought it was a strike and that Nola should've had Blackmon 0-2 instead of 1-1. Bench coach Larry Bowa was ejected by home-plate umpire Carlos Torres after the seventh arguing the call.
"I just asked [Torres] 'How? It was right down the middle,'" Rupp said. "I guess I came up to throw and I blocked his vision. What do you do? I've gotta come up to throw, and unfortunately it didn't go our way. It changes the at-bat for sure, but we can't let that one pitch determine the game."
In the end, the Phillies brought home the win, as Rupp redeemed Samuel by hitting the game-winning two-run double in the ninth.
With Monday off, the Phillies get to savor the wild win for an extra day.
"We had tough luck the first night here and yesterday," Rupp said. "We shook it off and came out to play today. Nola gave us a chance to win from the first pitch, and when you got a guy like that, and we battle, battle, battle, good things are going to happen for us."
Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver and covered the Phillies on Sunday.