HOUSTON - The Phillies celebrated their first National League East championship since 1993 on a beautiful Sunday afternoon on the last day of September, lost three playoff games in October, returned home, and scattered for the winter.
It ended so fast.
The Colorado Rockies finished the Phillies' memorable year in the National League division series, sweeping them in three games of a best-of-five series. The Rockies, whom the Boston Red Sox swept in the World Series, return to Citizens Bank Park tonight for the first time since Kaz Matsui hit a grand slam off Kyle Lohse to beat the Phillies in Game 2 of that series, 10-5.
Don't expect those memories to provide the Phillies with any extra juice this week.
"On May 26?" Jamie Moyer said. "No."
The Phillies were the second-hottest team in baseball when the NL division series started. The Rockies were the hottest.
The Phillies finished 13-4 to pass the choking New York Mets, who finished 5-12 to lose the NL East title.
The Rockies won 13 of their remaining 14 games to force a one-game playoff against the San Diego Padres. The Rockies beat the Padres in 13 innings at Coors Field, 9-8.
"A little hotter?" said Moyer, who pitches tonight. "They were very hot. We don't compare to anything they did at the end of the season as far as I'm concerned. They played the extra game. They played our series. I don't want to say they walked through it, but they won comfortably. They went to the next series, which I thought would give them a little bit of a problem. They kind of walked right through that."
The Phillies caught the wrong team at the wrong time. The current Rockies are struggling at 20-30, but they have suffered a lot of injuries. Matt Holliday, Troy Tulowitzki, Brad Hawpe, Clint Barmes and others are on the disabled list.
Hamels has a hot bat
singled and scored in the third inning of yesterday's 15-6 win over the Astros. He singled again in the fourth, driving in a run. Hamels is hitting .345 (10 for 29) this season. His 10 hits are tied for the second most for a pitcher in the National League. (
has 12, and
Is that . . . Ty Wigginton?
Astros third baseman
entered this weekend's four-game series against the Phillies hitting just .217. But then he turned into Ty Cobb and hit .615 (8 for 13) with five doubles and two RBIs to raise his average to .280.
The Myers riddle
pitched "so-so" again Saturday night in a 4-3 loss to the Astros.
Myers (2-6, 5.79 ERA) allowed eight hits, four runs and four walks in six innings. He seemed stupefied with the results afterward. He seemed to think that hitters were not swinging at pitches they normally would swing at.
Pitching coach Rich Dubee was not so sure.
"He's not making enough good pitches that are close enough to offer at," Dubee said. "He's getting close to what he's capable of doing. There's a bright side to it. He was a pitch from getting out of the first inning, but he made three bad pitches in a row to [Carlos] Lee. He had him 1-2. That's two runs there. Sometimes you try to force things, and you don't allow yourself to make good pitches. When things are going well, you just relax and you make it."
Confidence plays a role in that.
"I think at times it's gaining, and I think at times like last night it's going backward," Dubee said. "He fights himself a lot. There are going to be bad times through the course of the game. There are going to be some bad deliveries and bad pitches, but if you allow them to carry over, it's a grind from pitch one.
"Is he close at all? I think he's close to having three good innings in a row and getting over it. That's how quickly I think it can change."
Myers pitches Friday against the Florida Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.
- Todd Zolecki