The Philadelphia Phillies—definitely benefiting from an extra day’s rest—send rookie 12-game winner J.A. Happ to the mound in what could be the coldest game played this postseason.
The Rockies will counter with Jason Hammel—a 10-game winner—who has pitched poorly at Coors Field this season. The Rockies evened the series by taking the second game in Philadelphia with an inconsistent performance by 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels.
Happ has been absolutely brilliant for the Phillies. He started in the bullpen early in the season, but when Chan Ho Park was ineffective, Happ went into the rotation and was the most consistent pitcher for the remainder of the season.
If he’s to be successful tonight he’s going to have shut down Todd Helton, Brad Hawpe, and most important Troy Tulowitzki.
For the Phillies to be successful they must get production from the very top of their order. If Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino are kept off the bases, I like the Rockies chances.
Game 3 in a five game series is always the most pivotal because the winning team needs only one more win to advance.
The Rockies do not want to return to Philadelphia because the Phillies will have the momentum playing in front of their home crowd.
This should be a great game. Charlie Manuel may regret not starting the playoff savvy Pedro Martinez, but I see the Phillies bats carrying them to victory.
Prediction: Phillies: 8 Rockies: 2.