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Philadelphia vs. Colorado playoff preview

The acquisition of Cliff Lee at the trade deadline gives the Phillies a pair of aces, which could be an advantage.

October 07, 2009|Ben Bolch

Game 1: Today, 11:30 a.m.

Colorado (Ubaldo Jimenez, 15-12, 3.47)

at Philadelphia (Cliff Lee, 14-13, 3.22)

Game 2: Thursday, 11:30 a.m.

Colorado (Aaron Cook, 11-6, 4.16)

at Philadelphia (Cole Hamels, 10-11, 4.32)

Game 3: Saturday, 6:30 p.m.

Philadelphia (TBA) at Colorado (TBA)

Game 4: Sunday, TBA

Philadelphia (TBA) at Colorado (TBA)*

Game 5: Tuesday, TBA

Philadelphia (TBA) at Colorado (TBA)*

Best-of-five series, all times Pacific *if necessary

Projected lineups

*--* P PHILLIES AVG HR RBI SS Jimmy Rollins 250 21 77 CF Shane Victorino 292 10 62 2B Chase Utley 282 31 93 1B Ryan Howard 279 45 141 RF Jayson Werth 268 36 99 LF Raul Ibanez 272 34 93 3B Pedro Feliz 266 12 82 C Carlos Ruiz 255 9 43 P Cliff Lee 212 0 1 *--*

*--* P ROCKIES AVG HR RBI LF Carlos Gonzalez 284 13 29 CF Dexter Fowler 266 4 34 1B Todd Helton 325 15 86 SS Troy Tulowitzki 297 32 92 3B Garrett Atkins 226 9 48 C Yorvit Torrealba 291 2 31 RF Brad Hawpe 285 23 86 2B Clint Barmes 245 23 76 P Ubaldo Jimenez 220 0 2 *--*

Keys to the series

The acquisition of Cliff Lee at the trade deadline gives Philadelphia a pair of aces, which could be a huge advantage in a five-game series. But while Cole Hamels was 4-0 with a 1.80 earned-run average last season on the way to a World Series title, Lee has never pitched in the playoffs and will make his postseason debut in Game 1. The Phillies have major concerns about their late relief corps after recording 22 blown saves, including a major league-leading 11 from Brad Lidge. Ryan Madson could assume the closing duties if Lidge falters early in the division series. Colorado's challenge will be to hold in check a Phillies lineup that features four players who hit at least 31 homers, including first baseman Ryan Howard, who hit 45. Former Long Beach State standout Troy Tulowitzki, who has a team-high 32 homers, is the only player in the Rockies' lineup to have hit more than 23. Colorado hopes the wave of momentum that Manager Jim Tracy brought when he replaced Clint Hurdle in late May carries into the postseason. The Rockies were 32 games over .500 after the former Dodgers manager took over.

-- Ben Bolch

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