So they were pleased Saturday to learn that Major League Baseball postponed Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field because of temperatures in the 20s and snow. Game 3 will be played Sunday at 10:07 p.m. ET. Game 4 will be played Monday at a time to be determined. "Hopefully, Game 5 last year kind of set the tone for future events like that," Phillies right fielder Jayson Werth said in the lobby of the team's hotel, referring to last year's rainy Game 5 that was suspended after Tampa Bay tied it up in the top of the sixth inning. Play resumed two days later, and the Phillies ended up winning to clinch their World Series title.
The postponement not only is expected to improve playing conditions -- temperatures Sunday night could be in the 40s -- but it appears to improve the Phillies' matchups. They will start left-hander J.A. Happ in Game 3 instead of right-hander Pedro Martinez, who has thrown just four innings since Sept. 19. They also said they will start left-hander Cliff Lee in Game 4. Left-hander Cole Hamels likely would pitch Game 5, if necessary, although Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said right-hander Joe Blanton and Martinez would be in the mix. "We like left-handed pitchers against Colorado," Manuel said. "I think that's the strongest way to go about it." The Rockies hit .264 against right-handed pitchers this season, but .253 against left-handers. Happ threw a four-hit shutout against the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park on Aug. 5. Lee, who will be pitching on normal rest Monday, allowed one run in a complete game against the Rockies in Game 1 on Wednesday. He also allowed one run in seven innings against the Rockies on Aug. 6. Manuel said Martinez will be available to pitch in the bullpen.
"I think he's very capable," Manuel said about Martinez's ability to pitch in the bullpen. "I think he can do it. I've seen him do it before. I think he can definitely go a couple innings. We definitely wouldn't be afraid to use him. We wouldn't even bat an eye about using him. I think definitely that could happen." Manuel paused for a split second. "Hopefully it doesn't, but it could," Manuel said. "If J.A. throws a shutout tomorrow, it won't happen." Martinez, who hasn't pitched since Sept. 30, said he understood the decision. "It's the most reasonable thing to do," he said. "I haven't thrown in 10 days. Difficult weather. Happ has been in there. He has a better feel for the ball. I'm just hoping I get an opportunity to pitch a couple innings before they use me." Happ should be sharper than Martinez. He should be fresh and healthy, too. He threw just four pitches in a relief appearance in Game 2, but also suffered a bruised left leg when Seth Smith hit a line drive just below his left knee. Happ said the leg is fine. Manuel actually told Happ on Friday that he would be starting Sunday, an indication the Phillies have no concerns about the leg. Happ said he is looking forward to the opportunity. "I'm not going to say I feel like I deserve anything," Happ said. "I'm just grateful to have the opportunity and I'm going to go out there and try to perform tomorrow. But it's definitely going to be special." Game 3 in frigid conditions would not have been special. It would have been miserable for the players and fans. The Phillies who filed through their hotel lobby Saturday afternoon were in agreement: The game needed to be postponed. "I think when I got up this morning kind of early, I walked downstairs and I walked outside. It was pretty cold," Manuel said. "It was snowing. And somebody told me it was 17 degrees. And I thought to myself, 'Well, how much can it warm up today?' And the smart guy that I am, I said, 'Well, it's probably going to get to 20.' So I figured it might be a little bit too cold to play baseball." "There's no need for a game of this type of importance to come down to 22-degree weather," right-hander Chad Durbin said. Even Martinez, who stood to benefit most from playing Game 3 on Saturday, had no desire to play. "This was horrible weather for everybody," he said. The Phillies held no official workout Saturday, but players had the option to work out at Coors Field if they wanted. Happ went to throw just to stay on his normal routine. Other players killed time Saturday with a trip to the mall. "What else do you do when it's snowing outside?" Werth said.
|Gm. 1||PHI 5, COL 1||Wrap||Video|
|Gm. 2||COL 5, PHI 4||Wrap||Video|
|Gm. 3||PHI 6, COL 5||Wrap||Video|
|Gm. 4||PHI 5, COL 4||Wrap||Video|
POSTSEASON POSTPONEMENTSSince Wild Card era began in 1995
|1996||ALCS, Gm. 1||BAL at NYY|
|WS, Gm. 1||ATL at NYY|
|2003||ALCS, Gm. 4||NYY at BOS|
|2004||ALCS, Gm. 3||NYY at BOS|
|2005||ALCS, Gm. 4||LAA at NYY|
|2006||ALDS, Gm. 2||DET at NYY|
|NLCS, Gm. 1||STL at NYM|
|NLCS, Gm. 5||NYM at STL|
|2008||WS, Gm. 5*||TB at PHI|
|2009||NLDS, Gm. 3||PHI at COL|
|2009||ALCS, Gm. 6||LAA at NYY|
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.