Sports

MLB Playoff Roundup: Colorado still Rockin'

PHILADELPHIA -- Kazuo Matsui lives a largely anonymous life in Colorado.

No reporters trail his every swing, every throw, every mouthful, and he is viewed for what he is -- a baseball player and not some sort of quirky carnival attraction.

But, really, has moving to the Mile High City from the New York Mets made Matsui so anonymous that, after he drove in half the Colorado Rockies' runs in a 10-5 victory Thursday, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel referred to Matsui as whatshisname?

In all fairness, the name was on the tip of Manuel's tongue, but the momentary bout of forgetfulness served as a helpful reminder as to just how easy it is to overlook Matsui in the Rockies' powerful lineup -- and, to be sure, just how quickly he can make you remember him.

The Rockies' usual power threats, Matt Holliday and former Modesto Nut Troy Tulowitzki, also hit home runs in Game 2 of the National League Division Series, but it was Matsui, far and away, who propelled the offense and pushed the Phillies to the brink of elimination.

He broke open the game with a fourth-inning grand slam, added a run-scoring triple as part of his 3-for-5 day and missed the cycle by a single.

The Rockies, winners of 16 of their last 17 games, must win only one of their next three to advance past the first round of the postseason for the first time in franchise history. Game 3 is Saturday night in Denver.

"I got in a good environment on a good team and I'm so happy about that," Matsui said through an interpreter.

Booed out of New York after 2½ seasons with the Mets, Matsui is a perfect fit in calmer Colorado.

"I couldn't make good results in New York," Matsui said. "I'm glad I have a good environment and a good team in Colorado."

The Phillies had a chance to make it interesting in the eighth, loading the bases with two outs. But former Nuts reliever Manny Corpas came in and retired Carlos Ruiz. Corpas worked around a pair of two-out singles in a scoreless ninth for his second save in as many days.

DIAMONDBACKS 8, CUBS 4, at Phoenix -- Rookie Chris Young hit a three-run homer and Stephen Drew tripled in two more, and Arizona took a 2-0 series lead over Chicago in the best-of-five NL division series.

Unless they turn it around at Wrigley Field, the Cubs will make it 99 years and counting without a World Series title.

Three years removed from a 111-loss season, the young Diamondbacks are one victory from the NL championship series.

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