Rockies’ big guns fired little but blanks |

Rockies’ big guns fired little but blanks

Patrick Saunders
The Denver Post
The Colorado Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki is struck out by Philadelphia Phillies RHP Brad Lidge to lose the game 5-4 in game four of the National League Division Series at Coors Field Monday October 12, 2009. ANDY CROSS/THE DENVER POST

The contrasting images will linger over the winter and into spring training.

The Phillies’ No. 3 and No. 4 hitters, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, were menacing figures. Their Rockies counterparts, Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki, were pedestrian.

Howard’s two-out, two-run double to right in the ninth inning of Monday’s clincher sent a stake through the Rockies’ hearts. Howard hit .375 in the National League division series and drove in six runs. Utley hit .429 and crossed the plate five times. They are an unnerving duo for any pitcher to face – just ask Rockies closer Huston Street.

Helton, who enjoyed a remarkable comeback season after last year’s back surgery, was almost a nonfactor. Yes, he nudged a single up the middle with two out in the ninth, but he had just three hits in four games and batted .188, with no power.

The lasting image of Tulowitzki will be his game-ending at-bats against Phillies closer Brad Lidge in Games 3 and 4.

In Sunday night’s Game 3, Tulo-witzki just missed on a Lidge fastball, popping it up to end the game. Tulowitzki slammed his bat and tossed his helmet in frustration. Monday night, Lidge struck out Tulowitzki with a wicked slider.

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