Rockies closer revels in playoff atmosphere |

Rockies closer revels in playoff atmosphere

Troy E. Renck
The Denver Post

PHILADELPHIA – A slight-built, baby-faced man sits in a cold tube reading a magazine at Dodger Stadium. He weighs less than 200 pounds, and if he’s an inch taller than 5-feet-10, it’s hyperbole.

When looking for reasons that a Phillies’ repeat will meet a dead end, it starts with Huston Street. The Rockies’ singular biggest advantage in the National League division series that begins Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park resides with their closer.

“The thing with Huston is that you know he’s going to come into the game and throw strikes,” setup man Rafael Betancourt said. “It’s very important for him to show he’s not afraid to throw the ball around the plate. Huston goes right after guys.”

Street has converted 35-of-37 save opportunities, a huge reason the Rockies are 83-1 when leading after the eighth inning. Compare that with the Phillies, who don’t know who their closer is, manager Charlie Manuel choosing from among Ryan Madson, Brett Myers and Brad Lidge. That explains why Philadelphia has blown 10 games when leading after the eighth.

Street has made a seamless transition back into his role following a three-week absence in September because of biceps tendinitis. Twice he has delivered saves of more than three outs. That wasn’t an accident.

“The playoffs are different. You have to be ready to go every game, and you have to be ready to go longer,” Street said. “If you are a competitor, this is a great time of year. It means everything.”

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