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Iceman saveth: Brad Lidge dodges Rockies in 9th, Phillies win

Big League Stew

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Score and situation: Phillies 6, Rockies 5 Philadelphia leads series 2-1

Leading lads: Regular season, schmegular season. Brad Lidge(notes) might have struggled all year to close games but he ... got through ... the ninth inning to bring the Phillies within a game of the NLCS. Lidge walked a couple of guys (Todd Helton(notes) was unintentionally intentional) but a save is a save in the playoffs, and it was Lidge's first since Sept. 20. Even though it became apparent Lidge would be used to finish when Charlie Manuel called on Ryan Madson(notes) to get out of a jam in the seventh (and also when Scott Eyre fall down, go boom) Phillies fans must have felt a unique combination of excitement, concern, nausea and fatigue come the ninth. It was a long and chilly night.

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Head hangers: Channeling their inner Phil Cuzzi, umpires Jerry Meals and Ron Culpa gave the Phillies the benefit of the doubt — and boy, is there doubt — on Chase Utley's(notes) infield single in the ninth. Also, what was with the strike zone? First it's over here, then it's over there.

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Key play: Utley's speed and hustle, along with the umpires' questionable vision, put the lead run on third base so Ryan Howard could drive it in.

Key stat: Coors Field game-time temperature: 36 degrees!

What they're talking about: Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez(notes) is on the verge of stardom. He went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, a stolen base and a purdy home run to right field. Part of the Matt Holliday(notes) deal, he is hitting .615 in the series.

What they're saying:

"When the postseason starts, it's a completely clean slate." — Lidge

What's next: Cliff Lee(notes) and Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) square off in a sequel to Game 1 in just a li'l while (6:07 p.m. EDT) blizzard permitting.

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