10/04/09 2:07 PM EST
Avenging '07 NLDS not on Phils' minds
Preparing for Rockies, players not concerned with past
By David Gurian-Peck / MLB.com
The Phillies are now the defending World Series champions, of course, and half of the current squad wasn't even around two years ago.
But the dozen or so holdovers have a slightly different perspective on Philadelphia's looming first-round date with Colorado. They know what happened in '07, when the Rockies stunned the Phillies by sweeping the Division Series.
"I wouldn't use the word embarrassed, but they walked right through us," center fielder Shane Victorino said. "No way I would've thought we'd get swept."
Still, he doesn't view this week's matchup as an opportunity to exact revenge.
"You can't look at it that way," Victorino said. "When you look at it that way, it becomes -- I don't want to say it's like added pressure -- but you want to do it too much, maybe you go out there and try too hard."
That added pressure doesn't seem to be a problem in the Phillies' clubhouse, at least not based on their public remarks leading into Game 1, which will be at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday afternoon.
"That was a long time ago," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Yesterday was yesterday. But at the same time, we will bring it up in case it does help somebody.">p> Reliever Ryan Madson originally refused to talk about the upcoming series and later said that he did not care who the Phillies faced.
Jayson Werth, who had just three at-bats in the '07 NLDS, said, "That stuff's in the past, man."
|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|
Ryan Howard offered a similar response.
"Two years ago is two years ago. You can't change what happened," he said. "I don't know why everybody's talking about '07. It's '09. Let's focus on'09."
Entering the 2007 NLDS, the Rockies were the hottest team in baseball. They had won 14 of 15 games, including a one-game playoff over the Padres to secure the Wild Card.
Colorado's not on as impressive a run this year, but it is 20-10 since Sept. 1, while the three division winners are stumbling into October. Victorino and Howard praised the Rockies for yet another late push, while Madson and Werth said they hadn't really noticed.
The biggest difference, though, may be that the Phils have last year's title run under their belts.
"We were so gung ho we were [in the playoffs] and we were so overwhelmed," Victorino said of 2007.
"Now, if we fall behind, we know what it's like. We're not going to let ourselves say, 'Holy [cow], what's happening?' I think that's what happened in '07. ... We know now when our backs are against the wall, we can do it in the postseason. That helps a lot."
And whether it's because of extra motivation or coincidence, the Phillies are 8-3 against the Rockies since that fateful playoff series, including 4-1 at Coors Field.
"It's a whole different animal when you get in the playoffs," Howard said.
"It's about getting there -- once you get in, all bets are off," Werth added. " I don't think it matters who you play so much."
David Gurian-Peck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.