DENVER - Colorado manager Jim Tracy
refused to be drawn into a controversy over umpiring in the National League division series.
The issue arose in the ninth inning of Sunday's game when the Phillies' Chase Utley reached on an infield single, setting up Ryan Howard's sacrifice fly, which gave the Phils a 6-5 victory at Coors Field.
Replays showed the ball should have been called foul because it hit Utley while he was in the batter's box. Plate umpire Jerry Meals admitted as much in a postgame conversation. Utley said the ball "might have clipped my leg," and ran because no umpire made a foul call.
Tracy did not contest the fair-ball ruling at the time. He held to that position yesterday.
"That's not why we got beat," Tracy said. "When you walk eight guys against a lineup like that . . ."
Helton in playoff slump
There is a decided difference between Todd Helton
against the Phillies in the regular season and in the playoffs.
Helton has hit .381, with a .665 slugging percentage, in 298 career at-bats against the Phillies in the regular season. He went into the fourth game of this series hitting .125, with a .203 slugging percentage, in 24 career at-bats in the postseason.
"Some of us have to start hitting," said Helton, indicating that he was foremost on the list.
Helton also was 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position in the first three games of the series. That included chasing a high fastball from Ryan Madson to strike out with runners at first and third and none out in the seventh inning Sunday. Colorado got only one run in the inning.
"We should have scored more there," Helton said. "With as long as I've been playing, I should know now not to swing at that pitch."
Early trouble. Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez was wild early last night. Of his first 20 pitches, two eluded catcher Yorvit Torrealba and struck umpire Ron Kulpa on the right leg. . . . Tracy left the dugout twice in the opening inning to contest calls. He thought the Rockies had turned an inning-ending double play on Howard's grounder and also argued against a force out at second with Dexter Fowler running. The missed double play did not lead to a run but forced Jimenez to throw five more pitches.