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Rockies battle Lee, conditions in Game 1

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DAN GELSTON | October 7, 2009 06:54 PM EST | AP

PHILADELPHIA — Dexter Fowler saw Jayson Werth's deep shot to center and considered the ball gone. Then the Colorado center fielder thought he could make the catch on the warning track.

Fowler was wrong on both counts.

"I saw everybody else running and I was like, 'Oh, I missed it," Fowler said.

Werth's ball bounced high off the left-center field wall for an RBI triple, the kind of drive that on any other day would have been a home run. The Rockies were thrown off by the gusty winds and Phillies lefty Cliff Lee in a 5-1 loss Wednesday in Game 1 of the division series.

"It was pretty funny to play in the outfield today," Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez was a victim of the swirling winds earlier in the sixth inning before Werth's triple.

Ryan Howard hit a liner that tailed behind Gonzalez. Gonzalez turned the wrong way, the ball knocked off the heel of his glove and he slammed into the wall as Howard scooted into second for an RBI double.

It was an inning full of windy misadventures for the Rockies.

"I thought the ball was way farther," Gonzalez said. "I started running and when I looked at the ball and turned around, the ball was coming down. The ball was doing crazy things in the air. It was going to be a homer or a ball off the wall."

In a way, the Rockies caught a break. Those going, going, gone shots stayed in the park. They still cost them runs.

Werth called the game "the toughest day defensively in Philly that I've seen."

The Phillies and Rockies were 1-2 in the NL this year in runs and homers. Neither team went deep and the punchless Rockies managed only six hits off Lee.

"There's no real play or any situation that you sit and wonder what would have happened if this would have taken place or that would have taken place," manager Jim Tracy said.

The winds were blowing to toward right early in the game. After that, forget it. Citizens Bank Park may as well have been a stand-in for Wrigley Field and its unusual wind patterns.

"The wind was everywhere," Gonzalez said. "You didn't know where the ball was going to land."

The wind was howling for hours before the 2:37 p.m. EDT first pitch. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel walked outside early Wednesday morning to find a giant tree limb about 30 feet from his house.

"When the wind blows as hard as it was this morning, it definitely can affect the ball," Manuel said.

The Phillies shrugged off the drafty conditions.

"It played a factor but for the most part I thought it would be worse," center fielder Shane Victorino said.

Not all of the Rockies fielding woes could be blamed on a wind that littered the field with hot dog wrappers, napkins and anything else that could fly.

Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz hit an opposite-field one-hopper that skipped past right fielder Brad Hawpe. Ruiz made it 2-0 on the single and he advanced to second on the error.

"It looked like some of the balls they hit, they lost it or something," losing pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez said.

Even Colorado's outs were wind-assisted.

Todd Helton snapped his head back in disgust as a wind-blown foul pop nestled in shortstop Jimmy Rollins' glove. Troy Tulowitzki shook his head as he popped out in foul territory. Yorvit Torrealba ended the seventh inning with a shattered bat on a weak ground ball to second, the latest Rockies hitter handcuffed by Lee.

Tulowitzki helped the Rockies avoid the shutout with an RBI double in the ninth.

Fowler said this one of the windiest games since he was in rookie ball. On the bright side, the elements did muffle the roars of the 46,452 fans who twirled their rally towels and the roaring chants of "Let's go, Lee!"

"The wind was more effective than the crowd," Fowler said. "You couldn't really hear because the wind was howling. That's all you really heard. You've got to go out and try and block that out."