"Our club is a good club and we play well late in the game," he said. "At the same time, [Rockies closer] Huston Street did a nice job and was very effective. We battled back, and we gave ourselves a chance at the end."
Plagued after an incandescent start to the season by a groin injury, Ibanez took a while to recover and never again found that same incandescence. He says there are no physical problems, but, at the same time, he is not running as well as he did at the start of the season - even manager Charlie Manuel acknowledges that.
But here and now, when the games mean the most, Ibanez has gotten off to a hot start. And as he watched yesterday's game unfold, with Manuel going deeply and unconventionally into his bullpen to try to squeeze out another win at home, he knew exactly what it felt like.
"It felt like a playoff game, really," he said. "If felt like you're using all your resources and throwing everything you have at them. They were doing the same. It's kind of what you expect at this time of year."
Another thing you learn to expect at this time of year is weather. Ibanez says he and his teammates are ready for Ice Station Denver.
"We've been playing long enough that you know that you have to ignore the elements," he said. "Sometimes it rains, sometimes it's cold, sometimes it's hot. So you learn to adapt and adjust, and you try to get it done . . .
"We're playing a really good team, and we know that. At the same time, we feel that we play well on the road. We're going to go out there and get after it, and hopefully the outcome ends up in our favor."