Thursday, October 23, 2008

Game 1 Recap

Mohawks and cowbells be damned, the Phils walk out of the Trop with a 1-0 series lead after a Chase Utley homer and solid pitching overcame loads of unclutch hitting as the Phils beat the Rays 3-2. Here's how I break down Game 1.

Player of the Game
King Cole continued his postseason dominance last night, allowing only two runs over seven innings. He held Upton, Pena and Longoria hitless over twelve at-bats.He's now given up only five earned runs in four playoff starts, all victories for the Phils and Hamels.

Best Balk
Cole Hamels takes his second award for the series opener with his "pick-off" of Carlos Pena.

Key Play
The Phils had already squandered two great chances to score in the second and third before the Rays loaded the bases in the bottom of the third. If Tampa would have pushed across a few runs, the momentum would have shifted heavily to the home side. Instead, Hamels got Upton to hit into a 5-4-3 DP.

Best Philly Hitter
The Chase Utley of Game 1 looked a little like the Chase Utley of April. His two run jack in the 1st was the biggest hit of the game. Mix in two steals and he narrowly beats out Jayson Werth (2-4, SB) for Phillies offensive MVP for last night.

Best TB Hitter
I love watching Japanese hitters like Akinori Iwamura (3-4 in Game 1) slap the ball all around the field. That style of hitting limits power, but for small, speedy players like Iwamura, it's very effective.

Worst Hitter
A curveball to Ryan Howard is like a strobe light to an epileptic. They both result in wild flailing of the limbs and a lot of confusion. He's fighting it big time right now, and we can only hope he figures it out before tonight...

Most Not Clutch
All the Phils with bats share this grammatically challenged award. 0-13 with RISP and 11 LOB. Baseball expert Jeannie Zelasko said after the game that it was, "A game of missed opportunities for the Rays." The Rays left three on base. Good call Jeannie, did Kevin Kennedy tell you to say that?

Worst Part of the Game
I hate to beat a dead horse with this one, but the combination of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver is atrocious. Buck talks with the arrogance of a man who believes he is blessing the ears of America with his golden voice, although he doesn't really say anything profound, intelligent or even remotely interesting. And as for McCarver, see the next category. He's so bad I almost wish Joe Morgan was doing the game.

Most Ridiculous Description of a Hit
McCarver called Jayson Werth's first double to right a "check swing plop shot." I'm sure I could make a sexual innuendo out of that if I tried. At any rate, at least my fantasy baseball team has a name for next season.



Aaron said...

We had no buisiness winning that game. The way we hit we should have lost.
Howard was horrible, J-Roll was horrible, We left 100 men on base,
But the stat that really matters is we go the W.

Shields is good but I really like our lineup tommorow.

That's a pretty bad ass lineup.


Dan said...

Of course, you need to look at the glass half-full interpretation of what aaron said:

We stole a win tonight, and we did so without any offensive contributions from the past 2 National League MVPs. So if they return to MVP form, or even half-MVP form...the Phils have a lot of potential for the rest of the series.

Let's hope they can wake up for Game 2! All of the pressure is on the Rays now, for game 2, traditionally speaking...but I hope the phils don't think like that. I hope they take an attack attitude and really go for the throat in the first inning tomorrow. I look to J-Roll to start it off. Let's go, baby.

Dan said...

Also, strong post by Corey, I still have to point out that I'm not convinced that Hamels' pick-off was a balk. The following facts are true:

(1) It was not OBVIOUSLY a balk, despite what any of the announcers/Joe Maddon say. Fun note: Tim McCarver thinks that Mark Kotsay is on the Rays. Hooray for senility!

(2) There are definitely pitchers who get away with much worse.

(3) It could have gone either way, and really, it would have been an acceptable call either way. In other words, it was a tough judgment call.

Unrelated to this, I'd say that the plate umpiring was fairly bad tonight. I wish I could remember the at-bat...there were definitely 2 Phillies who should have struck out and the pitches were called balls. One of them was Howard when Werth stole third late in the game (he struck out a pitch or so later, but the steal pitch was just such a clear strike it was embarrassing on the replay) and the other one may have been Burrell on an outside curveball or something. In any case, shaky umpiring behind the plate tonight...let's hope they can pick it up for the rest of the series.

Dan said...

Also, as I re-read my post, I realize that "the following facts are true" sounds pompous and idiotic, but whatever, I'm super pumped right now, give me a break! Hah.

dr. steve said...

I believe if you leave 100 runners on base and lose, your team is very bad.

I believe if you leave 100 runners on base and WIN, your team is very badASS.

Thats just the truth. Howard also made a few bad plays but he made that out in the stands with the Tampa Bay fans trying to catch the ball. But really he needs to pick it up. But thats not the issue, we can win without Howard hitting the ball. This is the difference between Tampa and the Phillies in game one.

Tampa should be really scared with the number of runners the Phillies had on base. Philadelphia Car Owners who park their car in the street overnight should also be scared.

ripjgarcia said...

This team has been very streaky on the hitting side of the ball all year.. Thank goodness Cole was able to keep that standard 7 to 2 runs.... and that Madson and Lidge blew smoke up the Rays behinds for the last 2...

The Utley homer was huge.

AND, if I ever see Howard swing at a pitch outside the home plate cutout, well, you can pick your fraternity type dare... cause I'll do it... even at 35... I swear.

SirAlden said...

Be Happy. We Won.

GreggyD said...

God forbid our offense actually drove in a run or three with RISP. But you know what, one could take it as "great their offense is non-existant." Or, one could say "they hit Kazmir pretty hard and if a couple of timely hits come about, this game is not even close." I think it was good for Lidge and Madson to get some work in game one. No one likes a rusty closer or setup man.

Game 1 of the Fall Classic is probably a ball of nerves for many players so I'll excuse the lack of pop in the bats. I saw a lot of overanxious swinging on the parts of many players tonight including Victorino. At the same time though, it also applies to the Rays, and I expect Longoria, Upton, and Pena to snap out of this one game funk. This series is going to be better than some people are giving it credit for, but tonight it was huge for the Phils to take game one. Cole was absolutely fantastic. I'm disappointed at how many we left on base, but as Aaron said, "the stat that really matters is we got the W." No words could be more true.

I'm ready for Game 2!

Corey said...

re: balk - actually, i don't think it was a balk. i put it in the most mainly as a talking point. i think hamels' front foot did go toward home more than he it did first (he stepped at a greater than 45 degree angle from the rubber) but pena went on first move and sp his possible movement toward home could not have deceived the runner because pena was already on the move.

GM-Carson said...

My thoughts:
*Hamels has undoubtedly etched his name in the staff ace category. He's been a saving grace this postseason.

*Ryan Howard is back to hurting the team more than helping it. His inability to even hit a sacrifice fly or make contact in rbi situations didn't kill us last night, but it easily could have.

*Jimmy Rollins was disgusting last night, like he went to the plate without any plan besides "swing at everything".

*Utley's homerun = Mr. Awesome.

*The combo of Madson/Lidge has become damn near infaliable.

*That was a balk by Hamels, I've seen much less called.

*If you listened to the telecast closely you could hear slurping and gagging noises coming from the booth when Buck and McCarver spoke of the Rays.

*TJ Simers is still a douche!

GM-Carson said...

Check out some sexy & scary Rays fans.

GM-Carson said...

Are people overreacting in regards to Ryan Howard in the postseason? I think not. The stats don't lie: 10 g, 35 ab, 5 r, 8 h, 2 dbl, 0 hr, 3 rbi, 9 bb, 10 k, .229 avg, .672 OPS. That's piddling.

Reverend Paul Revere said...

Seriously people, stop listening to Buck and McCarver. 1210 has synced up its radio broadcast live with the TV for the World Series. Last night was phenomenal listening to the hometown announcers. Except when Harry's son entered the booth. He sucked. Sorry Harry, but your son sucks and I don't ever want to hear a Rays announcer on 1210 again. GO PHILS!!!!!

Kevin McGuire said...

The Phillies have a lot of work to do to win three more games, but they did all they had to do in Tampa in one game; win one of the first two. If they win game two it is a very nice bonus. I like tonight's lineup better than game one if Dobbs is in it, although Feliz had a decent night himself at the plate.

i am the bat said...

hey guys, love this blog. I go to school in Pittsburgh so i have plenty of chances to catch the Bucs but i'm a diehard Phils fan.

Does anyone else think Madson could be doing something illegal (HGH, roids, greenies)? I hope he's already been tested.

Corey said...

i don't know what is up with mad dog, but he's been great recently. and i can't remember him having this much juice on his fastball, ever. at times early this year and for much of the previous two season, he had trouble toppign 90, now he's hitting 97. i have to take back some of the negative things i have said about him this year because he's proving me wrong. and thankfully so...

GreggyD said...

I know that Madson is having a lot of success lately and his velocity is definitely up. I don't know what's causing it, but I don't believe it's roids. He seems to have a new swagger about him and a lot more confidence. I believe that may have come from the fact that he now has a nailed down role for this team. Before he had to wonder, "am I a starter? long reliever? middle reliever? setup guy?" That can probably wreak havoc on a pitcher's psyche because there is no doubt that you need to have a different mindset for each of those roles. Now that he knows he is the "Bridge to Lidge", I think he can go out to the mound and just give it all he's got for one inning, rather than having to hold back and save some of his stuff for a couple more innings.

furiousBall said...

if I was a Rays fan, I’d be pissed at B.J. Upton not running out those two double plays he hit into. No excuse for that, ever … let alone the WORLD FUCKING SERIES!!!. Let’s go Phils!!!

GM-Carson said...

BJ Upton is the Andruw Jones of non-hustle in the AL.

Winning game 2 tonight would be huge. No make that HUGE!!!

Bob D said...

The Phils best hitter (Myers) during the playoff will not be in the lineup, atleast Brett Myers will be throwing instead of hitting. He seems poised to return back to his dominate self again as he was just several starts ago.

Good start, not a dominating start but they out played Tampa during the game. The score could have been 6-2 easily. And I can say the Phils will likely have success if given more oppurtunities with RISP to drive in runs. Last night was just a fluke.
Werth had a good game and when he got out he smoked the ball, Burrell and Rollins also had some good rips/swings just not much success. Howards last at bat was lame as he watched too many pitches go by.

Kotite's Corner said...

3 more boys!!!

SirAlden said...

Go Mad Dog Myers!

Anyone have a better video link than TV Ants or SopCast?

dr. steve said...

Los Lonely Boys are ruining our national anthem.

Dan said...

Dammit, they look sloppy as hell. Ugh. Myers walking Iwamura, Werth getting overanxious, Victorino fouling out on the first pitch with guys on first and second and no outs...sheesh. Gotta wake

GM-Carson said...

Magnified Mistakes:
*Walking the leadoff batter is bad. (Myers)

*Making an error on a groundball as an outfielder is really bad. (Werth)

*Popping up foul to the 3rd baseman with no outs and men on 1st and 2nd on the 1st pitch of the at bat just after the previous batter walked is horrible. (Victorino)

*Watching 3 strikes go by without swinging with a runner on 3rd and only 1 out is f'n horrible. (Dobbs)

Game far from over, but it's be terrible so far.

Dan said...

Great points about those 4 horrible mistakes. This should obviously be a 0-0 game, or the Phils ought to be winning. Pathetic.

Also, Carlos Ruiz just hit a double, so who knows...maybe we're living in the Twilight Zone tonight.

Home Plate umpire Kerwin Danley just basically broke the rules on what an umpire can and can't do. He absolutely has to be censured/fined by MLB or by the umpires union for completely wilting in the national spotlight. What he did is something that you'd occasionally see in, say, Babe Ruth or American Legion....but not in pro baseball, and CERTAINLY not in MLB. Absolutely pathetic.

BloodStripes said...

Everything sucks today.

Aaron said...

it's only the 4th and it's only 3-0 and the game's already over.


Three straight lead of doubles wasted. 3 runners stranded on 3rd with less than 2 outs.

An error in the outfield. One shitty call from the umps.
The Rays are getting astro turf singles infield singles and broken bat singles.

See you in game 3 the phils better wake the hell up and start hitting the ball.
Jimmy Rollins is murdering us, I wann punch him in the face right now. Matt Stairs should be DH'ing.
I ready to break my television right now.

dr. steve said...

I don't understand Baseball rules. Shouldn't someone have stopped the Umpire from breaking the rules of baseball? It baffles my mind.

ripjgarcia said...

This game is painful to watch..

I really would rather it end now... and get back to business in Philly on Saturday.

GM-Carson said...

I want to punch Jayson Werth in the face!

GM-Carson said...

That's it, Fuck you Brett Myers!

This game was pointless before it started.

Aaron said...

Werth are you FUCKING KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!!

As I speak Ruiz just threw a ball into the outfield!!

They deserve to lose. This is the worst game we have played all year.

Aaron said...

And Fuck Mccarver...Werth makes a bone headed play and He says
"What a sensational play by Baldelli"

Mccarver's an idiot

Dan said...

This is just sickening to watch. I mean, honestly though, which of us can say that we didn't see this coming? After the high of game 1....ugh. Just double ugh.

Note: let's not miss this fact: Myers is actually pitching rather well tonight. Really. The only big mistake he's made was walking Iwamura to start the game, which is terrible but you can somewhat write it off to nerves.

In any case, the game isn't over. The Phils SHOULD be winning this game; they are losing 4-0; they also, in some sense, should be losing the game by more. It's been a very odd game in that sense. However, the main point is, going into the 6th losing 4-0 is not as bad as things could be.

GM-Carson said...

I'd love to be wrong and watch the Phils shove my words down my ignorant throat, but unfortunately they're playing like the AAA trash Jim Caple called them.

Aaron said...

Great Dobbs...
That was the at bat you needed to have in your first two at bats.

Aaron said...

They have now left a man on 3rd in 5 of 6 innings.

Aaron said...

Why is J-Stroll swinging at everything with a massive upper cut and why hasn't Milt Thompson pointed it out to him yet.

Aaron said...

HIT THE FUCKING BALL ASSHOLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ripjgarcia said...

I stopped listening to this game in the 4th inning... Time to catch up on House reruns.

Aaron said...

Well David "Jesus" Price comes out of the pen and throws 4 straigt balls.

Wow that kids amazing

Jacobin said...

There's two strike zones tonight, the one applied to the Phillies (and Evan Longoria for some reason... he upset the ump?), and the one used when the Rays are up. Add to that the strike out turned walk given to Baldelli and then the lack of giving a free base to Jimmy Rollins in the ninth (which the way things are going might wind up being the game deciding calls of the game... both blown).

ripjgarcia said...

Good job Howard!! Might as well just go up and swing at the first fucking pitch, because I doubt they would even think of throwing you an off-speed pitch... That would be crazy to think that way..

This game was a waste.

Aaron said...

David Price pitched 2.1 innings tonight and gave up 2 runs on 2 hits walked one guy and got away with hitting rollins with a pitch.

Can Fox and ESPN PLEASE stop talking about him like he's the next coming of Jesus Christ!!!

Dan said...

Yeah, pitiful umpiring. I really, really hope that Kerwin Danwhatever is never allowed to work another playoff game. Seriously, just terrible and I hope he's embarrassed at his performance.

Aaron said...

F Rollins
F Howard
F Werth
F the home plate ump.
F Manual for not DH'ing with a True DH..Matt Stairs.
F Feliz for grounding out to short every Fucking at bat all year.
F Brett Myers for walking the lead of hitter.
That was horrible

dr. steve said...

I like this loss, because

1. The Phillies need that wake-up loss like they need a swift kick in the ass. This game looks like either its 1. The first loss of a sweep

2. More likely, a wake-up game where the Phillies head home, rest up, and come out kicking ass.

And secondly, because I cannot see any umpires in this series being told to EVER go against the Phillies. Moyer should get tons of support behind the plate. I mean this is how it works.

At least I hope so at least. I'd have taken a 2-0 lead heading home and no lessons learned than learning lots of lessons and going 1-1. But anyway, Go Phils!

BloodStripes said...

Phils have out hit Tampa in both games. This is a good sign. The hitting with RISP will even up. Hitting stats always do right? Even in a short series. Improvements will come at home. To leave Tampa with the series level is what we all wanted. We didn't really expect a 2-0 lead.

The Phils will get 'em in the mighty cauldron that is the brick cit house.

Go Phils! I gotta go away. See you all next week.

GM-Carson said...

Anger abounds...