Friday, October 31, 2008

Phlashback Phriday

We've phlashed back to many players on the '93 team before , but we've never gone back, reminisced, and given props to '80 World Series team. This is partly because we thought we might jinx something, and partly because we were both 1 year old at the time and don't remember anything. But now that Williams Penn has obviously gained some closure about not being the tallest thing in Philly, we can mention the '80 team without fear.

Like I said above, I was only one year old when the Phils won it all, so I can't add any analysis or insight into how things went down. [Although when it did go down, I bet Blondie or Queen was on the radio.] So, this post is to 1) expose the youngsters to the names of the great Phillies on this team and 2) allow the old-heads who read this blog to pop an Aricept and try to remember the days...

The lineup:
1. Pete Rose - 1B
2. Bake McBride - RF
3. Garry Maddox - CF
4. Mike Schmidt - 3B (League & WS MVP)
5. Greg Luzinkski - LF
6. Bob Boone - C
7. Larry Bowa - SS
8. Manny Trillo - 2B (NLCS MVP)

The bench: Lonnie Smith, Kieth Moreland, Greg Gross, Del Unser, Ramon Aviles

The rotation:
1. Steve Carlton (Cy Young)
2. Dick Ruthven
3. Bob Walk
4. Randy Lerch
5. Larry Christensen


The bullpen:
CL - Tug McGraw
Dickie Noles
Ron Reed
Kevin Saucier








-------------------------

Collectibles
Carson listed a bunch of items yesterday that you could buy to preserve the memory of this great occasion, but I have another one today for those of you who are fans of baseball cards. Upper Deck has put together a commemorative World Series Champions box set. For more info, details or to purchase a set, follow the link to Upper Deck's website. Get one for yourself, get one for your friend, get one for your one year old son who won't remember this but 28 years later when the Phils win another one he may want to do a blog post about this year's team and may need something as a reference....

Corey

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The 25 Contributors

After allowing the fact to sink in for a day that the Philadelphia Phillies are the 2008 World Series Champions, I decided to take a look at the 25-man playoff roster and see how each contributed to the achievement.

Pitching was the key to the Phils success all season long, sporting a MLB 6th ranked 3.88 era; and the postseason was no different as the staff posted a 3.07 era. Hamels and Lidge were the highlights of the season, but many pitchers were needed to obtain the the prized World Series trophy.

Starting Rotation:
1. Cole Hamels- the staff ace had an amazing season (14-10, 3.09 era, 1.08 whip) and was both the NLCS and WS MVP. The 24 year old lefty proved he is a big game pitcher (postseason- 4-0, 1.80 era, 0.81 whip) and can stay healthy an entire season (leading the NL with 227.1 innings pitched). Thank you Cole Hamels.

2. Brett Myers- from Opening Day starter to minor league flunky to resurgent hero, he had it all this season. He began the year as a reluctant starter, because he much preferred the "rock star" image that he portrayed while being closer, and this lead to improper training and a horrific first half (3-9/5.84) of the season. Following the All-Star break he returned from exile and bounced back to help pitch the Phils into the playoffs (7-4/3.06).

3. Jamie Moyer- lovingly called "Grand Pappy", he once again won the clinching game for the NL East crown and lead the staff with 16 wins this season...not bad for a 45 year old man. Moyer loves Philadelphia and Philadelphia love Moyer. I truly do hope he pitches until he's 50, with the Phightins of course.

4. Joe Blanton- not a popular deadline pick-up, but has since become one. Hit a homerun in the World Series and has never lost a game as a Phillie (6-0); that's damn good in my book.

Bullpen:
Brad Lidge- 100% perfection in save situations. 41-41 in the regular season and 7-7 in the playoffs, and none of his 105 strikeouts were bigger than the punchout of Eric Hinske for the final out of Game 5.

Ryan Madson- made fun of by many and constantly doubted, he finally turned into a top-notch reliever during the final couple months of the season. Mad Dog is the 8th inning set up man, and the Phils wouldn't have won the World Series without his solid postseason performance (5 holds, 2.13 era, 0.87 whip, and 1 win).

JC Romero- the hyperactive lefty that can be a bit wild at times secured his reputation as a quality reliever (24 holds, 2.75 era) this season and proved that last year's 2nd half was no fluke. He went unscored upon in the postseason and notched 2 victories.

Chad Durbin- came out of nowhere (okay, actually came from Detroit) to have a breakout season (17 holds, 2.87 era) and despite his arm nearly falling off gave the Phils a few good appearances in the playoffs.

Scott Eyre- Lou Pinella doghouse resident and Cubs castoff (7.15 era with Cubs) turned Phils 2nd lefty jackpot (1.88 era with Phils). Eyre has already expressed his desire to return to Philly next year, and with that goatee and lefthandedness I'll gladly welcome him back.

Clay Condrey- the bullpen's last man did a respectable job this season (3.26 era in mostly mop-up duty) considering his role; after all not every member of the 'pen can be a stud. I'll never forget the double he hit to begin the huge comeback victory over the Mets.

JA Happ- late season miracle worker (September- 1 win and 2.41 era over 18.2 innings). He was a miscast reliever during the playoffs, but he was out there as the longman. Look for Happ to step into the rotation sometime soon or be dangled as trade bait.

The offense was inconsistent, but consistent enough to score enough runs (tied for 8th in MLB with 799) to get into the playoffs and win three straight series and secure the first World Series Championship in Philly since 1980. It was largely the Utley & Howard Show, but there were key contributions from all members of the offense...yes, even So Taguchi.

Starting Lineup:
SS Jimmy Rollins- reigning MVP turned loudmouth, he ran the gamut of highs and lows this season. J-Roll sprained his ankle early in the season and made a visit to the DL, ran his mouth in LA calling Phans "frontrunners", was the driving force of Campaign Cheer, and yet still managed to earn back the fans' adoration...winning World Series has that effect.

RF Jayson Werth- became a member of the 20-20 club (24 hr/20 sb) and a full-time player this season. Werth supplied many memories this season, winning NL player of the week and going Yahtzee! for 3 homeruns in the same game. He may have one ugly-ass swing and look like the Wolfman, but he's a reliable starter now and had himself a helluva postseason (.309 average, 2 hr, 4 sb, .969 OPS).

2B Chase Utley- 1st half MVP (68 r, 68 rbi, 25 hr, .954 OPS) went cold after the Homerun Derby and All-Star game (45 r, 35 rbi, 8 hr, .855 OPS), but came back strong in the postseason (10 r, 9 rbi, 3 hr in 14 games). He's an all-around talent that's hard to come by in today's game, and he's now my favorite Phillie of all-time (sorry Michael Jack Schmidt). After a long season of getting beaned at the plate (27 plunks) and upturned turning double plays (102 DP's...and that's not double penetration), Chase can go back to saving kittens.

1B Ryan Howard- started the season Kelvin Scale cold (April- .168 average, 5 hr, 12 rbi, .645 OPS) and finished it MVP hot (September- .352 average, 11 hr, 32 rbi, 1.274 OPS). Was king of the mountain in MLB in homeruns (48) and rbi (146) and missed striking out 200 times by one measly whiff. He even will have a stat named after him next season, The Howard, which is when a player strikes out, makes an error, and hits a homerun all in the same game.

LF Pat Burrell- the man, the pimp, the machine. Pat Burrell should have been an All-Star this season as he hit many of his 33 homeruns in clutch spots. He had a rough time in the World Series (1-14), but he got a game-changing double in his final at bat of the series and possibly his Phillies career. You're my boy Burrell, you're my boy!

CF Shane Victorino- the Flyin' Hawaiian is a sparkplug, as his rowdy spirit is infectious (sort of like syphilis). Vic filled the void of Fence-Face Rowand admirably, leading the Phils during the regular season with a .293 batting average and spectacular defense (likely earning himself a Gold Glove). In the postseason he hit his first career grand slam off of CC Sabathia and collected 13 rbi in all.

3B Pedro Feliz- Corey and I had mixed reactions to this signing, but in the end he came just as advertised; an out-making machine with occasional pop and great defense. No matter how many double plays he grounds into next season, I'll never forget his game-winning rbi single in Game 5. Pete Happy!

C Carlos Ruiz- Chooch, or as TBS wants him to be known "Cooch", had a great World Series (.375 average/1.188 OPS). He handled the pitching staff with poise and assertiveness which lead to great results (11-3 record and 3.07 era in the postseason). His bat left much to be desired during the regular season, but he did have a small 2nd half return to form (1st half- .202 average/.573 OPS, 2nd half- .244 average/.691 OPS).

Bench:
Greg Dobbs- pinch hitting extraordinaire (MLB leading and Phillies club record 22 pinch hits) and spot starter at 3rd base against righties (.296 average/.836 OPS when playing 3rd). The owner of a killer set of sideburns, Dobbs did well in the postseason with a .500 average and 1.134 OPS. He'll likely never be a full-time player, but he's a great asset off the bench and to plug into the linup sparingly. He'll go down as one of GM Pat Gillick's best dumpster diving treasures.

Matt Stairs- lovable because he's chubby and Canadian, he only spent a short time with the Phils, but managed to make magic happen with majestic moon shoot off of Jonathan Broxton and the Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLCS.

Eric Bruntlett- this bearded bastard was a playoff hero, scoring the winning run of both games 3 and 5. During the season he hit like Bud Light, but his versatility earned him a lot of playing time and he did come through with some nice plays and timely hits.

Geoff Jenkins- Brett Favre and Jenkins both switched towns this past offseason. Favre went to New Jersey and Jenkins went to nearby Philly, both coming from way of Wisconsin. Connection? I'm not sure, but really I don't have much positives to write about Geoff other than the fact that he came up big with that pinch hit double in Game 5.5 of the World Series. Hopefully he can produce more next season.

Chris Coste- for a backup catcher he's good, and guess what, he's a backup catcher, so according to that reasoning he's good. He may have slumped horribly at the end of the season (September: 3-28 for a .107 average) losing significant playing time to the defensively superior Ruiz, but there was a time during the season where Coste was the starter and carrying the offense (April/May: 31-93 for a .333 average with 8 doubles, 5 hr, 12 r, and 16 rbi).

So Taguchi- isn't liked by WSBGM's, and being brutally honest shouldn't be. However, Gooch, the other one, did come up with a clutch pinch hit against St. Louis; but other than that he was more worthless than TJ Bohn.

Fallen Members:
Pitchers- Rudy Seanez, Adam Eaton, Kyle Kendrick, Les Walrond, Tom Gordon, Andrew Carpenter, and RJ Swindle.
Bats- TJ Bohn, Chris Snelling, Lou Marson, Tadahito Iguchi, Brad Harmon, Mike Cervenak, Andy Tracy, and Greg Golson.

~Carson

Merchandise Parade


I don't think there's anything I can say today that all of you haven't already thought to yourself or haven't heard/read someone else say, so I'm just going to show you how I plan on spending my son's college fund...









...and for the little guy, because I felt bad he'll be going to community college now.

~Carson

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

2008 World Series Champions




World Series Game 5.5, Vol. 2



We probably won't get any info from the managers on who will be in the game when the World Series resumes tonight. So in the name of wild speculation, here are my best guesses.

Pitching for TB - Grant Balfour is currently pitching for the Rays and I see him as the odds-on favorite to start the bottom of the sixth. There has been a lot of talk about David "The Messiah" Price pitching for Tampa, but I don't see him starting the 6th. If he would, he would face three right handed batters in a row (one of whom led the majors in homers against lefthanded pitching) before the big-bopping lefties come to the plate. Also, the pitchers spot comes up fourth the following inning, making it likely Price would only go one inning, letting the 7th for Ryan Howard's latest HR victim JP Howell. Instead, I think Joe Maddon will stick with Balfour in the beginning.

Batting for Philly - If the Rays have a lefty warming in the pen (Price, Howell) then Charlie sends Jenkins up to the plate, figuring Maddon will make the change. Once the lefty enters the game, either Bruntlett or Taguchi comes in for Jenkins. If the Rays don't have anyone warming in the pen besides Balfour, I see Dobbs walking to home plate, taking the risk that the Rays don't have a lefty warming up in some top-secret location.

Pitching for Philly - Charlie Manuel has already said that Ryan Madson will start the top of the 7th.

Just as a reminder, here are how the lineups will look this evening:

Phillies
1. [Pinch hitter]
2. Rollins
3. Werth
4. Utley
5. Howard
6. Burrell
7. Victorino
8. Feliz
9. Ruiz

Rays
1. Navarro
2. Baldelli
3. Bartlett
4. [Pinch hitter]
5. Iwamura
6. Crawford
7. Upton
8. Pena
9. Longoria

Bud Selig can only delay the inevitable for so long. Tonight is the night. Go Phils!

Corey

Rain, Selig Give Edge To Phils

No, you're not going crazy, you read that correctly. And I know what you're thinking now, "If I'm not crazy, he must be." Well, that may be, but here is how I'm looking at this messed up World Series.

I've read and listened to a lot of people yesterday who insisted that this unprecedented postponement and re-postponement is not in the Phils favor. Hamels is out of the game. The Rays get to pitch David Price. The Rays have momentum. Blah, blah, blah. Who cares. I'm not hearing the negativity. Instead, think this way...

- The Phils have a 3-1 lead. They are in far better position than the "momentum carrying" Rays, no matter what Steve Phillips or Joe Buck or Tim McCarver or any other baseball "expert" says.

- The Phillies have a better bullpen than the Rays.

- David Price may pitch for the Rays, and again, despite what the "experts" say, he isn't some sort of pitching Messiah. The Great One gave up two runs in 2.1 innings in his only other appearance this World Series, including a homer to Eric Bruntlett. Price may come out and pitch well, but I have to think a rookie pitcher who gives up gopher balls to Eric Bruntlett might favor Philadelphia.

- Tonight the Phils go into a tie game with twelve outs compared to the Rays nine. Moreover, the Phils start with a pinch hitter then the top of the lineup, so Rollins, Werth and probably Utley and Howard have two more at-bats. The Rays start their "game" with their 6th hitter.

- I hate to say it, but if for some reason the Phils would lose Game 5 and 6, these delays could allow Hamels to come back and pitch Game 7. If they allow for a travel day, Hamels would be on his regular four days rest for Game 7 on Saturday. I know we all love Jamie Moyer, but I think Hamels is a slightly better option.

Those are just a few points to ponder this morning. Check back later this afternoon as we'll take a closer look at how things may shape up at 8:37 tonight.

Corey

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Snow, Hell No!


The MLB commissioner's office made it official, the remainder of game 5 of the World Series will not resume tonight as it has been tentatively rescheduled for Wednesday at 8:37 pm. It has not stopped raining in Philly since it began raining last night, which means the field remains in no condition to play baseball. To go mud-bogging in your Jeep yes, but not fit for baseball. Tomorrow the rain is supposed to stop with snow moving in. Snow...oh, hell no! This isn't the Super Bowl being played on the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field, this is the World Series for the love of Pete Incaviglia! Hopefully this storm rolls out of town and quits dumping misery upon everyone so we can get this party fired back up. 1 run and 9 outs is all that is needed. Lets go Phils!

~Carson

World Series Game 5.5

Game 5 of the World Series was put on temporary hiatus due to bucket loads of rain being dumped upon the playing surface of Citizens Bank Park. The plan is to allow the game to resume from where it ended (score: 2-2, no outs in the bottom of the 6th) tonight at 8pm, but looking at the weather predictions that seems unlikely. Weather.com has rain forecast for the entire day, even into Wednesday morning. However, the rain is supposed to begin tampering off around 10 pm with the temperatures dipping into the low 30's with wind...will the game be delayed even further? I expect that they will make every effort to squeeze the game in tonight, because otherwise postponing the finish of Game 5 would severely alter the rest of the World Series schedule seeing that the teams are slotted to be in Florida on Wednesday for Game 6 if necessary.

Many Phans are irate, and I understand the frustration. Commissioner Bud Selig flat-out admitted he wouldn't have awarded the Phils a World Series Championship on a rain shortened contest...fair enough. But why then did you make Cole Hamels take the mound in that slop in the top of the 6th and not the Rays pitcher in the bottom? Selig cited rule 4.12a- "a game shall become a suspended game that must be completed at a future date" for a number of reasons, with section 6 specifying "a regulation game that is called with the score tied." In this scenario, the rule (4.12c) for suspended games is enacted: "A suspended game shall be resumed at the exact point of suspension of the original game. The completion of a suspended game is a continuation of the original game. The lineup and batting order of both teams shall be exactly the same as the lineup and batting order at the moment of suspension, subject to the rules governing substitution. Any player may be replaced by a player who had not been in the game prior to the suspension. No player removed before the suspension may be returned to the lineup." Fine and dandy, now we have our ace removed from the game after only 75 pitches and half of a game yet to be played.

Questions:
*How many fans show up for World Series Game 5.5? They're basically only there for a few innings and many people travel long distances and make special arrangements to get there in the first place, and now have to bring their waterlogged bodies back. Hell, I'd pay $50 to reuse someones ticket tonight just to be there for the end.

*What's the bullpen rotation? My guess: 7th- Romero, 8th- Madson, 9th- Lidge.

*How many more runners will the Phils strand on base before it truly bites them in the ass? They need to hurry up and win this World Series already before the baseball gods notice the herd of runners left on base and revoke all victories.

*How much more agony can Phillies Phans endure? We've waited 28 years for a championship, what's few more hours or days.

*If the Phils go on to win Game 5.5, how cool of a story will this be to tell your children and/or grandchildren?

~Carson

Monday, October 27, 2008

World Series Game 5



If this were tennis, we would call this "triple match point." Here are the nuts and bolts of tonight's game:

King Cole toes the rubber for the Phils. He's an ungodly 4-0 with a 1.55 ERA so far this postseason. His opponent is a lefty Scott Kazmir. Kazmir escaped Game 1 with only 3 earned in 6 innings while taking the loss to Cole. However, he looked very hittable and unlike many lefties that the Phils struggle against, he doesn't throw a ton of sliders. There are rumors that Kazmir is hurt and that is why is velocity is down and he is throwing less sliders. I don't think the cold October air is good for stiff/injured elbows. He's prime for a South Philly beatdown...

Tonight's lineup is unchanged. Why mess with success? As the great Ramones would say, "second verse, same as the first."

1. Jimmy Rollins
2. Jayson Werth
3. Chase Utley
4. Ryan Howard
5. Pat Burrell
6. Shane Victorino
7. Pedro Feliz
8. Carlos Ruiz
9. Cole Hamels

The Rays, on the other hand, will change their lineup:

1. Iwamura
2. Crawford
3. Upton
4. Pena
5. Longoria
6. Navarro
7. Baldelli
8. Bartlett
9. Kazmir

Is tonight the night the losers wear the crown????

Carpe Diem


When acquired for a bevy of prospects, Joe Blanton was far from a fan favorite. In fact he was being scrutinized before ever throwing a pitch for the Phils, being dubbed Eaton-esque. Ladies, gentlemen, and naysayers- Joe Blanton is far from being Adam Eaton, Kyle Kendrick, or even Kyle Lohse, because Joe Blanton just won his second game this postseason which just happened to pull the Phils within 1 game of being World Series Champions. Kentucky Joe went 6 solid innings last night striking out 7 Rays while only allowing 2 solo homeruns; and in case you missed it, he too went deep for his 1st career homerun. After the game, sore-loser Joe Maddon questioned the dark spot on the bill of Blanton's cap, but the umpiring crew quickly dismissed his inquiry after studying the baseball and finding no pinetar or foreign substance residue. Bottomline, Blanton pitched masterfully and the Phils sent enough deep flies (4 homeruns, 10 runs scored) to spank the pants off of the Rays. Just one more...

______________________________________

Carpe Diem:
It's time to seize the day! King Cole goes for his 5th win of the postseason, while the city of Philly ebbs and flows with every single one of his pitches tonight as the championship starved fanatics can feel the moment of complete and utter bliss about to erupt upon them. Ryan Howard said it would be "bedlam" if the Phils finished things off Monday night, and by golly I hope he's right.

______________________________________

Game Thoughts:
*Since the Phils are destined to win tonight, meaning it will be the final game of the 2008 season and likely Pat Burrell's Phillie career, I hope he goes deep for a memorable World Series moment.
*For as much that has been made out of the Phillies woes with runners in scoring position, the combination of Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria is now 0-29 with 15 k's.
*If the Phils win tonight who is the World Series MVP? Candidates- Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, and Ryan Madson.

~Carson

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bedtimes & Bedpans

In case your local newspaper went into print before the game was over, the Phillies won 5-4 and took a 2-1 series lead. The game started an hour and a half late due to mother nature, and wrapped up somewhere around 2 am. I'm glad I had the sense to take an afternoon nap, otherwise I had been asleep because that's way past my bedtime. Also past the elderly Jamie Moyer's bedtime too, at least that's impression Fox put me under. I believe I counted his age referenced 37 times during the telecast. They made it seem that he needed a bedpan under the dugout bench between innings for crying out loud. Side note, I almost pissed myself in the 9th inning, so it sounds like I'm the one who needs the bedpan.



Game 3 Checklist:
*Blown call that could have cost the Phils the game (Crawford was out at 1st base, ended up being 2 extra runs for the Rays).
*Back-to-back bombs by Utley and Howard.
*Applause to the Philly Phans for mocking stud rookie Evan Longoria with the "Eva" chants. I wish Eva was playing 3rd for the Rays, she's got a much better ass.
*Dumbass baserunning from Jayson Werth.
*Vintage Grand Pappy Moyer.
*Carlos Ruiz continued transformation from Wiki Gonzalez into Pudge Rodriguez.
*Masterful relief appearance by JC Romero.
*5 infielders for Tampa Bay- 1st baseman, 2nd baseman, shortstop, 3rd baseman, and stand-directly-behind-the-pitcher-on-top-of-2nd-base fielder.
*Critical E-2's (1 by Ruiz, 1 by Navarro).
*More fruitlessness with men in scoring position.
*Hits for J-Roll, still no hits for Burrell.
*Production from unexpected source- Eric Bruntlett.

Cliche alert...a win is a win. However, that win was freakin' awesome! The Phillies are now just 2 wins shy of being World Series champions. Hold up, let me reverse it, and play it backwards like Judas Priest first did- snoipmahc seireS dlroW. Yeah, that's right, party time is inching closer.



Joe Blanton takes the ball for the Phils tonight against Andy Sonnastine and the Rays. Today is a huge day in Philly, Eagles game at the Linc at 1, the Who concert in the Spectrum around 7:30, and the Phils game at the Brick Cit House at 8:30. Needless to say, the atmosphere will be electric.

~Carson

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Whether the Weather...

The meteorologist computer nerds over at Weather.com have the following forecast for today in Philly- tons of freakin' rain! Seriously, they have a 100% chance of precipitation (likely to be rain, doubtful to be cats & dogs during this time of year), with the temperature around 60 (degrees Fahrenheit, that would boil skin if Celsius). However, looks like the storm will be rolling out of town between 7 and 8 pm, meaning game 3 should still be safe for tonight with Grand Pappy Moyer looking to baffle the young Rays and Matt Garza looking to get lit up by the Phils offense like a Cuban Cigar.
______________________________________

Word from Victorino:
"It is great to be back in Philadelphia. I hope everyone has their white towels unpacked and ready to go. We're ready to go. It seems like it's been a while since we played a game at Citizens Bank Park.

You guys are going to get loud and we'll appreciate every cheer you make. It was pretty loud in St. Pete, but you guys can do a lot better than that. I'm sure you realize how big a part you can play in this.

At one game apiece, we feel that we have home-field advantage. We have to win three more games, and we'd love to sweep here and celebrate with you.

We're really looking forward to it."

*Check out that image of Vic, he's actually gliding through air. Guess that's why he's called the Flyin' Hawaiian.
_________________________________


Joe Maddon = Mr. Inspiration
The following are a collection of some inspirational quotes Rays' esteemed manager Joe Maddon has put up in the Tampa Bay clubhouse:
*9 = 8. (Manuel's a big proponent of this type of mathematics too.)
*Losing isn't bad if you have fun doing it.
*Failure is in the eye of the beholder.
*Wear thick-rimmed glasses, it makes you appear more intelligent than you are.
*Baseball is not hitting, pitching, and fielding, it's a white leather round thing with red stitching.

~Carson

Friday, October 24, 2008

Magnified Mistakes

I haven't experienced such a painfully gigantic waste of 3 hours since I was dragged to the movie theatre to view Meet Joe Black. Last night's game was apparently over before it started because the homeplate umpire decided to rewrite the rule book, Brett Myers continued his 1st inning pitfalls, and the Phillies offense continued to be a big ball of butt-substance.

Magnified Mistakes:
*Myers walking the leadoff batter in the 1st inning, who later scored that inning. Overall he pitched well enough (4 runs, 3 earned in 7 innings) that the Phils could have easily won the game had they posted any run support, but his 1st inning meltdowns continue to be a concern and this time ruined him.

*Jayson Werth- check out his magnitude of maladies last night: error in the 1st inning, strikeout with a man on 3rd with less than one out, getting thrown out at 1st base on a fly ball, and 0-3 with men in scoring position. By the way, he now has struck out 16 times this postseason. If he's a full-time player next year, he very well might challenge Ryan Howard for space in the K-Watch.

*Speaking of scoring position, the Phils are now 1-28 in the series with men in scoring position (0-13 Game 1, 1-15 Game 2), with the lone hit being an infield single that didn't even score a damn run.

*I'm not sure why we even bother having a DH, because Greg Dobbs and Chris Coste have been atrocious. Dobbs watched 3 strikes zing by with a runner on 3rd with 1 out, then swung at 3 balls out of the strikezone to k with a runner of 3rd with only 1 out. Brett Myers would have put in a better effort than that. Hell, Jim Abbot would have given a better effort than that.

*Jimmy Rollins and Pat Burrell are a combined 0-16. Enough said.

*Things are bad when Eric Bruntlett and Carlos Ruiz are the hitting highlights of the game.

*Homeplate Kerwin Danley was so bad last night that it was laughable. He called a Rays batter out on a 3rd strike then decided to reverse the call mid-arm pump. In the 9th Rollins was hit by a pitch and Danley told him he wasn't, although replay clearly showed he was. The calls were so disgustingly wrong, that even Buck and McCarver were crying foul. Both calls lead to a swing of runs, extra ones for the Rays, less runs for the Phils. Final score 4-2, you do the math.

All is not lost however, the Phils split the games at Tampa and now head home to Philly with the series tied 1-1. The Rays are a good team, but so are the Phillies, they're simply just not playing like one right now. I expect the Phils to take 2 out of 3 here at Philly then hoist the World Series trophy in the air back down in Florida sometime next week.

~Carson