The 2008 World Series will continue with the series’ second game, which will be played later today at Tropicana Field. The game will begin at 8:29 pm Easten time. The Phillies will send to the mound Brett Myers (0-0, -.–), who is coming off his victory in the National League Championship Series over the Dodgers on October 10, where he would go five innings, giving up five earned runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 8-5 win, thanks in part to his going 3 for 3 at the plate, knocking in three runs and scoring two. His post-season record is 2-0 with a 5.25 ERA, as he has pitched twelve innings, giving up seven earned runs on eight hits and seven walks, while striking out ten. During the regular season, Brett’s record was 10-13 with a 4.55 ERA, as he pitched in thirty games, giving up 103 runs, 96 of which were earned, on 197 hits and 65 walks, while striking out 163 batters in 190 innings of work. But, he was a much better pitcher in the second half, after his return from a minor league reassignment to clear out his head, as he would go 7-4 with two no-decisions. Myers will be pitching his first start on the road during the post-season, and hoping to stake the Phillies to a 2-0 lead in the series, while hoping to avoid a repeat of his last road start back on September 19 against the Marlins where he got bombed for ten earned runs. The Rays will be countering with James Shields (0-0, -.–), who is coming off his second straight bad start in the American League Championship Series against the Red Sox on October 18, as he would go five and two-third innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on nine hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Rays’ 4-2 lost. In the post-season, his record is 1-2 in three starts, as he would pitch ninteen and a third innings, giving up nine runs, eight of which were earned, on twenty-one hits and six walks, while striking out thirteen. His regular season record was 14-8 with a 3.56 ERA, as he would pitch in 33 games, going 215 innings, giving up 94 runs, 85 of which were earned, on 208 hits and 40 walks, while striking out 160. Shields will be going out to even the series at a game a piece, while trying to avoid getting hurt for the third straight game in the post-season.
The Phillies will once again be trying to be patient with another Rays’ starter who have had even worst recent luck in the post-season than has last night’s starter Scott Kazmir before striking the major blow, while hoping that Myers will be able to do well on the road for at least this game, before heading back home to the friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park and its very loud, screaming fans. The keys to this game will be trying to get Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard into get themselves into the game, especially Howard, who at the moment is hurting the Phillies’ cause more than helping it with his bat. Howard needs to follow Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel’s advice of trying to just relax and let the ball come to him. Very good advice, as he is at the moment swinging at too many bad pitches that are out of the strike zone. And the only reason opposing pitchers are doing it is because of his swing and misses. Ryan need to make a quick mental adjustment, and not swung at the junk, especially when it is way out of the strike zone, forcing opposing pitchers to throw balls that will be more towards the center of the plate which he should be able to handle. For Rollins, he seems to be swinging at high stuff, especially after getting behind in the count. Sadly, JayRo may have to start swinging early in the count again to stop this, as he is right now taking too many strikes that seems to either go down the middle of the plate or hit the corner away from him. I know I would normally be the first one to say don’t swing early Jimmy, but if opposing pitchers are going to throw stuff like that early in the count, Jimmy may have to swing at them, unless he is completely sure that they will end up being balls. I guess it’s time for certain Phillies’ batters to start making the opposing team’s pitchers suffer for their post-season miseries.