A three-run sixth innings leads the Phils to a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox.
The Phils took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third as, with runners on second and third, and with one man out, Michael Martinez hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Brian Schneider, who had earlier walked, reached second on a force out attempt throwing error by Jon Lester on a Roy Halladay grounder, then went to third on a Shane Victorino sacrifice bunt, 1-4. The Red Sox came back to tie it up at 1-1 in the top of the fifth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Drew Sutton hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Jed Lowrie, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on a Ryan Khoury ground out, 3-unassisted. The Phils retook the lead in the bottom of the sixth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI single, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier walked, moved up to second base on Ryan Howard’s single, then stole third, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead, while sending Howard, who had just singled, up to second base. Two batters later, after Ben Francisco took a walk, loading up the bases, as Howard and Ibanez both moved up a base, and with still one man out, Josh Barfield hits a two-run single, scoring both Howard and Ibanez, making it a 4-1 Phils’ lead, while sending Francisco to second base. That would be the final score as Madson records his first save of the spring.
Roy Halladay gets the win (3-0, 0.48) as he pitched seven and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on five hits and three walks, as he struck out six. Ryan Madson received his first save of the spring as he pitched an inning and a third, giving up a hit. Jon Lester took the lost (1-1, 3.38) as he pitched five and a third innings, giving up four runs, only three of which were earned, on five hits and four walks, as he struck out six. Matt Albers then followed with one and two-thirds scoreless innings, striking out three. Dan Wheeler then pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit.
The Phils had six hits in the game, all singles, by Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Cory Sullivan, Josh Barfield, Brian Schneider and Roy Halladay. Barfield knocked in two of the Phils’ run with his single, while Ibanez brought in one with a single and Michael Martinez brought in one with a sac fly.
The Phils’ spring training record is now 16-9.
In the first spring training game between the two teams that most people expect to be facing each other in the World Series, the Phils defeat the Red Sox, 2-0.
In the top of the second, the Phils took the lead as Jeff Larish hits a one-out, two-run double, knocking in Ben Francisco, who had earlier got on base with a single, then moved up to second base on a Stolmy Pimentel’s balk, then moved on to third on a John Mayberry, Jr., single, and Mayberry, Jr., who had earlier singled. That would be all the scoring in the game, as Phils’ starter, Cole Hamels, threw four scoreless innings, although running into a bit of trouble in the third as he gave up a lead-off double to Mike Cameron (which turned out to be the only Red Sox’s hit), before moving to third on a 5-3 ground out by Jarrod Saltalamacchia. But, after walking Lars Anderson to put runners on first and third, with one out, Hamel would leave Cameron on third by getting Marco Scutaro to foul out to the cather for the inning’s second out, and then Dustin Pedroia to ground out, 5-3, to end the inning. The next two Phils’ pitchers, Scott Mathieson and Michael Stutes, would both pitch two scoreless innings, as the Red Sox would either hit into first pitch outs, or strikeout looking or swinging on three pitches. The Red Sox would make one last threat in the ninth, with Juan Perez on the mound, as with one out, Michael Martinez would commit a pair of errors, with the first one being a fielding error which allows Oscar Tejeda to reach first base. Then, after Ryan Kalish walks on four pitches, moving Tejeda to second base, Martinez commits his second error of the inning, as he commits a force out error on a Yamaico Navarro grounder, allowing Tejeda to reach third, and Kalish to move up to second base, while Navarro would reach first on the play, loading the bases. But, Perez would then get out of the inning, as he would first get pinch hitter Daniel Nava to foul out to the thrid baseman for the second out, before ending the game by striking out Josh Reddick on three pitches.
Cole Hamels gets the win (1-0, 0.00 ERA) as he pitches four shut out innings, giving up just one hit, while striking out three and walking one. Scott Mathieson and Michael Stutes both followed with two scoreless innings, as they both record a hold, as they combine for four strike outs (two each) while walking only one batter (Mathieson). Juan Perez receive the save as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. Stolmy Pimentel took the lost (0-1, 9.00) as he pitches two innings, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out one. Dan Wheeler, Andrew Miller, Bobby Jenks, Jason Rice, Rich Hill, Michael Bowden and Blake Maxwell each pitch a scoreless inning, as they combine to give up four hits (Wheeler (2), Miller (1), Jenks (1)) and three walks (Rice (1), Bowden (2)), while combining for six strike outs (Miller (1), Rice (2), Hill (1), Bowden (1), Maxwell (1)). Phils pitching had an easy time, as the BoSox hitters were very aggressive at the plate, hitting into a lot of one pitch outs.
The Phils had seven hits in the game, with Ben Francisco leading the team with two hits, both singles, as he increases his spring training batting average to .375, as he scores one of the two Phils’ runs. Shane Victorino follows with a double, Ross Gload, with a single, John Mayberry, Jr., also with a single, as he scores the other Phil run, Jeff Larish, who hit a two-run double, and Dane Sardinha, who had a single. Dom Brown is still struggling at the plate, as he went 0 for 3, with a walk, as he struck out once.
The Phils, with the win, now have a 3-3 grapefruit league spring training record, as they snap a two-game losing streak.
After an explosive start, the Phils watch the game slip out of their hands, and see another pitcher go down, as they lose to the Rays, 10-4, their first road series lost in a while.
The Phillies took a quick lead in the first as, with two men on, and one out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run double, scoring Greg Dobbs, who had earlier singled and had gone to second on Chase Utley’s single, and Utley, who had just singled, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, with two men out, the Phils made it 3-0 as Matt Stairs followed with a double, knocking in Howard. It then became 4-0 Phils as Pedro Feliz hits an RBI single, scoring Stairs. The Rays would come back in their half of the first, as, with one man on and two outs, Carlos Pena hits an RBI double, knocking in Pat Burrell, who had earlier doubled, making it a 4-1 Phils’ lead. Ben Zobrist then made it a 4-3 Phils’ lead as he hits a two-run home run, his sixteenth home run of the season, scoring Pena. The Rays would tie the game up at four-all in the second, as Willy Aybar hits a lead-off home run, his sixth home run of the season. Four batters later, with runners on the corners, and one man out, the Rays took the lead as Carl Crawford hits an RBI double, scoring Gabe Kapler, who had earlier doubled and had gone to third on Dioner Navarro’s single, giving the Rays a 5-4 lead, while sending Navarro, who had just singled, over to third base. One batter later, Burrell would hit into an RBI ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s second out, scoring Navarro from third to make it 6-4 Rays, while sending Crawford on to third. In the fourth, the Rays tried to add to their lead, with two men on, Kapler and Crawford via walks, and two men out, as the Phillies took their starter Antonio Bastardo out of the game because of a strained left shoulder. The Phils replaced him with Chad Durbin, who then proceeded to end the threat by striking out Burrell. The Phils then threathen to score in the sixth, as they had runners on the corners, Stairs on third, after getting on base by being hit by the pitch, and then going to third on Feliz’s infield single and a throwing error by Rays’ shortstop Jason Bartlett, after originally being unable to handle the ball, with one man out, as Eric Bruntlett hits a fly ball to center field, which would’ve been deep enough to score Stairs, and make it a 6-5 Rays’ lead. But, in a baserunning blunder, Feliz had run up to second base, and was thus doubled up when Rays’ centerfielder B.J. Upton’s throw beat him back to first, 8-3, before Stairs could cross the plate, denying the Phils a run, and leaving the score at 6-4 Rays. The Rays then proceeded to bust the game open in their half of the sixth as, with the bases loaded via a Crawford double, later going to third on a Durbin wild pitch, and then walks to both Burrell and Zobrist, and two men out, Bartlett hits an RBI single, scoring Crawford, making it 7-4 Rays, while both Burrell and Zobrist moved up a base, leaving them loaded. Aybar then followed with a two-run single, scoring both Burrell and Zobrist, giving the Rays a 9-4 lead, and sending Bartlett to third, before Aybar is thrown out trying to go to second, 8-4, ending the inning. The Rays made it 10-4 in the seventh as, with runners on the corners and one man out, Crawford hits into a RBI force out, scoring Upton, who had earlier tripled, as Gabe Gross, who had earlier walked, was thrown out at second, 4-6, for the inning’s second out. That would end up being the final score, as the Phils’ offensive would be unable to mount any attack during the last two innings.
Antonio Bastardo took the lost, pitching only three and two-thirds innings because of an injury to his left shoulder, as he gave up six runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out two. His record is now 2-3 with an ERA of 6.75. Chad Durbin pitched two innings of relief, giving up three runs on three hits and three walks, while striking out three. Tyler Walker pitched a third of an inning, giving up two hits. Jack Taschner pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one. Ryan Madson also pitched an inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out one. Andy Sonnanstine got the win, as he pitched five and one third innings, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk, and striking out seven. His record is now 6-7 with a 6.61 ERA. Grant Balfour pitched one and two-thirds innings, recording his ten hold of the year, as he give up a hit, while he struck out two. Randy Choate pitched an inning, striking out a batter. Dan Wheeler also pitched an inning, giving up a hit.
The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Greg Dobbs and Pedro Feliz both leading the team with two hits a piece. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Matt Stairs and John Mayberry, Jr. had the other four hits, as the Phils got shut down after such a promising start in the first inning. Howard knocked in two of the Phils’ runs, while Stairs and Feliz both knocked in a run.
The Phillies (37-33, 1st National League East) will conclude Interleague Play this weekend with a three-games series against the Blue Jays (40-34, 3rd American League East). The game will start at 7:07 pm Eastern time, and will be played in Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Phils starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (4-3. 4.24), who is coming off a lost to the Orioles on June 21, as he went eight strong innings, giving up just two runs on nine hits, as he struck out ten, in the Phils’ 2-1 lost. In a previous start against the Blue Jays, on June 16, he pitched a no-decision, as he went six innings, also giving up just two runs, on seven hits and two walks, as he struck out two, in the Phils’ 8-3 lost. He will be trying for his fifth win of the year, while trying to start the series on a very positive note for the Phils. He will be opposed by Ricky Romero (4-3, 3.59), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on June 21, as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up only two runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out six, in the Blue Jays’ 9-4 win. In a previous start against the Phils, also on June 16, he also received a no-decision as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out nine, in the Blue Jays’ 8-3 win. He will also be looking for his fifth win of the season, while trying to continue the Phils’ Interleague Play woes.
Supporting Joe Blanton’s six plus strong innings of work, the Phillies’ offense would finally wake up to score ten runs as the Phillies would rout the Rays, 10-2. The win would give the Phillies a very commanding three games to one lead in the series, and a chance to clinch the World Series crown at home behind their ace Cole Hamels. The Phillies would score first in the first inning once again as, with the bases loaded, and one out, Pat Burrell would take a walk, forcing in Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier doubled, would move up to third base on Jayson Werth’s fly out to right, and would be safe on a fielder’s choice ground ball hit by Ryan Howard to the pitcher, as Rays’ starter Andy Sonnanstine would catch Rollins between third and home as he tried to score and would try to throw him out as he headed back to third, but the third base umpire Tim Welke would call Rollins safe, although the instant replay would show that Rays’ third baseman Evan Longoria had actually tagged Rollins out on his *** before he has gotten back to the base, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. The Phillies would make it 2-0 in the third, as, with runners on second and third and two men out, Pedro Feliz would single in Chase Utley, who has reached first base earlier on an Akinori Iwamura fielding error and would move on to third on Howard’s single, while Howard would move on to second. After a Carlos Ruiz single would load the bases, moving both Howard and Feliz up a base, Joe Blanton would end the inning by poping up to the first baseman in foul territory.The Rays would cut the lead in half in the fourth as, with no one on base and two outs, Carl Crawford would hit a solo home run, his second home run of the series, to make it a 2-1 Phillies’ lead. The Phillies would get the run back, with interest, in their half of the fourth, as, with two men on, and one out, Howard woud hit a three-run blast to left, his second home run of the series, scoring Rollins, who would reach base on a second Iwamura’s fielding error and would move on up to second on Werth’s walk, to make it 5-1 Phillies. The Rays would then get one of the runs back in the fifth as, with no one on and two men outs, Blanton would give up a solo home run to pitch hitter Eric Hinske, to make it 5-2 Phillies. In the Phillies’ half of the inning, with no one on and two men outs, Blanton would hit a solo home run of his own, his first career home run, to give the Phils a 6-2 lead. The Rays would try to come back in the sixth as they would put runners on second and first via a walk (Carlos Pena) and a hit batter (Crawford) with two men out. Blanton would end the threat by striking out Dioner Navarro swinging. The Ray would try again in the seventh. They would start the inning off with Bob Zobrist getting on base with a walk. That would be it for Blanton, as Charlie Manuel would take him out of the game to a standing ovation and replace him with Chad Durbin. Durbin would proceed to get Jason Bartlett to fly out to center for the inning’s first out. He would then give up a single to pinch hitter Willy Aybar, which would send Zobrist up to second base. Manuel would then come back out, and replace Durbin with Scott Eyre. Eyre would get Iwamura to line out to left for the inning’s second out. Manuel would then replace Eyre with Ryan Madson. Madson would strike out B.J. Upton swinging for the inning’s final out. After Madson pitches a 1-2-3 eighth inning, the Phillies would proceed to bust the game wide open in their half of the inning. After pinch hitter Matt Stairs would strike out for the inning’s first out, Rollins would get on base with a double that would just miss being a home run by a few inches. Jayson Werth would then follow with a two-run home run, that would score Rollins and give the Phillies an 8-2 lead. Two batters later, Howard would hit a two-run shot of his own, his third home run of the series, scoring Utley, who was earlier intentionally walked to get to Howard, a move which would this time backfire on the Rays, to make it a 10-2 Phillies’ lead. The inning would then end as Eric Bruntlett would ground out, 6-3, and Shane Victorino would fly out to center. J.C. Romero would then be sent out to end the game. Navarro would start the inning off by getting on base on a Romero’s fielding error as he made a bad throw to Howard on a ground ball hit to him. Zobrist would then follow by hitting into a force out, 4-6, being safe on first as Navarro is wiped out at second. Madson would then end the game by striking out first Bartlett on a call third strike and then striking out pinch hitter Rocco Baldelli for the final out.
Joe Blanton would get the win as he would pitch a strong six innings plus one batter, as he would give up only two earned runs on four hits, two walks and a hit batter, while striking out seven Rays. His series’ record is now 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch one-third of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Scott Eyre would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only batter he would face. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning and a third of scoreless ball, giving up no hits, while striking out three. J.C. Romero would pitch a scoreless ninth, giving up no hits, while striking out two. Andy Sonnanstine would pitch only four innings, giving up five runs, three of which were earned, on six hits and three walks, while striking out only two. His series record is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA. Edwin Jackson would pitch two innings, giving up an earned run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one. Dan Wheeler would pitch an inning and a third, giving up two earned runs on three hits while striking out one. Trever Miller would pitch two-thirds of an inning, all giving up two earned runs on one hit and a walk.
Joe Blanton would proceed to dominate the young Rays, being able to mix his pitches so that they would be unable to do much damage against him. While Blanton was keeping the Rays quiet, the Phillies’ bats would finally wake up as they would knock in 10 runs, with eight of them coming via the long ball, which would include the surprising home run by starter Blanton. The offense would not only knock out the Rays’ starter, but they would this time hit the killer blow against the Rays’ bullpen in the eighth inning.
The 2008 World Series will continue later tonight in Philadelphia. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 8:22 pm Eastern time. The Phillies will be sending to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (1-0, 2.57), who is coming off a brilliant win in Game 1 of the series against the Rays on October 22, as he would pitch seven strong innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Phillies’ 3-2 win. Hamels will be trying to clinch the World Series crown for the Phillies while trying to set a new post-season record by going 5-0 as a starter. The Rays will counter with Scott Kazmir (0-1, 4.50), who is coming off a lost against the Phillies on October 22, as he was the losing pitcher of Game 1, as he would pitch six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out four, in the Rays’ 3-2 lost. Kazmir will be trying to win game five to send the series back to Tampa Bay as he hope to put the Phillies’ offense back to sleep.
The keys to the game will be for Cole Hamels to just continue pitching the way he has been pitching in his previous four starts while the offense will just need to continue what they did in last night’s game, and the Phillies should win their second World Championship in the oganization’s 126 years of existance. At the same time, they will need to keep an eye out for any tricks that the Rays might try to pull to help get the series back to Tampa Bay for games six and seven.
The inability to knock in runs with men in scoring position in the first seven innings would waste a good effort by Brett Myers as the Phillies would lose to the Rays, 4-3. The lost would tie the series up at a win apiece as the series will now come to Philadelphia for three games. The Rays would score first in the first, as Carlos Pena would hit a RBI ground out, 6-3, scoring Akinori Iwamura, who has earlier walked and would go to third on B.J. Upton’s single, giving the Rays a 1-0 lead. An Evan Longoria ground out, also 6-3, would make it 2-0 Rays, as it would score Upton, who has singled, would go to second on Jayson Werth’s fielding error as he would take his eye off the ball as he looked to see what Iwamura was going to do on the single, and has moved up to third on Pena’s earlier ground out. The Phillies would threaten to come back in the second as they would put runners on third and second via a double (Ryan Howard), a walk (Pat Burrell) and a wild pitch, with only one out, but Rays’ starter James Shields would get out of the inning by first striking out Greg Dobbs looking and then getting Pedro Feliz out on a liner to center field. The Rays would add to their lead in the second, as, with the bases loaded via a single (Dioner Navarro), a walk (Rocco Baldelli (on what should have been strike three swinging since he had swung through the pitch and was originally called out by the home plate umpire Kerwin Danley, but who would then reverse his call after calling for help from the first base umpire Fieldin Culbreth, who would claim that there was actually no swing by Baldelli)) and a second single (Jason Bartlett), and two men out, Upton would hit a RBI single to right, scoring Navarro, making it 3-0 Rays. But, the following runner, Baldelli, would then be tagged out at home plate as Werth would throw a strike to Carlos Ruiz, who would then block the plate and successfully tag out Baldelli to end the inning. The Phillies would threaten again in the third as they would put a runner on third (Ruiz) via a double and a Jimmy Rollins’ ground out, 4-3. But, they would once again be left empty handed as Shields would get out of the inning by first striking out Werth swinging and then getting Utley to ground out, 4-3. The Phillies would try once again to score a run in the fourth, as they would put runners on the corners via a single to Howard and a single to Shane Victorino, which would send Howard on to third base, as it would go off of Rays’ first baseman Pena’s glove, saving a run for the moment. But once again the Phillies would be unable to score as Shields would strike out Dobbs again, this time swinging, for the inning’s second out, and then get Feliz to this time ground out, 5-3, ending the inning. The Rays would add a fourth run in their half of the fourth, as with runners on the corners and one out, Bartlett would knock in Cliff Floyd, who has earlier singled, moved to second on Navarro’s single and then moved on to third on Baldelli’s force out, cutting down Navarro at second, using a safety squeeze for out number two, 1-3. Brett Myers would then end the inning by getting Iwamura to ground out, 4-3. After that Myers would then gain control of the Rays during his last three innings of work, only giving up a walk and a single. Meanwhile, the Phillies would continue to threaten to score. They would get runners on first and second in the fifth, via a walk (Ruiz, who would then be forced out at second on a grounder by Rollins, 3-6) and a single (Werth), with one man out. But the inning would end as Werth would commit a base running blunder by straying too far off of first base on a Chase Utley fly out to right field, as he is quickly doubled up on a throw from Rays’ right fielder Baldelli to Pena. The Philles would try once more in the sixth, getting two men on via singles to Victornio and Dobbs, with the later’s hit sending Victornio to third, with two men out. But the inning would end as Rays’ reliever Dan Wheeler, pitching in relief of Shields, would get Feliz to once more ground out, this time a 5-4 force out as Dobbs is wiped out at second base. The Phillies would go at it again as they would put runners on second (Ruiz (walk and stolen base)) and first (Utley (walk)) with two men out. But Rays’ closer David Price would end the inning by striking out Howard looking. The Phillies would finally score a run in the eighth, as, with two men out, Eric Bruntlett would hit a pinch hit solo home run, cutting the Rays’ lead down to 4-1. After J.C. Romero would come in and pitch a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth, the Phillies would make one more attempt to get back into the game in the top of the ninth. Ruiz would start off the inning with a double. Rollins, on a 0-1 pitch from Price, would get part of his uniform hit by Price’s pitch. But, home plate umpire Kerwin Danley would instead claim that Rollins wasn’t touched by the pitch. Rollins, after getting the count full, would then pop up to second for the inning’s first out. Werth would then follow with a sharp grounder to Rays’ third baseman Longoria, who would be unable to play the ball, as it would bounce off of his glove and head towards center field, allowing Ruiz to score, making it 4-2 Ray, and Werth to reach first on the error. But, Price would then end the Phillies’ hopes as he would strike out Utley swinging and then get Howard to ground out to first base to end the game.
Brett Myers would get the lost as he would pitch seven innings, giving up four runs, only three of which were earned, on seven hits and three walks, while strking out two. His series’ record is now 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA. J.C. Romero would pitch a 1-2-3 inning, striking out one. James Shields would get the win as he would pitch a superb five and two-thirds inning, giving up no earned runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out four. His series’ record is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Dan Wheeler would pitch a scoreless inning of relief, giving up no hits and a walk, while striking out two. David Price would pitch two and a third innings of relief, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on two hits and a walk, while striking out two.
The Phillies’ season long achillies’ heel, being unable to knock in runners in scoring position, would hurt the Phils with avengence last night, as they would end up leaving eleven men on base, being unable to knock in runners in the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, especially with less than two outs, because of the batters’ inability to either get a key hit, hit the ball to the right side, or to just hit the ball deep into the outfield for a sacrifice fly. This would end up ruining a somewhat good performance by Brett Myers who, despite giving up four runs, might not have given up that many runs if not for Jayson Werth’s fielding error in the first inning, allowing B.J. Upton to reach second, and the yes it’s a swing, wait a minute it wasn’t a swing call by home plate umpire Kerwin Danley, in the second. If not for that boot and that bad call by the umpire, the game might have been a lot closer, even with the Phillies’ offense inability to score a run in the first seven innings. If there is any silver lining in this lost, it is that Ryan Howard might have finally gotten out of his slump, as he would go 2 for 5 with a double and a single, although he would also strike out in one at-bat with men in scoring position. At least he was able to hit the ball last night, unlike the first game. Anyway, the Phillies will now head for home, having left Tampa Bay with a spilt, and now preparing to defeat the Rays in three straight games at home in what will obviously be a very noisy Citizens Bank Park.
The third game of the 2008 World Series will be played tomorrow night in Citizens Bank Park. The game is scheduled to start at 8:22 pm Easten time. The Phillies starter with be Jamie Moyer (0-0, -.–), who will be coming off a bad start against the Dodgers on October 12 in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series, where he was only able to pitch an inning and a third, as he gave up six earned runs on six hits, while striking out two, in the Phillies’ 7-2 lost. In the post-season, he has a record of 0-2 with an ERA of 13.50, as he pitched only five and one-third innings, giving up eight earned runs on ten hits and three walks, while striking only five. His regular season record was 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA in thirty-three starts, as he would give up 85 runs, 81 of which were earned on 199 hits and 62 walks, while striking out 123 batters in 196 and one-third innings of work. Moyer will be trying to regain his late season form, going through a large number of innings while giving up very few runs, hoping to give the Phillies a 2-1 series lead over the much younger Rays, planning to use his experience against their youth. The Rays will counter with Matt Garza (0-0, -.–), who will be coming off a victory against the Red Sox on October 19, as he would pitch seven strong innings, giving up only one earned run on two hits and three walks, while striking out nine, in the Rays’ 3-1 win over the Red Sox, clinching the pennant and winning himself the American League Championship Series MVP. In the post-season, Garza’s record is 2-1 with an ERA of 3.32, as he would pitch nineteen innings, giving up seven earned runs on fifteen hits and ten walks, while striking out eighteen. During the regular season, his record was 11-9 with an ERA of 3.70 in thirty starts, as he gave up 83 runs, 76 of which were earned on 170 hits and 59 walks, while he struck out 128 batters in 184 and two-thirds innings. He will try to be as dominant against the Phillies’ batters as he was in his two starts against the Red Sox.
The key for the Phillies tomorrow will be for Jamie Moyer to regain his regular form, using his experience and his wit against a bunch of young guns who will probably be expecting to feast on his slow stuff. If he does, the Rays’ batters will be in for a long night. At the same time, the Phillies’ offense needs to rebound and starts knocking in runners in key situations by using both patient and strategic hitting. They may be force to have to use plays like the suicide and safety squeeze, like the Rays did in the fourth inning last night, to push runs across the plate when they have less than two men outs and a runner on third. It might look cheap, but if it’ll help to jump start the offense, then they should use it. Another key is once again for Jimmy Rollins to get on base in anyway he can, and for him to stop swinging at high fastballs. If that would require him to change his stance, then change his stance. At the moment, he is not catching up with those pitches. And lastly, Ryan Howard needs to continue what he did last night, as he is way over due for an offensive break out. He can only be held down for so long before he start to make someone pay for it. Hopefully, it’ll be the Rays and the payback will start tomorrow night.
Seven strong innings from Cole Hamels and two shut out innings from Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge would be the difference as the Phillies would hang on to defeat the Rays, 3-2, to take the first game of the World Series. The Phils would jump into the lead in the top of the first, when, with a runner on first and one man out, Chase Utley would hit a two-run home run into the right field seats, scoring Jayson Werth, who has earlier walked, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Phillies would threaten to increase their lead in the second, when, with the bases loaded via a single (Shane Victorino) and two walks (Pedro Feliz and Carlos Ruiz) and with one man out, Victorino would try to score on a shallow fly ball to left center field by Jimmy Rollins that was caught by Rays’ centerfielder B.J. Upton for the inning’s second out. Victornio, who would later admit that he ran home on a miscommunication with third base coach Steve Smith, who was telling him not to go home, would be tagged out at home plate by Rays’ catcher Dioner Navarro for the inning’s final out. In the top of the third, the Phillies would threaten to score again after Werth would reach third base via a lead-off double and a Utley ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s first out. But Rays’ starter Scott Kazmir would get out of the inning by getting first Ryan Howard and then Pat Burrell to strike out swinging. The Rays would then mount a threat of their own in their half of the third as they would load up the bases with only one out via two singles (Ben Zobrist and Akinori Iwamura) and a walk (Jason Bartlett). But Cole Hamels would end the threat by getting Upton to ground into a 5-4-3 double play on a sharp grounder hit to Feliz. The Phillies would finally add another run in the fourth as, with runners on second and third and one man out, Victorino, who has earlier singled, would move to second on Feliz’s single, and who would both move up a base on Chris Coste’s ground out to first, would cross the plate on Ruiz’s ground out, 6-3, giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead. The Rays would finally get on the scoreboard as, with two outs, Carl Crawford would hit a solo home run on a Hamels’ curveball, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 3-1. The Rays would then cut the Phils’ lead down further in the fifth, as, with a runner on second and two men out, Iwamura would hit a RBI double, scoring Bartlett, who has earlier walked and then stole second, to make it a 3-2 Phillies’ lead. Hamels would then end the inning by getting Upton to foul out to Howard, who would make a spectular catch just inside the stands behind the first base foul line. The Rays would try to threaten again in the sixth as Howard would boot Carlos Pena’s ground ball for a fielding error. But, when Pena tried to steal second, he would be picked off by Hamels, who would throw over to Howard, who would then throw to Rollins, would would just barely tag out Pena for the inning’s first out, although the Rays’ bench would claim that Hamels had actually balked, a claim that first base umpire Kerwin Danley would ignore. Hamels would then proceed to strike out Evan Longoria and then get Crawford to ground out, 4-3, to end the inning. The Phillies would make another threat to score an extra run in the seventh, as, with runners on third (Utley (single, stolen base and wild pitch (J.P. Howell)) and first (Burrell (walk), who was then replaced by pinch runner Eric Bruntlett) and two outs, Rays’ reliever Grant Balfour, the second Rays’ reliever for the inning, would end the inning by striking out Victornio. Hamels’ seventh would be an easy eleven-pitch 1-2-3 inning. After the Phillies would go down 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth, Ryan Madson would come out in relief of Hamels and proceed to pitch a 1-2-3 inning of his own. In the Phillies’ ninth, the Phils would make one final attempt to get an insurance run as they would get runners on second (Werth (ground-rule double) and first (Utley (intentional walk)) and one out. But, the Rays would get out of the inning as first Howard would strike out looking and then Bruntlett would pop out to the second baseman. The Phillies would then hand the ball over to Brad Lidge to close it. Lidge would proceed to strike out Pena and Longoria on seven pitches before ending the game by getting Crawford to foul out to Feliz for the final out, recording the save.
Cole Hamels would get the win as he would pitch seven strong innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out five. His record in the series is now 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA and a 4-0 record in the post-season. Ryan Madson would pitch a 1-2-3 inning, striking out one. Brad Lidge would also pitch a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two, as he would record his fifth save in the post-season and his forty-sixth save in forty-six tries. Scott Kazmir would receive the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out four. His series record is 0-1 with an ERA of 4.50. J.P. Howell, Grant Balfour, Trever Miller and Dan Wheeler would combine for three scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Howell and Balfour one hit apiece) and two walks (Howell and Balfour would each give up a walk), while striking out five (Howell and Balfour two each and Miller one).
The Phillies would win last night’s game thanks to the bullpen shutting down the Rays’ offense in the last two innings, while Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge would combine to get the last eleven Ray batters out, after Hamels had picked off Carlos Pena trying to steal second in the sixth inning. Speaking of the pick off, Rays’ manager Joe Maddon and the Rays’ bench all thought that Hamels had balked before he threw to first base after Pena had started to run towards second base. The first base umpire, Kerwin Danley, would ignore their argument, but before the start of the Phillies’ seventh, home plate umpire Tim Welke told Maddon that he would look into the matter. Quite frankly, I don’t know what the point of all this is. If it was a balk, Danley should’ve called it right then and there. I just hope this wasn’t an attempt by Maddon to influence things later in the series as it could backfire on his team since the umpires could decide to look closely at the pitchers of both teams when their pitchers throw towards first when there is someone on base who is a basestealing threat. I guess time will tell. Meanwhile, the Phillies offense would once again in the post-season be unable to hit an early knockout blow against their opponent as they would leave eleven men on base, thanks mainly to Ryan Howard being unable to stop chasing junk out of the strike zone. Hey big guy, lay off the junk pitches will you? As long as you keep swinging at them, they’re going to keep throwing them to you. Please follow Charlie Manuel’s advice, just relax at the plate and let the ball come to you. Even if it means hitting into an out, it’ll at least be a lot better than being made to look like a fool with your constant swing and misses at off-speed junk.
The 2008 World Series continues tonight with the series’ second game, being played tonight 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 over the Dodgers on October 10, where he went 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 pitched twelve innings, giving up seven earned runs on eight hits and seven walks, while striking out ten. During the regular season, his 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 better pitcher in the second half, after his return from a minor league reassignment, 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 ALCS against the Red Sox on October 18, as he would last just 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 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.