The National League wins its third straight All-Star Game as it blanked the American League, 8-0.
The National League jumped into the lead in the first as, with a man on first, and with one man out, the Brewers’ Ryan Braun hits an RBI double, knocking in the Giants Melky Cabrera, who had earlier singled, giving the National League a 1-0 lead. The NL then took a 4-0 lead four batters later as, with the bases loaded, thanks to walks to the Cardinals’ Carlos Beltan, moving Braun up to second base, and to the Giants’ Buster Posey, moving both Braun and Beltran up a base, and with two men out, the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval hits a three-run triple, clearing the bases. The NL then increased their lead as the Braves’ Dan Uggla hits an RBI single, scoring Sandoval, giving the NL a 5-0 lead. The NL added to their lead in the fourth as, with a man on third, and with two men out, the Cardinals’ pinch hitter Matt Holliday hits an RBI single, knocking in fellow Cardinal Rafael Furcal, who had just tripled, giving the NL a 6-0 lead. The NL then took an 8-0 lead as Cabrera (who was later made the All-Star Game’s MVP) hits a two-run home run, knocking in Holliday. That would end up being the final as the Phils’ Jonathan Papelbon preserved the shut out by getting the Orioles’ Matt Wieters to fly out to right for the final out.
The Giants’ Matt Cain (1-0, 0.0) gets the win as he threw two scoreless innings, giving up a hit, while striking out one. Gio Gonzalez (Nationals), Stephen Strasburg (Nationals), Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers), R.A. Dickey (Mets), Cole Hamels (Phils), Craig Kimbrel (Braves), Aroldis Chapman (Reds), Wade Miley (Diamondbacks), Joel Hanrahan (Pirates) and Jonathan Papelbon (Phils) would combine for seven scoreless innings, giving up five hits (Strasburg (1), Kershaw (2), Dickey (1), Miley (1)) and three walks (Strasburg (1), Kershaw (1), Chapman (1)) between them, while striking out seven (Cain (1), Gonzalez (1), Dickey (1), Kimbrel (2), Chapman (1), Hanrahan (1)). The Tigers’ Justin Verlander (0-1, 45.00) took the lost as he pitched an inning, giving up five runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out two. Joe Nathan (Rangers) and David Price (Rays) combined for a pair of 1-2-3 innings. The Rangers’ Matt Harrison pitched an inning, giving up three runs on four hits. Jered Weaver (Angels), Chris Sale (White Sox), Ryan Cook (Athletics), Jim Johnson (Orioles) and Fernando Rodney (Rays) would combine for five scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Sale) and a walk (Weaver) between them, while striking out four (Sale (1), Cook (2), Johnson (1)).
The National League squad had ten hits in the game, with Melky Cabrera of the Giants (Single, Home Run, 2 RBIs) and Ryan Braun of the Brewers (Double, Triple, RBI) leading the squad with two hits apiece. Pablo Sandoval of the Giants (Triple, 3 RBIs), Dan Uggla of the Braves (Single, RBI), Rafael Furcal of the Cardinals (Triple), pinch hitter Matt Holliday of the Cardinals (Single, RBI), pinch hitter Chipper Jones of the Braves (Single) and Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates (Single) had the other six NL hits. The NL also had three walks. The American League squad had only six hits in the game, all singles, by Derek Jeter of the Yankees, Robinson Cano of the Yankees, David Ortiz of the Red Sox, Mike Napoli of the Rangers, Mike Trout of the Angels and Joe Mauer of the Twins. The AL also had three walks, a stolen base (Trout) and a hit batter (Paul Konerko of the White Sox).
Among the Phils representatives, Carlos Ruiz came into game in the sixth inning, making one plate appearance, flying out to left. Cole Hamels pitched the seventh inning, throwing a 1-2-3 inning. Jonathan Papelbon pitched to one batter, getting the game’s final out on a fly out to right.
With the win, the NL will have home field advantage during the 2012 World Series.
The Phils took a 1-0 lead in the sixth, breaking up a 0-0 tie, as Jimmy Rollins hits a lead-off home run, his seventh home run of the season. The Rays took the lead in the eighth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Carlos Pena hits a three-run home run, knocking in Elliot Johnson, who had started the inning off with a run, then moved up to second base on B.J. Upton’s walk, and Upton, who had just walked, giving the Rays a 3-1 lead. The Phils would get a run back in their half of the eighth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Ty Wigginton hits an RBI single, knocking in Hunter Pnce, who had earlier doubled, then went to third base on Carlos Ruiz’s single, making it a 3-2 Ray’s lead, while sending Ruiz, who had just singled, over to third base. That would end up being the final score as Fernando Rodney recorded his twenty-first save of the year as he recorded a scoreless ninth, striking out Pence, swinging, to end the game.
Cole Hamels received a no-decision as he threw seven scoreless innings, giving up just three hits and three walks, while he struck out seven. Antonio Bastardo blew his second save attempt of the year, before taking the lost (2-2, 3.75) as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up three runs on a hit and two walks. Chad Qualls pitched two-thirds of an inning, walking a batter. Michael Schwimer threw a 1-2-3 inning. David Price (10-4, 2.95) got the win a he pitched seven innings, giving up a run on four hits and three walks, while he struck out eight. Burke Badenhop collected his third hold of the season as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on three hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Jake McGee collected his eighth hold of the year as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Fernando Rodney collected his twenty-first save of the season as he threw a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out two.
The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins (2 Singles, Home Run, RBI) leading the team with three hits, followed by Hunter Pence (Single, Double) with two hits. Carlos Ruiz (Single), Ty Wigginton (Single, RBI) and Hector Luna (Single) had the other three Phils’ hits, as they are once again unable to capitalize on scoring opportunities. The Phils also had four walks and two stolen bases (Shane Victorino (16), Rollins (12)) in the ballgame.
In the nightcap, the Rays took a 1-0 lead in the second as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Sean Rodriguez hits an RBI double, knocking in Jeff Keppinger, who had started the inning off with a walk, then stopped at second base on Ben Zobrist’s single, while Zobrist, who had just singled, would stop at third base. The Rays then made it a 3-0 lead as Brooks Conrad hits a two-run double, scoring both Zobrist and Rodriguez. The Phils got a run back in the fourth as, with a man on first, and with nobody out, Placido Polanco hits an RBI double, knocking in Hunter Pence, who had started the inning off with a walk, making it a 3-1 Rays’ lead. The Phils then cut it down to 3-2 Rays’ lead as John Mayberry, Jr. hits an RBI single, knocking in Polanco, before moving up to second base on the throw to the plate. The Rays increased their lead in the sixth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Conrad hits a two-run double, knocking in Zobrist, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Rodriguez’s walk, and Rodriguez, who had just walked, giving the Rays a 5-2 lead, before going on to third base on the throw home. The Phils got a run back in their half of the sixth as, with a man on first, and with nobody out, Polanco hits an RBI double, his second of the game, knocking in Pence, who had started the inning off with a walk, cutting the Rays’ lead down to 6-3, before moving on to third base on the throw to the plate. The Rays made it a 6-3 lead in the eighth as, with the bases loaded, via walks by Upton, who then stole second base, Zobrist, and Conrad, and with two men out Jose Lobaton forced in a run with a walk, scoring Upton, while moving both Zobrist and Conrad up a base, leaving the bases loaded. The Rays then took a 7-3 lead as Brandon Gomes forced in a run with a walk, forcing in Zobrist, while both Conrad and Lobaton moved up a base. That would be the final score as J.P. Howell pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
Cliff Lee (0-4, 3.72) took the lost as he pitched seven innings, giving up five runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out nine. B.J. Rosenberg pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on four walks. Jake Diekman pitched an inning and a third, giving up a walk, while striking out three. Cesar Ramos received a no-decision as he pitched two and two-thirds innings, giving up three walks, while striking out two. Wade Davis pitched two and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out two. Brandon Gomes (2-2, 3.97) got the win as he threw two and two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out one. J.P. Howell pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter.
The Phils had just four hits in the game, with Placido Polanco leading the team with two hits, both doubles, knocking in two runs. Shane Victorino (Single) and John Mayberry, Jr. (Single, RBI), had the other two Phils’ hits. The Phils also had six walks and a stolen base (Victorino (17)) in the game.
The Phils (34-40 5th East) will start a four-game series with their cross-state rival, the Pirates (38-33, 2nd Central), beginning with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (6-6, 5.04), who is coming of a no-decision against the Rockies on June 20, as he went seven innings, giving up five runs on six hits, while striking out six, in the Phils’ 7-6 walk-off win. He will be trying for his third straight winning start. The Pirates will counter with Jeff Karstens (0-1, 4.50), who is coming off a no-decision against the D-backs on April 17, his last previous start in the majors, as he pitched just an inning, giving up two runs on three hits, in the Pirates’ 5-4 win. He’ll be trying for his first win of 2012. The Phils will be out to start their final series of the homestand on a good note.
For the first time in fourteen years, the National League All-Stars defeated the American League All-Stars, securing home field advantage during the World Series (I personally think that is a really rotten idea), 3-1.
Thanks in part to the shadows around home plate, as well as some good pitching and defense by both squads, the game remains a 0-0 tie until the bottom of the fifth, when the American League took a 1-0 lead as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees hits a sacrifice fly, scoring from third base Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays, who had earlier walked, and had reached third on Los Angeles Dodgers Hong-Chih Kuo’s throwing error to first on a grounder hit to the third-base side of the mound by Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins, who would end up on second on the play. The National League would take the lead in the seventh as, with the bases loaded via singles by Scott Rolen of the Cincinnati Reds and Matt Holliday of the St. Louis Cardinals, sending Rolen to third base, and a walk to Marlon Byrd of the Chicago Cubs, and with two men out, Brain McCann of the Atlanta Braves hits a bases clearing double, scoring Rolen, Holliday and Byrd, giving the National League a 3-1 lead. The National League would hold on to win as Jonathan Broxton of the Dodgers, after giving up a lead-off single to David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox, struck out swinging Adrian Beltre of the Red Sox for out number one, then on a spectacular play by right fielder Byrd, who threw out Ortiz at second, 9-6 on a ball hit into right field by John Buck of the Toronto Blue Jays, turning a base hit into a force out for the inning’s second out, leaving Buck at first base, and then ended the game by getting Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers to fly out to center on one pitch.
Brian McCann of the Braves was named the All-Star Game MVP because of his three-run double, giving the NL all of their runs.
Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies pitched two scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Josh Johnson of the Florida Marlons also pitched two scoreless innings, striking out two batters. Hong-Chih Huo pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up an unearned run on a hit and a walk. Heath Bell of the San Diego Padres pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two hits, while striking out a batter. Matt Capps of the Washington Nationals would get the win as he pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only batter that he would face. His All-Star Game record is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals collected his first hold as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out two. Brian Wilson of the San Francisco Giants also collected his first hold, as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Jonathan Broxton receives his first All-Star Game save as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays pitched two scoreless innings, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out two. Cliff Lee of the Texas Rangers (nee Seattle Mariners) pitched 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, while striking out two. Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox received a hold as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Phil Hughes, also of the Yankees, also received a hold before taking the lost as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits. His All-Star Game record is now 0-1 with a 54.00 ERA. Matt Thornton of the Chicago White Sox committed his first All-Star Game blown save as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and a walk. Andrew Bailey of the Oakland A’s pitched a third of an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out one. Rafael Soriano, also of the Rays, pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Jose Valverde, also of the Tigers, also pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out the side.
The winning National League team had seven hits in the game, with David Wright of the New York Mets leading with two hits, both singles. Scott Rolen of the Reds, Matt Holliday of the Cardinals, Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Yadier Molina, also of the Cardinals, and Brian McCann of the Braves, had the other five NL hits, with Rolen, Holliday, Ethier and Molina’s hits being singles, and McCann’s hit being a three-run double. The American League team had six hits in the game, with Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees, Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers, David Ortiz of the Red Sox, Evan Longoria of the Rays and John Buck of the Blue Jays each having a hit, with Jeter, Cabrera, Hamilton and Ortiz hits being singles, while Longoria and Buck’s hits were doubles. The American League’s run came in on a Robinson Cano of the Yankees sacrifice fly. Ryan Howard, who represented the Phils, along with Halladay, went 0 for 2, with a strikeout.
With the win, the National League ends a thirteen-game losing streak, having not won the summer classic since 1996, where it was played in Philadelphia at the now demolished Veterans Stadium (0-12-1). With the win, the National League winner will host the World Series first for the first time since 2002.
The Phils continue to show themselves to be the best road team in the major league after posting six quick runs in the first as they coast to an easy 10-1 victory over the 2008 American League Champions Rays. In the process, the Phils stopped a six games losing streak.
The Phils took an early lead in the first as, with two men on, and nobody out, Chase Utley hits a two-run double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier reached base on a two-base throwing error by Rays’ third baseman Evan Langoria, and Shane Victorino, who had just walked, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. It became 3-0 Phils as Ryan Howard hits an RBI double, scoring Utley. After Jayson Werth followed Howard with a single, sending him up to third base, putting runners on the corner, with still nobody out, and Pedro Feliz struck out swinging, for the Phils’ first out, John Mayberry made it 6-0 Phils with a three-run home run, his third home run of the season, scoring both Howard and Werth. The six-run outburst made things easier for Phils’ starter Jamie Moyer, who would proceed to have an easy game, giving up only five hits before finally being taken out of the game in the seventh. Before then, the Phils would add to their lead. In the top of the fourth, with two men on, and nobody out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, for the Phils’ first out of the inning, while scoring Mayberry, who had reached first base on a missed catch error by Rays’ first baseman Carlos Pena, then moved up to second on Chris Coste’s single, before continuing on to third on Rays’ center field B.J. Upton’s fielding error, while Coste moved up to second, as the Phils increased their lead to 7-0. Two batters later, with Coste now on third with, two men out, thanks to a Rollins’ ground out, 4-3, Victorino would make it an 8-0 lead as he hits an RBI single, scoring Coste. Utley then gave the Phils a 10-0 lead as he hits a two-run home run, his sixteenth home run of the season, knocking in Victorino. The Rays would score a run in their half of the fourth as, with two men on, and two men out, Jason Bartlett hits an RBI single, knocking in Pena, who had earlier doubled, while sending Pat Burrell, who had earlier walked, over to second, making it a 10-1 Phils’ lead. But that would be all of the scoring that night, as the Rays’ bullpen stopped the Phils’ offense, while Tyler Walker and Sergio Escalona, recalled from the minors to take the place of Clay Condrey, who had been placed on the 15-day disabled list, took over for Moyer and threw three shut out innings at the Rays.
Jamie Moyer got the win as he pitched six strong innings, only giving up a run on five hits and three walks, while striking out four, recording career victory no. 251. His record is now 5-6 with an ERA of 5.97. Tyler Walker and Sergio Escalona combined for three shut out innings, giving up only three hits (Walker), while striking out one (Walker). David Price took the lost, as he got roughed up for all ten runs, only five of which were earned, on seven hits and two walks, while striking out only two, in four and a third innings of work. His record is now 1-2 with a 4.45 ERA. Winston Abreu and Lance Cormier then came in for four and two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up only three hits (Abreu (2), Cormier (1)) and a walk (Abreu), while striking out five batters between them (Abreu (3), Cormier (2)).
The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Chase Utley leading the way with three hits, including a double and a home run, knocking in four runs, as he raised his batting average to .303. He was followed by Shane Victorino, who had two hits, knocking in a run, as he raisied his average to .308. Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, John Mayberry Jr., Chris Coste and Carlos Ruiz had the other five Phillies’ hits, with Mayberry’s hit being a three-run home run, and Howard’s hit a one-run double. Besides Utley’s four RBIs, Mayberry’s three, and Victorino and Howard’s one RBI each, Ruiz knocked in the other RBI, as the Phils’ bats finally knocked in some runs, as they took advantage of some sloppy fielding by the Rays.
The Phillies (37-31, 1st National League East) continue their three-games Interleague Play series with the Rays (37-35, 4th American League East). The game will be played at Tropicana Field, at 7:08 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (4-3, 5.28), who is coming off his third straight no-decision, this one against the Blue Jays on June 18, as he pitched five and one-third innings, giving up four runs on nine hits and a walk, while he struck out two, in the Phils’ 8-7 lost. He will once again try for his fourth straight win and his fifth win of the season, while trying to eat up the innings to help give the bullpen a much needed rest. The Rays will counter with Matt Garza (4-5, 3.83), who is coming off a lost against the Rockies on June 18, as he pitched five innings, giving up four runs on five hits and two walks, as he struck out five, in the Blue Jays’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying to even up his record while hoping to avoid getting creamed by the Phils’ potent road warrior offense. The Phillies will be looking for another road win, while at the same time go back to increasing their lead over the Mets.
The Phillies have won the 2008 World Series, winning the series four games to one, as they would outscore the Rays in the final three and a half innings of this past Monday’s suspended game five, 4-3. As play resumed, Rays’ manager Joe Maddon would decide to leave Grant Balfour in the game. Pinch hitter Geoff Jenkins would be the first batter to face him in the Phillies’ half of the sixth, and he would greet him with a hard hit double to center. Jimmy Rollins would follow with an excellent sacrifice bunt, that would go 5-3 for the inning’s first out, as he would move Jenkins over to third base. Then, with the Rays’ infield pulled in to prevent a run, Jayson Werth would hit a pop up into shallow center field. Ray’s second baseman Akinori Iwamura would be unable to make an over-the-shoulder basket catch of the ball, as it would drop in for a RBI single, scoring Jenkins, and giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead. Balfour is then taken out of the ballgame by Maddon and is replaced on the mound by J.P. Howell. Howell would then end the inning by first getting Utley to strike out swinging for the inning’s second out, and after Werth would steal second, he would get Ryan Howard to pop out to third for the final out of the inning. Charlie Manuel would then put out in place of Cole Hamels, who is now in line to be the game’s winning pitching, Ryan Madson. Madson would proceed to strike out Dioner Navarro looking for the inning’s first out. But then he would give up a solo home run to Rocco Baldelli to left, tying the game up at three apiece, and thus denying Hamels his chance to make World Series history by winning all five of his starts. Jason Bartlett would then follow with a single. The next batter, Howell, would sacrifice the runner over to second, 1-4, for the inning’s second out, as he put a runner in scoring position. Madson is then replaced by J.C. Romero. Iwamura would then hit a ground ball towards second base, that Utley would be able to grab, but would then have no play to make at first, as Iwamura would get an infield single. But, Utley would then throw a strike towards home plate as he would see Bartlett trying to score from second on the play. His throw would beat Bartlett to home plate and then Carlos Ruiz would tag out a sliding Bartlett to keep the game tied at three all. In the Phillies’ half of the seventh, Pat Burrell would start the inning off with a double to left center field. As he would be replaced on second base by pinch runner Eric Bruntlett, the Rays would replace Howell on the mound with Chad Bradford. Shane Victorino would then hit the ball to the right side of the infield, after being unable to put down a bunt, for the inning’s first out, 4-3, while Bruntlett would move on over to third base. This move would once again force the Rays to bring in their infield. Pedro Feliz would take advantage of this move as he would hit a RBI single to center, scoring Bruntlett and giving the Phillies’ a 4-3 lead. Ruiz would then follow Feliz by hitting into a force out, 4-6, wiping out Feliz at second for the second out. Romero would then bat for himself and proceed to hit into a force out, 4-6, for the inning’s final out. Romero would then stay in to pitch the eighth. Chris Crawford would start the inning off with a single. B.J. Upton would then hit into a 6-4-3 double play, doubling up Crawford at second base, putting no one on base with two men out. Romero would then end the inning by getting Carlos Pena to fly out to left for the final out. In the Phillies’ eighth, the Rays would send out David Price to keep the game close. Prince would proceed to get Rollins to fly out to left for the inning’s first out and then would strike out Werth for out number two. Utley would then get on base with a walk. After Utley would steal second, Howard would end the inning by striking out. In the Rays’ ninth, the Phillies would hand the ball over to Brad Lidge to end the game. Lidge would get Evan Longorio to pop out to Utley for the first out of the inning. Navarro would then get on base with a single. Navarro would be replaced at first by pinch runner Fernando Perez, while pinch hitter Ben Zobrist would come to the plate. After Perez would steal second base, Lidge would get Zobrist out as he lines out directly to the right fielder for the second out of the inning. Maddon would then send out pinch hitter Eric Hinske to try and take the lead with one swing of the bat. Instead, Lidge would strike Hinske out for the game’s final out, as he would record his forty-eighth straight save in forty-eight attempts and his seventh save of the post-season, and lead to the start of a celebration among the Phillies, as they would win their second World Championship in the team’s 126 years of existance.
Cole Hamels would get a no-decision, as he would pitch six strong innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out three. Ryan Madson would pitch two-thrids of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits, while striking out one. J.C. Romero would get the win as he pitches a scoreless inning and a third, giving up only two hits. His series’ record is now 2-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Brad Lidge would record his second save of the series, pitching a scoreless inning, as he would give up just a hit, while striking out one, as he records his forty-eighth straight save, and his seventh in the post-season. Scott Kazmir would also get a no-decision, as he would go only four innings plus two batters, giving up two earned runs on four hits, six walks and a hit batsman, while striking out five. Grant Balfour would pitch an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits. J.P. Howell would get the lost as he would pitch two-thirds of an inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on one hit, while striking out one. His series’ record is now 0-2 with an ERA of 7.71. Chad Bradford would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit. David Price would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up just a walk, while striking out two.
During the celebration, which would include Bud Selig giving David Montgomery, Pat Gillick and Charlie Manuel the World Series Trophy, Cole Hamels would be announced as being the 2008 World Series MVP. It would later be announced that the city of Philadelphia plans to hold its World Series parade on Friday. And it would appear that the parade wouldl be shown on at least one of the local networks. I can’t wait. 🙂
Now that the Phillies have won the series, I would like to first apologize for the number of times that I’ve shown a lack faith in the guys actually being able to get into the World Series. Next, I would like to laugh in the face of the so-called experts who during the post-season have never given the Phillies the chance to win the Series, including FOX. Ha-HA, in your face, experts. Lastly, I would like to congratulate the Tampa Bay Rays for doing as well as they did this season to get into the World Series as well. I am sure that they’ll be back in the series at some point during the next few years.
Next stop, the victory parade. I love a parade, etc. etc. 🙂
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.