Tagged: Fly Outs

2008 World Series: Game 5: The Phillies have….what the…a suspended game??? Selig, you are a bum!!!!

The fifth game of the 2008 World Series has now entered the history books as the first game in World Series history to be suspended, as Bud ‘I’m a moron’ Selig suspends the game before the start of the Phillies’ sixth, after B.J. Upton of the Rays scored the tying run on a Carlos Pena single, tying the game at 2-2. After Cole Hamels would pitch a quick 1-2-3 first, the Phillies’ bat would go after Rays’ starter Scott Kazmir. After Jimmy Rollins would fly out for the inning’s first out, Jayson Werth would get on base with a walk. Chase Utley would then be hit by the pitch, sending Werth over to second base. After Kazmir strikes out Ryan Howard swinging for the second out, Pat Burrell would take a walk to load the bases, moving up both Werth and Utley to third and second respectively. Shane Victorino would follow with a two-run single, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead, scoring both Werth and Utley, while sending Burrell over to second. Pedro Feliz would follow up with a single of his own, reloading the bases, as third base coach Steve Smith would stop Burrell at third base, so that he wouldn’t possibily being thrown out at home plate, while Victorino would stop at second. Carlos Ruiz would then end the inning by flying out. Neither team would be able to do anything in either the second or third innings as the mist that the two teams were playing in started to come down as rain. The Rays would cut the Phillies’ lead to 2-1 as, with a runner on second and one out, Evan Longorio would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Pena, who has earlier doubled. The Phillies would then get out of the inning as Dioner Navarro would hit into a 6-4-3 double play, wiping out Longorio at second. In the Phils half of the fourth, they would threaten to score. After Feliz would stike out for the inning’s first out, Ruiz would reach base with a single. Hamels would then attempt to bunt him over to second. Kazmir would have other ideas as he would grab the bunt and fires to second, forcing out Ruiz easily for the second out, as Hamels would reach first safely. Rollins would follow with a walk, sending Hamels to second. Werth would then follow with a walk, loading the bases, as Hamels and Rollins would both move on to second and third. But the threat would end as Utley would ground out, 4-3 for the final out. During the time, the ground crew would try to work on the field as the rains proceed to come down even harder, but the umpires would refuse to call a rain delay at this point. In the fifth, Rocco Baldelli would reach first base as Rollins would be unable to catch a high pop up because of the rain and the winds, which would be called an error. But the Phillies would bite the bullet as Jason Bartlett would hit into a 4-3 double play, as Utley would make a spectacular play, tagging Baldelli on the foot as he ran pass him and would then throw to first to beat out Bartlett. In the Phillies half of the fifth, as the field was getting worse, the first two Phillies’ batters (Howard and Burrell) would both get on base via walks. This would be the end for Kazmir, as he would be taken out of the game by Rays’ manager Joe Maddon and be replaced on a getting bad mound by Grant Balfour. Balfour would then proceed to get the next three Phillies’ batter, all looking to be a bit too eager to swing, to either fly out or pop out. Victorino would start by flying out to left for out number one. Then Feliz would hit a high pop that would barely be caught by first baseman Pena for the second out, although the Infield Fly Rule should’ve been evoked by the umpires before then. Ruiz would then follow by also poping out to Pena for the inning’s final out. In the top of the sixth, with things only getting worst, and with Hamels forced to throw only mostly fastballs as he couldn’t get a frim enough grip on the slippery ball so that he can throw his curveball, he would start the inning off by striking out Akinori Iwamura for out number one. He would then get Carl Crawford to ground out to Howard for out number two. The next batter, B.J. Upton would then hit a ground ball to Jimmy Rollins, who would be unable to make the play, as Upton is given a single. Upton would then, after four straight throws to first, steal second base, as Ruiz is unable to throw him out. Pena would then hit a single to left, as Upton would score the tying run as he beat out the throw from Burrell. A pass ball by Ruiz would then allow Pena to reach second base. But the inning would finally end as Longorio would fly out to center. Then the umpires ordered the field to be covered. After a rain delay, Bud Selig would finally suspend the game at 2-2, calling for it to be continued on Tuesday night after 8 pm Eastern. But, after 1 pm today, it has been announced that the game, because of the continuing rain and the possibility of heavy winds, it will instead be continued after 8 pm Wednesday, with the Phillies up in the bottom of the sixth.

Folks, I’m pissed. This game should never have been played in the first place, since MLB knew that the weather was going to get worst as it progressed and that the rain would have not ended until sometimes Wednesday. Bud Selig, MLB and their FOX overlords (let’s be frank people, FOX was the real ones calling the shots here) decided to try to sneak this one in, believing in the optimistic reports from the three weather bureaus that MLB uses, because of their greed for money and whatever ratings they thought they could get from this series. So, tell me Bud, how did that work out for? I’m just saying. GGGRRRR!!! And then, when he finally does call for it to be suspended, he waited until after the Rays had scored a run in the sixth, in foul weather that only a duck would love and say that he did this for the health of the players. Hello!!! Bud Homer, would that include B.J. Upton, who stole second in that slop? What would MLB has done if he’d slide the wrong way, or slip and fall flat on his face trying to steal second. Continue to play the game or finally called for it to be put in a rain delay? I call BS on your worrying about the players’ health, you tool. If you did care, you should’ve called it in the fourth, or the fifth at the latest. JERK! I’m starting to have more respect for Bowie Kuhn at this point, and that’s saying a lot as far as I’m concerned.

Anyway, the game is suppose to continue tomorrow with the Phillies’ batting. The Phillies has a chance to win this. They have at the least nine or at the most twelve outs to get just one run across and do it against a Rays’ bullpen that they have been able to score runs on since game two. The Rays, on the other hand, have nine outs within which to plate one run, and they have to do it against a Phillies’ bullpen that has been almost spotless during the post-season, and they start it off with the bottom of their lineup while the Phillies will start their inning with almost the top half of their lineup. Come on people, the Phillies still have a chance to do this. They just need to suck it up, get over the feeling that someone is trying to rob them of a championship, and just go about their business. If they’re going to be the World Champs, they should be able to overcome this just as they have overcome everything else that has been thrown at them this year. As the Tugger once said, “You Gotta Believe!!” and I believe that this team can get past this and WIN. GO PHILLIES!!!

Oh, and Charlie Manuel, I think you did the right thing by not having a postgame conference when there was really no reason for it. I salute you on doing that, ‘Uncle’ Charlie.

2008 World Series: Game 4: A 10-runs offensive barrage and six plus strong innings from Joe Blanton would lead the Phillies to a 10-2 rout of the Rays. The Phillies now have a commanding three games to one lead and are ready to clinch on Monday night.

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.

2008 World Series: Game 3: The Phillies win Game 3 on a Walk-Off Single by Carlos Ruiz with the Bases Loaded in the bottom of the ninth. The Phillies take a two games to one lead in the series.

The Phillies have now taken a two games to one lead in the 2008 World Series on a bases loaded, no one out, walk-off single down the third base line by Carlos Ruiz, as the Phillies would defeat the Rays, 5-4.

After a long rain delay, the game would start around 10 pm Eastern time. The Phillies would take a quick 1-0 lead in the first, as, with runners on second and third, and no one out, Chase Utley would hit a RBI ground out to first, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, moved up to second on Jayson Werth’s walk, and would both move up to third and second on Rays’ starter Matt Garza’s wild pitch, and send Werth on to third. The Rays would tie the game up in the second when, with a runner on third and one out, Gabe Gross would hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Carl Crawford, who has earlier doubled and would then steal third. The Phillies would retake the lead in their half of the second when, with two outs and no one on, Carlos Ruiz would hit a home run to left, giving the Phillies a 2-1 lead. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Garza and Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer, who would both refuse to give up another run for the next three innings. The Rays, in the top of the sixth, would come close to taking the lead, as, with a runner on second (B.J. Upton (single and stolen base)), and two men out, Evan Longoria would hit a deep fly ball to left that would be caught by Pat Burrell in front of the left field wall for the inning’s final out, as the winds would help keep the ball in the field of play. Then, in the Phillies’ half of the sixth, they would increase their lead as Utley would hit a lead-off home run, his second home run of the series, to give the Phils a 3-1 lead. Ryan Howard would then follow with a solo home run of his own, his first of the post-season, to make it 4-1 Phillies. But the Rays would come back in the seventh. The inning would start with a bunt single by Crawford, who was actually out, as shown in various instant replays, as Moyer, after catching the ball in the air, would throw it over to Howard, who would catch the ball barehanded before Crawford would actually touch the base, but an out of position first base umpire Tom Hallion would instead call him safe. Dioner Navarro would then follow with a double to left, sending Crawford over to third. Gross would follow with a sharp grounder to first that Howard would make a spectacular catch on and would then beat Gross to first base for the inning’s first out, as Crawford would score, cutting the Phillies’ lead down to 4-2, while Navarro would move on over to third. That would be the ballgame for Moyer as Charlie Manuel would come out of the dugout and take him out to the cheers of the crowd, and then replace him with Chad Durbin. Durbin would then give up a RBI ground out to Jason Bartlett, 4-3, which would knock in Navarro, making it a 4-3 Phils’ lead. After pinch hitter Willy Aybar walks, Manuel would come back out and take out Durbin and replace him with Scott Eyre to face Akinori Iwamura. Eyre would proceed to strike out Iwamura swinging on a 3-2 fastball. The Rays would then tie the game in the eighth, as, with a runner on second and one man out, Upton, who has earlier singled and then stole second, would try to steal third. He would reach third with the stolen base, and then head for home with the tying run, as Ruiz’s throw would hit him and bounce towards the Phils’s third base dug out for an error. Ryan Madson, who was on the mound at the time, would then get Longoria to ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s second out. Manuel would then replace him with J.C. Romero, who would end the inning by getting Crawford to fly out to right on one pitch. The Phillies would attempt to retake the lead in their half of the eighth, as Werth would start the inning off with a walk, and would then steal second. After Utley would strike out swinging, Werth would be picked off second by Rays’ reliever J.P. Howell. Howell would then end the inning by striking out Howard looking. Madson would then proceed to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, as he woukd first strike out Navarro, get Gross to ground out, 4-3, and then get Bartlett to also ground out, 6-3. In the Phillies’ ninth, Eric Bruntlett, a late inning replacement for Burrell, would bd hit by a pitch from Howell, taking first base. The Rays would then proceed to replace Howell with Grant Balfour. Balfour would then throw a wild pitch, which would quickly come back to Rays’ catcher Navarro. But, Navarro, as he tried to throw out Bruntlett at second, would instead throw the ball into right center field for an error, allowing Bruntlett to reach third base with nobody out. The Rays would then intentionally walk both Shane Victornio and pitch hitter Greg Dobbs to load the bases, while the Rays would bring in right fielder Gross to set up a five men infield, while leaving only two men in the outfield, with both of them playing shallow, to face Ruiz. On a 2-2 fastball, Ruiz would hit a slow roller down the third base line. The Rays’ third baseman Longoria, after grabbing the ball, would try to flip to Navarro to force out Bruntlett at home plate. But Longoria’s throw would fly past Novarro, allowing Bruntlett to score the winning run for the Phillies’ 5-4 walk-off win.

Jamie Moyer would get a no-decision as he would pitch six and one-third strong innings, giving up only three earned runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out five. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs and no hits and a walk. Scott Eyre would also pitch a third of an inning, striking out the only man he would face. Ryan Madson would get a blown save as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit, while striking out one. J.C. Romero would get the win as he would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs or hits, while striking out one. His series record is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Matt Garza would also get a no-decision as he would pitch six innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out seven. Chad Bradford would pitch an inning plus one batter, giving up no runs and no hits and a walk. J.P. Howell would get the lost as he would also pitch an inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on no hits and a hit batsman, while striking out two. His series record is now 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA. Grant Balfour would face three batters, getting none of them out, as he would give up no runs on one hit and two intentional walks.

Jamie Moyer would pitch a strong game, returning to his second half form, as he constantly outpitched the Rays’ batters, before finally being taken out of the game in the seventh, thanks in part to first base umpire Tom Hallion’s blown call at first base that would help lead to two runs scoring later in the inning. Meanwhile, the Phillies’ bat, while they would still do very little scoring, would produce three solo shots by Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard off of the Rays’ starter Matt Garza, who would get very upset after Howard’s solo shot, while they would also score a run via a ground out in the first, before Ruiz’s slow single down the third base line would bring in the final run. Meanwhile, Jimmy Rollin would finally get on base with two singles, scoring a run shortly after getting his first hit of the series, while Howard would finally do some post-season damage with the long ball.

The 2008 World Series will continued later tonight with the fourth game of the series from Philadelphia. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 8:29 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (0-0, -.–), who is coming off a no-decision against the Dodgers in the NLCS on October 13, as he would go just five innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out four, in the Phillies’ 7-5 win. In the post-season, his record is 1-0 with an ERA of 3.27, as he would pitch eleven innings, giving up four earned runs on twelve hits and four walks, while striking out eleven. His regular season record is 9-12 (4-0) with a 4.69 (4.20) ERA in thirty-three starts, where he would give up 110 runs, 103 of which were earned, on 211 hits and 66 walks, while striking out 111 batters in 197 and two-thirds innings. He will be trying for his second post-season win and to put the Phillies in position for clinching the crown at home. The Rays’ starter will be Andy Sonnanstine (0-0, -.–), who is coming off a win against the Red Sox in the ALCS on October 14, as he would pitch seven and one-third innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on six hits and a walk, while striking out two, in the Rays’ 13-4 win. His post-season record is 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA, as he would pitch thirteen innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, on nine hits and two walks, while striking out six. His regular season record is 13-9 with a 4.28 ERA in thirty-two starts, where he would give up 105 runs, 94 of which would be earned, on 212 hits and 37 walks, while striking out 124 in 193 and one-third innings. He will be trying for his third post-season win while trying to even the series up at two games apiece.

The keys in this game will be for the Phillies to find some way to get to Sonnanstine with their bats, especially since he seems to give up very few walks. At the same time, Joe Blanton will need to use whatever knowledge he will have from pitching against the Rays’ batters in the past to his best advantage. The Phillies have a chance to take a commanding three games to one lead and giving the ball back to Cole Hamels to possibily clinch the crown on Monday with a win in game four.

More by the numbers: Phillies’ Offense.

So how did the Phillies do offensively both individually and as a team? First, let take a look at how the Phillies did as a team. (Comment: When I put down worst, flip it over as it really means that they were near the bottom in a particularly bad offensive category. So, for example, eighth worst in total strike outs means that they have as a team actually struck out fewer times then have the seven teams above them.)

In 162 games, the team had a team batting average of .255, 10th best in the NL, which puts them in the middle of the pack. Their team slugging percentage was .438, second best in the league, while their on-base percentage was .322, the league’s seventh best offensive team. The team’s OPS (On-base percentage plus Slugging Percentage) was .770, third best in the league. The team went to the plate officially a total of 5509 times, for 10th best in the NL, while they went to the plate (TPA) a total of 6273 (seventh) times. They crossed home plate a total of 799 times, tied for second best in the league with the New York Mets. They had 1407 hits, once again for 10th place in the NL. Of those hits, 291 of them were doubles (ninth), 36 were triples (fourth) and 214 were home runs (1st) for a total of 541 Extra-Base Hits (2nd) and 2412 total bases (third). They had 762 RBIs (second), of which only 40 came via a sacrifice fly (12th). They had 71 sacrifice hits, which tied them for fourth place with the St. Louis Cardinals. They walked a total of 586 times (fifth) of which 68 were intentional (second). They were also hit by the pitch 67 times (fourth). They would strike out a total of 1117 times, for eighth worst in the league. They stole 136 bases (third), while being caught only 25 times (13th worst), giving them a SB% (Stolen Base Percentage) of 84.5, the best in the NL. They would hit into 108 double plays, for 12th worst in the league. They saw 24,124 pitches (sixth). They made 1516 ground outs (fourth most) and the same number of fly outs (1516, also fourth) for a GO/AO (Ground Out to Fly Out ratio) of 1.14 (11th worst).

Put together, this means that during the regular season, the Phillies was an offensive machine who, although they didn’t get many hits, were very likely to kill you with extra-base hits, mainly home runs and triples, and would score a lot of runs off of their opponents’ pitching. They were also a team that could get on base via the walk, partly because the opposing team would rather not allow themselves to be beaten by their big men. They would also steal a lot of bases and knew when to pick their spots when they did so. Overall, they would strike out very little and would hit into very few double plays. If they had an achillies’ heel, the team did not hit too many sacrifice flies, meaning that they didn’t do much small ball, although they did know how to move the runners over when they needed to. Also, they were an about average team when it came to taking opposing teams’ pitchers deep into counts.

Now individually. Ryan Howard lead the NL in most Home Runs (48) and RBIs (146), while ninth in runs scored (105) and sixth in slugging percentage (.543). Chase Utley was tied for 19th in batting avg. (.292), tied for ninth in home runs (33), eleventh in RBIs (104), tied for fifth in runs scored (113), tenth in hits (177), tenth in doubles (41) and ninth in slugging percentage (.535). Shane Victorino was the Phillies regular with the highest batting avg. (.293) which was 18th in the NL. He was also 13th in runs scored (102), sixth in stolen bases (36), and 5th in triples (8). Pat Burrell was tied for ninth in home runs (33) and tied for 20th in slugging percentage (.507). Jimmy Rollins was third in stolen bases with 47, tied for 18th in doubles (38), and fourth in triples (9).

This means that this is a very dangerous hitting club that should not be taken lightly, while the team’s star players were all, in their own ways, able to did a lot of damage to opposing teams’ pitching when they were given the chance to do so. 

National League Championship Series: Game 5: The Phillies Win the Pennant!!! The Phillies Win the Pennant!!!

Behind the five hit pitching of the National League Championship Series MVP Cole Hamels, the Phillies have defeated the Dodgers, 5-1, to win the NLCS four games to one. The Phillies are now in the World Series for the sixth time in the organization’s 126 years history and are now looking for their second World Series crown. The Phillies would strick first in the first inning as Jimmy Rollins would smack Chad Billingsley’s 3-2 fastball into the right center field seats for a lead-off home run, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. The Dodgers would threaten to tie the game in the second as they would put two men on base, via singles to James Loney and Matt Kemp, with only one out. But Hamels would get out of the jam as he would get Blake DeWitt to hit into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Kemp at second base. The Phillies would then increase their lead in the third, as, with runners on first and second, and two outs, Ryan Howard would get a RBI single, knocking in Rollins, who has earlier walked, and then steal second, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead, while sending Chase Utley, who has also walked, over to third. Pat Burrell would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Utley, making it 3-0 Phillies, while sending Howard over to third. After a wild pitch by Billingsley would send Burrell over to second base to put two runners in scoring position, Billingsley would intentionally walk Shane Victorino to load the bases. Billingsley would then be taken out of the game by Joe Torre and be replaced on the mound by Chan Ho Park. Park would then end the inning by getting Pedro Feliz to ground out, 6-3. The Phillies would then put the game away in the fifth. Jayson Werth would start the inning off with a lead-off single. Utley would then hit into a force out, 3-6, that would wipe out Werth at second for the inning’s first out, while Utley would beat the throw back to first. Howard would then follow with a single, putting Utley on second base. Burrell would then hit a ground ball to Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal, who would proceed to first boot the ball off of his glove and then kick it away from himself with his left foot, for a fielding error. Utley, who was running on the play, would then turn around third and head for home, while Howard would round second and head for third. Furcal, after catching up with the ball, would then uncork a wild throw towards home plate which would get past Dodgers’ catcher Russell Martin, allowing Utley to score safely and make it a 4-0 Phillies lead as Furcal would receive his second error on the play. Meanwhile, Howard would stop at third, while Burrell would move up to second, with still one man out. Shane Victorino is then intentionally walked to load up the bases. Feliz would then strike out swinging for the inning’s second out. Carlos Ruiz would then come up and hit a grounder towards Furcal, who would then proceed to commit his third error of the inning as he threw the ball past Dodgers’ first baseman Loney, allowing Howard to cross the plate with the Phillies’ fifth run, giving the Phillies a 5-0 lead, while allowing Burrell to get to third and Victorino to move up to second, while leaving the bases still loaded. Hamels would then end the inning by grounding out to Loney at first. The Dodgers would then try to get back into the ballgame in their half of the fifth, as Casey Blake and Kemp would both reach base with back-to-back singles. But Hamels would then get DeWitt to hit into another double play, 4-6-3, wiping out Kemp at second for two outs, while sending Blake over to third. Hamels would then end the inning by striking out pinch hitter Jeff Kent swinging. The Dodgers would finally score a run in the sixth, as, with no one on base and two out, Manny Ramirez would hit a solo home run, his second home run of the series, to make it a 5-1 Phillies’ lead. Hamels would then end the inning by striking out Martin looking. The Dodgers would threaten again in the seventh, as, with two men out, first Kemp and then pinch hitter Nomar Garciaparra would both reach base on walks, putting runners on first and second. Hamels would then settle down enough to end the inning by striking out Kent, looking, on a 2-2 fastball. In the Dodgers’ eighth, after getting out the first two batters, Ryan Madson would give up a single to Ramirez. After Ramirez would move up to second base on defensive indifference, Madson would end the inning by getting Martin to ground out to Howard at first. In the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies would hand the ball over to their closer Brad Lidge. Lidge would give up a lead-off single to Loney. Lidge would then get Blake to fly out to Victorino in right center field for the inning’s first out. He would then get Kemp to hit a deep fly ball to center that would be caught in front of the fence by Victorino for the inning’s second out. After Loney would move up to second on defensive indifference, Lidge would end the game by getting Garciaparra to pop up a 3-2 slider into third base foul territory, which would be caught by Ruiz for the final out of the ballgame, sending the Phillies into the 2008 World Series.

Cole Hamels would get the win, as he would pitch seven strong innings, giving up only one earned run on five hits and three walks, while striking out five. His record in the series is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA, earning him the NLCS MVP. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning of scoreless relief, giving up only one hit. Brad Lidge would also pitch an inning of scoreless relief, giving up just one hit. Chad Billingsley would take the lost, as this time he would only last two and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits and four walks, while striking out four. His series record is 0-2 with an 18.00 ERA. Chan Ho Park would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Greg Maddux would pitch two innings, giving up two unearned runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out three. James McDonald would pitch two innings of shut out ball, giving up only one hit and a walk, while striking out two. Joe Beimel, Cory Wade and Hong-Chih Kuo would combine for two scoreless innings, giving up only one hit (Kuo), while striking out one (also Kuo).

Like in the fourth game in Milwaukee, the Phillies would take the Dodgers’ fateful out of the game early with Jimmy Rollins’ lead-off solo home run. The Phillies’ offense would then knock Dodgers’ starter Chad Billingsley out of the ballgame in the third by scoring two more runs against a pitcher who has wilted under the post-season spotlight. The Phillies would then get their last two runs in the fifth, thanks to three errors by Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal, who would commit four errors in the series, all of them detrimental to the Dodgers’ hope for a series victory. Meanwhile, Cole Hamels would pitch a superb game, getting the first two Dodgers’ batters out constantly, so that Manny Ramirez would be unable to do any major damage against him, so that his solo shot late in the game would turn out to have no effect upon the game’s final outcome. Hamels was also helped along by a pair of double play balls that were hit by Blake DeWitt that would help to defuse Dodgers’ rallies in the second and fifth innings, while a Russell Martin strike out would help end a post two out threat in the seventh. The Phillies’ bullpen was once again superb as both Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge would combine for two shut out innings, both giving up only one hit.  

With the victory, the Phillies can now relax for close to a week before they will finally face the American League Champion on October 22 in the home of the American League Champion. Of the two teams, I myself would prefer that the Phillies face the Boston Red Sox, as that would give them both a chance to snatch the World Series crown from the present champs as well as get revenge for the lost back in ’15. But, unless the Red Sox are able to pull off another trailing three games to one-three victories in a row senario, it looks like it’ll be a Phillies-Rays World Series, Fox’s ratings nightmare come true. And if it does, I’ll be laughing my head off, as this is what Fox gets for trying to overlook a couple of good teams because they were hoping for a Manny v. Red Sox wet dream. Shame on you, Fox. And, let go, PHILLIES!!!!

National League Championship Series: Game 4: Two eighth inning home runs by Shane Victorino and Matt Stairs lead the Phillies to a 7-5 win over the Dodgers, giving them a three games to one lead in the NLCS.

Two two-run home runs by Shane Victorino and pinch hitter Matt Stairs in the eighth inning would help lead the Phillies to a 7-5 win over the Dodgers as the Phillies take a commanding three games to one lead over the Bums in the National League Championship Series. The Phillies jumped quickly on Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe in the first inning, as, with runners on first and second and no one out, Chase Utley would hit a RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled and has moved up to second on Jayson Werth’s single, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead, while sending Werth on to third. Ryan Howard, as he would make the inning’s first out, would make it 2-0 Phillies, as he would hit a RBI ground out to the right side, 4-3, scoring Werth, while sending Utley over to third. Pat Burrell would then follow with a walk, putting runners on the corners. Lowe would finally get out of the inning as he would get Shane Victorino to hit into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Burrell at second. The Dodgers would get a run back in their half of the first, as, with runners on first and second and two men out, James Loney would hit a RBI double, scoring Rafael Furcal, who has earlier singled, and has moved on to second on Andre Ethier’s ground out, 4-3, to make it 2-1 Phils, while sending Manny Ramirez, who has earlier been intentionally walked by Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton, to third. Blanton would then get out of the inning as Blake DeWitt would line out to Howard. That would remain the score until the bottom of the fifth as Lowe would calm down, while Blanton would constantly pitch himself out of jams. In the Dodgers’ fifth, the Dodgers would tie the game as, with two men on and no one out, Ramirez would hit a RBI single, scoring Furcal, who has earlier walked and has gone on to second on an Ethier’s single, while Ethier’s would reach third on Burrell’s late throw to the plate as Furcal is able to push his way through catcher’s Carlos Ruiz’s right leg. Ramirez would meanwhile move up to second on the throw, putting two men in scoring position. Blanton would then get Russell Martin to ground out, 6-3, for the inning’s first out, scoring Ethier on the play, to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead, while Ramirez would go back to second base. Blanton would then intentionally walk Loney to put runners on first and second with still one out. The strategy behind the move would work for the Phils, as the next batter, DeWitt, would hit into a 4-6-3 double play, ending the inning. After Lowe is taken out of the game by the Dodgers, the Phillies would then tie up the game in the sixth, as, with men on second and third, and with two men out, Howard, who has earlier walked, moved on to second on Burrell’s single and would move over to third on Victorino’s sacrifice bunt, would score on a Chan Ho Park’s wild pitch, while Burrell would move up to third. Park would then walk Ruiz to put runners on the corners. Dodgers’ manager Joe Torre would then come out of the Dodgers’ dugout and replace Park with Joe Beimel, after Geoff Jenkins is sent out as a pitch hitter. Jenkins is then replaced by So Taguchi, who would promptly end the inning by flying out to right. The Dodgers would retake the lead in their half of the sixth as Casey Blake would hit a lead-off home run off of Phillies’ reliever Chad Durbin, making it 4-3 Dodgers. Juan Pierre would then follow with a double. Durbin would then walk pinch hitter Matt Kemp, putting two men on base, still with no one out. Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel would then replace Durbin with Scott Eyre. Furcal would then attempt a sacrifice bunt. Howard would get the ball but would then commit a throwing error, throwing it past Utley, allowing Pierre to score, giving the Dodgers a 5-3 lead, while allowing Kent to go to third and Furcal to move up to second, with still no body out. Ethier would then line out to first for the inning’s first out. Then, on the key turning point of the game, Ramirez is then intentionally walked to load up the bases. After Eyre is replaced on the mound by Ryan Madson, he would help get the Phils out of the inning with no more damage as Martin would hit a line drive that is caught by Utley, who would then quickly tag second base with his glove, beating Furcal back to the bag, for an unassisted double play, leaving the score still 5-3 Dodgers. After turning back the Dodgers in the seventh, the Phillies would go to work on the Dodgers’ bullpen in the eighth, finally scoring some runs. Howard would start the inning off with a single. After Burrell pops up to second for the inning’s first out, Victorino would follow with a two-run bomb to right, scoring Howard, and tying the game up at five all. After Pedro Feliz would line out to left for the inning’s second out, Ruiz would get on base with a single. Torre would then come out and replace Cory Wade, who had given up the two-run shot to Victorino, with Joe Broxton, to face pitch hitter Matt Stairs. Stairs would work the count to 3-1 before he would hit a monster two-run home run of his own to right field, scoring Ruiz, and giving the Phillies a 7-5 lead. Rollins would then walk and steal second with Werth batting, before Werth would end the inning by striking out. In the bottom of the eighth, the Phillies would send out J.C. Romero. After giving up a walk to Furcal, Romero would get Ethier to hit into a 6-4-3 double play, wiping out Furcal at second. Romero would then be replaced with Brad Lidge for a four-out save. It didn’t start out that way as Ramirez would get on base with a double. Martin would then follow with a strike out, which should’ve ended the inning, but didn’t, as it would get away from Ruiz, allowing Martin to reach first base while sending Ramirez over to third, putting runners on the corners. But Lidge would finally get out of the inning by getting Loney to fly out to left. In the ninth, Lidge would pitch an easy 1-2-3 inning, as he would first get pinch hitter Nomar Garciaparra to fly out to center for the first out, get Blake to strike out swinging for the second out and then end the game by getting Jeff Kent to fly out to Feliz for the final out, as he records his fifth save of the post-season.

Joe Blanton would get a no-decision as he would pitch five innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out four. Chad Durbin would face only three batters, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on two hits and a walk. Scott Eyre would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits and a walk. Ryan Madson would get the win as he would pitch an inning and two-thirds, giving up no runs on one hit and a walk, while striking out one. His record in the series is now 1-0 with an ERA of 0.00. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits and a walk. Brad Lidge would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on one hit, while striking out two, as he would records his forty-sixth straight save in forty-six tries. Derek Lowe would also get a no-decision as he also goes only five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out four. Clayton Kershaw would go a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit and a walk. Chan Ho Park would get a blown save as he goes a third of an inning, giving up no runs on a walk and a wild pitch. Joe Beimel would also go a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Hong-Chih Kuo would go an inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on a hit, while striking out two. Cory Wade would get a blown save and the lost as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. His record is now 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA. Jonathan Broxton would pitch an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one.

The victory places the Phillies just one game away from getting into the World Series, as the offense is finally able to torch the Dodgers’ bullpen, getting five runs off of it thanks to a wild pitch and two two-run home runs. The bats would end up getting twelve hits over all, with all of the regulars getting at least one hit, with Chase Utley being the team leader, as he went three for five, knocking in a run on a double and two singles. Next was Carlos Ruiz, who went two for three, with two singles and a walk, scoring a run. Meanwhile, Joe Blanton would pitch five good innings, getting out of trouble constantly before finally being taken out for a pinch hitter. Although giving up two runs, the Phillies’ bullpen would hold firm for four innings, helped along by two double plays with Utley’s unassisted gem in the seventh being the more important of the two as it would get the Phillies out of a bases-loaded, one out jam. The Phillies now need just one more win to get into the World Series, with three chances within which to do it.

Game Five of the National League Championship Series will be played tomorrow night. It will be played in Dodgers Stadium and will begin at 8:22 pm Eastern (5:22 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (1-0, 2.57), who is coming off a good start against the Dodgers in game one of the NLCS on October 9, where he would go six innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out eight, in the Phillies’ 3-2 win. He will be trying to pitch the Phillies into their first World Series appearance since 1993 with a victory. The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley (0-1, 27.00), who is coming off a very awful start in game two of the NLCS against the Phillies on October 10, as he would last only two and one third innings, giving up eight runs, only seven of which were earned, on eight hits and three walks, while striking out five, in the Dodgers’ 8-5 lost. He will be trying to pitch a better game tomorrow night while trying to keep the Dodgers in the playoff.

National League Championship Series: Game 1: Two bombs in the sixth propel the Phillies past the Dodgers, 3-2. Phils take 1-0 Series lead.

Two home runs by Chase Utley and Pat Burrell in the sixth inning would propel the Phillies past the Dodgers to take a one game to none lead in the National League Championship Series, 3-2. The Dodgers would score first, taking a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning, as, with a runner on second and one out, Manny Ramirez would hit a RBI double, knocking in Andre Ethier, who has earlier doubled. The Dodgers would make it 2-0 in the fourth, as, with a runner on third, and one out, Blake DeWitt would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Matt Kemp, who has earlier hit a ground-rule double and has gone to third on Casey Blake’s ground out, 6-3. By the bottom of the sixth inning, Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe was in complete control of the Phillies, making most of the Phillies’ batters hit into ground outs, although a fly out by Jimmy Rollins would end a two on, two out, Phillies’ threat in the fifth, while Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels was keeping the Dodgers under control, dispite giving up two runs thanks to three doubles and a sac fly. But things would suddenly change in the Phillies’ half of the sixth. Shane Victorino would start the inning off by hitting a grounder to Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal, who would make a quick, high throw, to Dodgers’ first baseman James Loney, which would tip off the end of his glove and rolled into foul territory behind first base. After slowing down to make sure that he has touched first base, Victorino would move on to second base on Furcal’s throwing error. The next batter, Chase Utley, would then follow by guessing correctly on a first pitch fastball, sending it into the right field seats for a two-run home run, scoring Victorino before him, to tie the game up at 2-2. After Ryan Howard would ground out to Loney, for the inning’s first out, Pat Burrell would get the count up to 3-1 before he would hit a fastball into the left field seats for a solo home run, giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead. That would be the game for Lowe as Dodgers’ manager Joe Torre would come out and replace him with Chan Ho Park, who would then proceed to end the inning by getting Jayson Werth to fly out to center and Pedro Feliz to ground out, 6-3. Hamels, in the seventh, would have a 1-2-3 inning, as he would get first DeWitt and then Jeff Kent to strike out swinging, and then end the inning by getting Furcal to ground out, 1-6-3, as the ball glance off of Hamels right to Rollins, before he would easily throw Furcal out at first. In the eighth, Ryan Madson would replace Hamels on the mound. Madson would begin the inning off by getting Ethier to strike out swinging. Charlie Manuel would then come out of the dugout to tell Madson how he was to pitch to Ramirez. I have no idea if Madson actually followed Manuel’s orders or not, as Ramirez would swing at the first pitch thrown to him, a changeup, which he would line directly to third baseman Feliz for the second out. The next batter, Russell Martin, would get on base on a hard ground ball that would glance off of Feliz’s shin, which would slow it down enough for Burrell to get to it and throw it quickly to second base, holding Martin to a single. Loney would follow by hitting into a ground out, 4-3, ending the inning. The ball is then given to Brad Lidge in the ninth to close out the game. Lidge would start the inning by getting Kemp to fly out to right center, which was caught by Victorino for out number one. Blake would follow by flying out to deep center field for the inning’s second out. Lidge would then end the game by getting DeWitt to strike out swinging, getting his third save of the post-season.

Cole Hamel would get the win, his second win of the post-season, as he would pitch seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out eight. His record in the series is now 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one. Brad Lidge would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning, recording his first save of the series and his forty-fourth save in forty-four tries. Derek Lowe would take the lost, as he went five and one-third innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on six hits and a walk, while striking out only two. His series’ record is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Chan Ho Park would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Greg Maddux would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit. Hong-Chih Kuo would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no runs.

Until the sixth inning, Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe had everything going his way, having the Phillies’ bats under his control as he got most of his first fifteen outs on ground balls, including one that would lead into a double play. But, everything would change thanks to a lead-off two-base error by Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal on a Shane Victorino ground ball. After that, Chase Utley and Pat Burrell would guess right on a couple of Lowe’s fastballs, sending them into the right and left field seats, respectively, to give the Phillies the lead, a lead that they would never surrender. Meanwhile, Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels, although giving up runs in the first and fourth innings, was only in trouble once, and that was after giving up the RBI double to Manny Ramirez in the first, as he would, after striking out Russell Martin for the inning’s second out, walk James Loney, then watch Carlos Ruiz allow an 1-0 pitch to Matt Kemp to get pass him for a pass ball, which would allow Ramirez to move up to third and Loney to second. But he would finally end the threat by getting Kemp to fly out to right. The Dodgers would not put together another major threat against Hamels, outside of scoring another run off of him in the fourth, over the next six innings, before he would hand the ball over to Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge.

The National League Championship Series will continue in Philadelphia this afternoon, with the second game being played at Citizens Bank Park, starting at 4:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers, who is coming off a good start against the Brewers on October 2, where he pitched seven inning, giving up just two earned runs on just two hits and three walks, while striking out four, in the Phillies’ 5-2 win. His record in the National League Divisional Series was 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA. His regular season record was 10-13 with a 4.55 ERA in 190 innings of work, as he struck out 163 batters, while walking only 65. But, his record after coming back from a minor league assignment to help clear his head is 7-4, with two no-decisions, in thirteen starts. In two starts this year against the Dodgers, he is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA, as he went a combined total of fourteen innings, giving up only three earned runs on fourteen hits and five walks, while striking out sixteen batters. He hopes to do as well against the Dodgers this afternoon as he did against the Brewers. The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley, who is coming off his brilliant start against the Cubs on October 2, where he went six and one third innings, giving up only one earned run on five hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Dodgers’ 10-3 win. During the regular season, his record was 16-10 with a 3.14 ERA in 200 and two-thirds innings of work, as he struck out 201 batters, while walking just 80. In one start against the Phillies, back on August 25, he is 0-1, as he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and five walks, while striking out only three, in the Dodgers’ 5-0 lost. He will be seeing if he can improve on his Divisional Series start and avoid being hit as he was in his previous start against the Phillies. The Phillies will be trying to take a two games to none lead into Los Angeles while the Dodgers will be trying to leave Philadelphia with a spilt.