Thursday, October 23, 2008

2008 World Series Phillies @ Rays

2008 Topps Highlights Relics HR-CU Chase Utley

Obviously the player of the game is Cole Hamels, Since we featured him yesterday today's nod goes out to Chase Utley for both his homer and the fact that he kept the pressure on by getting on base and stealing bags. Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge came in and shut door. All good for a 3-2 win.

that's the good

The flip side is P
hillies fans have seen game 1 before. Cole Hamels pitches a great game and the Phillies didn't hit. Hamels starts throughout the year have been a microcosm of the frustrating parts of the Phillies season. This is a team that one would think could hit it's way to wins, but instead it has been the pitching that has held them together - and no pitcher has been affected by their poor hitting more than Hamels. During the first four months of the regular season the Phils would have lost this game 2-1 - That is just the way Hamels good starts went.

The Phils had 14 batters reach via hit or walk and one addtional on the Kazmir/Pena error, yet only plated 3 runs -
Thats 11 stranded plus 1 HUGE out on the bases......

B J Upton throwing out Victorino at the plate.

The Phillies may have had Kazmir on the ropes then, with the heart of the order coming up and the bases juiced. I am all for being aggressive and realiize hindsight is 20/20, but I take my chances with Jayson Werth and make Kazmir throw more pitches.

Tonight the Phils face James Shields who has pitched well at home, conversely
Phils starter Brett Myers has pitched poorly on the road. On the upside I must mention that 5 of Myers last 6 road outings (all regular season) are quality starts. Regardless, I am not thinking three runs will do it for the Phils tonight - The Rays are going to get more than 5 hits and I m not seeing Upton & Longoria going a combined 0-8 again. As for the Phils offensive, if they are fortunate enough to get 15 runners on tonight they need to get a few more of them around the bases. Ryan Howard looked pretty lost last night but he did work 9 pitch walk at some point, The Phils need something out of him or Burrell. Some offense out of lead-off man Jimmy Rollins would also be a big lift.

And for some offensive Mojo and to add a little symmetry to this post we will go with a Ryan Howard relic from the same set as the Utley card above.

2008 Topps Highlights Relics HR-RH Ryan Howard

For a different angle on the game check out Fielder's Choice.

Go Phils!

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a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions