Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fightens off to the start they needed

The Phils got to off to an incredible 2-0 start after two dominating starts by pitchers Cole Hamels and Brett Myers. Putting the ball in Cole's hand for Game 1 was obviously a no brainer, but fans might not have expected him to be as dominate as he was. Cole gave up only 2 hits in his 8 innings of working and striking out 9, allowing Princess ( sorry i mean Prince) Fielder to reach a 3 K hat trick. However, the 8 innings were controversial, because many expected him to have pitched in the 9th. However Lidge came out and saved the day, not to forget making Phils fans very nervous. But that was yesterday's news so let us focus on the Myers show that took place tonight.
After having a rocky last 2 starts, Myers was leading the Phils into a game where many might have seen them as the underdogs. Stud C.C. Sabathia was Myers's counter part in tonight's match up. On paper, Sabathia was 11-2, and was sure to win yet again, despite this being his 4th start in a row on only 3 days rest. However, all streaks must come to an end, and the Phils were ready to show Sabathia what happens when a pitcher is tired and has been over worked. Myers was the one who looked a little rusty, after not having pitched for a week. Myers let up 3 walks in the 1st, and walked in Ray Durham. Now, what seemed to be an innings from hell, turned into a huge sigh of relief after Myers got Right-fielder Corey Hart to ground into an innings saving double play. The Fightens wasted little time, and in the 2nd innings put up a 5 spot on Mr. Sabathia, including Shane Victorino's grand salami. Brett Myers however was probably the one who made all of this possible. Hanging in a 9 pitch at bat against C.C, Brett drew a walk which turned the lineup over, and eventually led to Vic coming to the plate after JRoll was served yet another walk. From then on, Brett looked pretty flawless despite the 2nd run he surrendered to Hardy on a Craig Counsell ground out. The bullpen again came out and did a terrific job securing a virtual lock down on the series for the Phils. Brad Lidge did not make me sweat for the first time in a very long while. 43 for 43 and looking to keep the perfect streak going.
Yesterday, the Phils offense quieted and was almost non existant after the Utley double that put them on the board to never look back. Although the Phils offense seemed much more alive tonight, getting 9 hits, the Phils left 10 men stranded on base, and 6 of them in scoring position. This is a encouraging, and discouraging stat. The Phils stole 4 bases tonight to put men into scoring position. That is good because they took advantage of running on Sabathia, but discouraging because they came up short of driving in the men LOB. The gap was large enough that this stat did not really effect the Phils victory, but just something pointed out to keep an eye on. If the Phils pitchers are not as dominant as they have been the past two games, their offense must continue to produce. Although they have been doing well, there is still more that can and should be done. I am very encouraged by the Phils performance over the past 2 games and do not see them blowing this lead. The pitching should stay hot, and the offense can hopefully build up some insurance runs for their pitchers. Next, the Phils hand the ball to vet Jamie Moyer, who will be looking to clinch something else for the Phils; first it was the NL East and now a NLDS series win.
Watch out Major League baseball cause there is a team with its eyes on a ring and a title. They are the Philadelphia Phillies, and they are one win away from their first NLCS in 15 years. Lets go Phils and lets try and leave less men on base. Go Phils!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Welcome back to October Philadelphia

The Phillies are making their first back to back playoff appearances since 1977 and 1978. The Phightens ended a 3 year streak in '79 of playoff berths and we all know what happen in 1980. However in '77 and '78, the Phils were defeated by the Dodgers in the NLCS. This year, the Phils face the Brewers in the first round, and could very well face LA once again pending a huge upset over the Cubbies. However, the Phils are looking forward to having no team stand in their way of a WS title, and ending the curse of William Penn. But do they have what it takes this year? Will the pitching hold and the bullpen be as dominant? and finally, how hot can Howard and this powerful offense stay? Only time can answer these questions, and the answer better be the same throughout the month of October; YES! However, let us worry about one series at a time.

On Wednesday, the Brew Crew comes into town for the NLDS. Game 1 starter is set for Cole Hamels, and Brett Myers will probably and should follow suit. Myers has turned his season around since the All-Star and his curveball is nastier then ever. Jamie Moyer will look to start Game 3; love the experience of the 45 year old south paw. Being on the road, experience is needed from your starter and Jamie is the one to turn to for that. Their counterparts luckily will not send stud C.C. Sabathia to the mound until at least Game 2. He has pitched on 3 days rest in his last 3 starts, and I cannot imagine that would choose to pitch on 2 days rest to pitch in Game 1. Sabathia improved to 11-2 on Sunday, with an outstanding sub 2.00 ERA. Being that he will probably will not open the series, the Phils can take advantage and get an early 1-0 lead on the Brewers. However, even if CC does pitch, the Phils can jump over his tired arm. But if he doesn't pitch, then who gets the starting nod? Ben Sheets returned from an injury on Saturday and pitched well, but I'm not too sure if he will be the choice. However, after the Phils September sweep against the Brewers, it does not really matter who this line-up faces, because they have beaten them before. It's hard to imagine that the Brewers starters will prove to be more reliable then the Phightens. When it comes to the agreement of bullpens, I have to put the Phils in front by far. The Phils bullpen has been solid all year, leading the league in team ERA; not to mention our closer is a perfect 41-41 in saves. The Brewers pitching staff had a very poor September and injuries have hurt them. Although Sheets is normally dominant, I'm not sold that he is at 100%. The Phils have a much more settled staff and has not been effected by injuries. The starters have been solid through September and look to remain that way.

Both lineups are built around a core group of young players, and power first basemen. However, coming off a September with numbers no baseball book or statistic sheet could show you, Ryan Howard leads a much more potent offense. The Phils have been extremely hot recently, and everyone has been hitting well. Let us all hope that their bats do not go silent like they did against the Rockies last season. The Brewers have not been in the playoffs since 1982, and hopefully the Phils can send them home early. With the inconsistancy of the Brewers starters, the Phils offense should stay hot and advance themselves into the NLCS.

The Phils are too good and face a much cooler team then they did last year. This year, the Phils are the hot team and are seeking revenge. I believe they will be successful in doing so against the Brewers, and we shall take it one series at a time. Lets go Phils, and check back for a recap of Game 1 on Wednesday night.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

First shot at a blog

This is my first experience with blogging. A future admiration of mine is to be a sports writer. Therefore, many if not all of my posts will be about sports or some topic dealing with the world of sports. I hope to write a post every week recaping the Eagles games and a look ahead into the next week, and an overview of the NFL. I hope that through reading my posts, that I offer good analyasis and bring up interesting points and topics. Like I said, this is my first time, so it'san experiment. Try to not be so harsh on the comments as the blogs first start appearing. I hope to write my first real blog soon and hope whoever reads them enjoys what they read.