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!!!!!!!!

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