8:00 PM ET from Tropicana Field
Outcome: So my Cole prediction for last game was pretty close. I said “7.2 IP, 5 Hs, 2 ER, 8 Ks”. His ending stat line was: 7.0 IP, 5 Hs, 2 ER, and 5 Ks. Damn good call if I do say so myself.
Now onto tonights game. Brett Myers against James Shields. How bad did Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard look last night. Well I’m pretty happy that JRoll will be turned around at the plate and batting leftie for the most part. He looked terrible on the right side last night. Ryan should see some better pitches as well from the rightie, Shields.
Brett Myers takes the hill for his first ever World Series appearance as that seems to be the theme between these two young ball clubs. Myers will be juiced beyond belief for tonight’s game and I bet he coems out a little TOO juiced and gives up some early hits, only to settle in and cruise through six solid (notice I didnt say strong) innings. As long as we can get him some support we should be able to hold on a for 2 – 0 series lead heading back to the Illa. I see this being a high scoring affair and the Phils able to outlast the streaky Rays.
Final: PHI 8 TB 5
Player of the Game: Chase Utley – 3 for 4, SB, 2 Rs, 2 RBIs
Phils Win! Phils Win!
What a game indeed. Chase Utleys bomb in the first inning proved to be the mighty blow that Tampa Bay just could not overcome and seemed to shut up those annoying ass cowbells for a minute. Cole Hamels once again pitched a gem of a game and moves closer to making his mark on baseball postseason history. Oh, he’s just now 4-0, with a 1.55 ERA, with 27 strikeouts in 29 innings. That makes him only the 10th starting pitcher in history to win four games in one postseason, joining: Josh Beckett, Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Jack Morris, John Smoltz, Orel Hershiser, Dave Stewart, David Wells and Burt Hooton.
Also, if Hamels gets another start in Game 5, he will have a chance to tie the all-time record for most wins in a single postseason, held by Randy Johnson (2001) and Francisco Rodriguez (2002). NOTE: all of K-Rod’s wins, and one of Johnson’s, came in relief. So Hamels is now in position to become the first starting pitcher ever to win five times in one postseason.
Carl Crawford and Akinori Iwamura were the only Rays that seemed to shake Cole as Crawford went deep on a breaking ball that hung out over the plate a little too long and Aki went 3 for 4 as well as driving in the Rays second run. The Phils had multiple opportunities to pad their lead but failed to do so, going 0-11 with runners on base and leaving nine men stranded.
Cole gave way to the best bullpen in the 8th. Ryan Madson came in throwing straight HEAT for a perfect 8th leading the way for Mr. Perfect himself, Brad Lidge. Lidge once again did his thang, throwing another perfect 9th while striking out two.
The Phils will try to make it two in a row at Trop tonight as Brett Myers pitches against James Shields in Game 2.
World Series Pitching Matchups
Game 1: Cole Hamels (PHI) vs Scott Kazmir (TB)
Game 2: Brett Myers (PHI) vs James Shields (TB)
Game 3: Matt Garza (TB) vs Jamie Moyer (PHI)
Game 4: Andy Sonnanstine (TB) vs Joe Blanton (PHI)
4:35 PM ET from Citizens Bank Park
Outcome: Manny Ramirez is still on fire but so is Brett Myers of late. With Manny only sporting a career .158 (3 for 19) average against Myers, I think Brett can keep him in check. Hopefully the right hand heavy lineup of the Dodgers has a tough time with Brett today and he can work some solid innings. I see Jimmy and Chase getting their bats going again after an awesome game last night. I think that’s exactly what Chase needed to break out of his mini slump there. Look for Chase, Shane Vic and Jimmy to have a great day and be extremely active on the base paths. I also foresee some Jayson Werth surprise action.
Final: LA 3 PHI 6
Player of the Game: Jayson Werth – 2 for 3, HR, 2 Rs, 2 RBI, BB
Outcome: Well if the Phillies were not fired up enough for this afternoon’s NLCS game 2, word that manager Charlie Manuel’s mother has passed away, has to put their motivation over the top. The Phillies can not let down skipper Manuel’s mother’s honor and be defeated this afternoon and I predict that the Phightin’s will come out bats a blazing. Look for the the Phils to jump on Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley early and often as today’s game will feature much more offense then yesterday.
Final: LA 4 PHI 7
Player of the Game: Ryan Howard – 2 for 3, HR, 3RBI, 1R
Brett Myers allowed two runs and two hits in seven strong innings, pulling the Phils within one win of the NL Championship Series. Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero worked the eighth, and Brad Lidge cruised in the ninth to pick up his second save of the young postseason.
Pitching on three days’ rest for the fourth consecutive start, Milwaukee Brewers’ starting pitcher CC Sabathia had his worst outing since joining the Brewers in a trade with Cleveland on July 7 allowing five earned runs on six hits in three and 2/3 innings.
Brett Myers was also a nuisance in the batters box as he took it to Sabathia with a pesky at-bat drawing a walk and dominated the rest of the Brewers from the mound. Philadelphia beat Milwaukee 5-2 on Thursday night behind Shane Victorino’s first career grand slam for a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five NL divisonial playoff series.
Some Quick Facts:
- The Phillies went up 2-0 in a postseason series for the first time since the 1980 World Series vs. the Royals, the only time they’ve been up 2-0 in the postseason.
- Shane Victorino, who had a bases-loaded walk in Game 1, hit the Phillies’ first postseason grand slam Thursday, his second career postseason homer overall. It was the second grand slam allowed by the Brewers in the playoffs (Don Baylor 1982).
- Victorino also became the first player in postseason history to have a homer, a double and two steals in a single game on Thursday.
Chipper Jones hit his second career pinch-homer and the Atlanta Braves beat the Phils 10-4 Wednesday night in the 215.
Then the Cubbies beat the New York Mets 9-6 in 10 innings, reducing the Phillies’ magic number for clinching their second straight division title to three. Three friggin’ wins, come on fellas.
The Phillies remain 1½ games ahead of the Mets. They will finish the regular season with a three-game series against the last-place Washington Nationals, starting Friday and look to capitalize.
Brett Myers pitched seven shutout innings last night and looked like the Brett Myers of old. It was a very nice outing indeed, but I’m not jumping on the Myers bandwagon just yet. When you think about it, facing the Washington Nationals will tend to give those type of positive results.
He needs to pitch at least two more consistent solid outings before he gets my stamp of approval. But God I hope he does. We need another sure fire arm in the rotation, especially with the Joe Blanton move not quite panning out as we had hoped just yet.
Myers won for the first time since May, Chase Utley backed him with a two-run homer, and the Phillies beat the worst-in-the-majors Nationals 2-1 Tuesday night. Myers only allowed four hits, and gave up one walk while striking out two.
Once again the New York Mets built a three-run lead going into the ninth inning against the Phils. This time, they had Billy Wagner ready to close it out.
Jose Reyes’ three-run homer snapped a sixth-inning tie and the Mets took the win as they rebounded from a demoralizing defeat by beating the Phillies 6-3 on Wednesday.
John Maine pitched seven effective innings and New York took advantage of a wild Brett Myers in his return from the minors to again tie the Phillies for first place in the NL East.
According to the Inquirer’s Jim Salisbury the Phils seem to have interest in Oakland A’s starting pitcher Joe Blanton. This year Blanton is sporting a 5-12 record with a 4.96 ERA this season. Sounds like another crappy pitcher that’s already in our rotation.
This move does not seem to help us in any way shape or form. Your smarter then that Mr. Gillick. There are a lot better options out there than Blanton. He’s struggled in Oakland this year, one of the best pitchers parks in the league, please explain how’s that going to translate to Citizens Bank Park?
In other Phillie News: Brett Myers’ next minor-league start will be Friday night in Florida for single-A Clearwater at Brevard County. The plan is to have Myers join the Phillies the next day in nearby Miami and return to the starting rotation July 23 against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium.
Ryan Howard homered twice and drove in three runs and continued to lead the Philadelphia Phillies offensive attack as the Phils cruised to a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday.
In other Phils news: The Phillies sent J.A. Happ to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Happ might not return after the break if the Phillies believe Brett Myers is set to return to the rotation. Myers, their opening-day starter, pitches for Double-A Reading on Saturday and likely will make at least more minor league start after that.