Thursday, October 8, 2009

Game 1 NLDS Recap - Looking at Game 2

Honestly, I could not have drawn up a more encouraging win than yesterday's Game 1 of the NLDS. There were positives in just about every aspect of the game that should make everyone in Philadelphia even more excited about this afternoon's sequel with Cole Hamels on the mound. I want to point out many of the positives that I saw in the game and then quickly write about Game 2 and what could be important.
  1. We can steal all day on Torrealba - as we did (tried..RH) all game yesterday. When your starting pitcher steals bags you know there is a weak link. First post-season steal for a Phillies pitcher in the history of the team. Chris Iannetta will have to get time if we continue to steal as successfully as yesterday.

  2. Each of the 9 batters had at least 1 hit. This is incredibly encouraging especially with who was pitching yesterday and how our offense has been performing lately. As I wrote in the NLDS preview, if our offense is on, as it was yesterday, there is no stopping this team. I don't know if the rest the last few days helped or what, but all of the players were hitting the ball in good spots and hard.
  3. I watched the game on the MLB Corner feature online - this thing is cool! I had four views going - behind home plate with an awesome view of the strike zone, in center field, in the Phillies dugout which is hilarious to watch and along the 3rd baseline. I thought this thing would be stupid, but it was actually pretty cool if you're really into baseball....or at work, like I was!

  4. If the wind was not at 25mph there would have been at least 2 home runs in the game. Werth's would have been more left center and definitely way out and Howard's most likely would have been a bomb to left. Instead, we ended up with an RBI scoring triple and double off the wall - not complaining!

  5. We did not have to use the bullpen at all (thanks Cliff) which allowed the group another day of rest. We did see Happ up in the bullpen in the 9th which makes you think that Martinez will be starting game 4 and that Happ may have become the late reliever/closer - I don't know how I feel about this.

  6. Do Not Doubt Cholly! He decided to use Cliff Lee in Game 1, despite his recent struggles, and wow was he right! Now Hamels is coming into today's game with a nice 1-0 lead in the series and the chance to just about end the series. We can only hope he pitches like last post-season...

  7. Cliff Lee.

  8. Clifford Lee.

  9. C. L. - Whatever you want to call him, the man pitched amazing yesterday. He retired 16 in a row at one point. Allowed just 6 hits and 1 earned run in a complete game. Sounds awfully familiar (cough cough..last post!) to his first home start vs. the Rockies. Lee was one strike away from a complete game shutout but allowed an RBI double. No big deal. I have to say for this being his first playoff game, for a team and city he has been with for a few months, this outing was very very impressive. Yesterday's pitching by Lee is exactly what we hoped for the day that Ruben traded for him. I cannot wait to see him pitch again!

Game 2

Cole Hamels (10-11, 4.32 era) will take the mound this afternoon versus Aaron Cook (11-6, 4.16). We all know what Cole is capable of doing in the post-season. Last year, Hamels was 4-0 with a 1.80 era in the playoffs - he shoud have been 5-0 but that 2 day delay messed it all up. Aaron Cook, on the other hand, has pitched his last 13 innings while allowing only 1 run. He was on the DL in August with shoulder problems. The last time the Phillies faced Cook was August 6th - Cook pitched 5.0 innings, allowed 7 hits and 3 earned runs. Cook left the game with a hyper-extended big toe. Cook was an All-Star in '08.

The weather forecast for today's game is 67 degrees, sunny, 9mph wind. Today's game will not be changed by anything other than the will of the players. It will be a beautiful October afternoon to kick the Rockies' ass.

Hamels was quoted yesterday as saying that he truly believes the playoffs are a time to "start over". I am so excited to hear him say that. If Hamels can pitch anything like last year, or Lee yesterday, then this game will be another breeze. The Rockies will be swinging today - their team is too good to have two silent days offensively. Today's game should be closer than yesterday's simply because the Rockies know they have there backs against the wall...already. If they lose today they have an incredibly small chance of pulling this series out. They will be swinging and aggressive on the base paths when they have the opportunities. With this in mind, Carlos Ruiz can be a huge part of today's success. He needs to be able to keep the ball in front and call pitches in running counts where he knows he will have a good angle to still throw down to 2nd or 3rd.

I think the crowd will be even crazier today then it was yesterday. I was really mad when I heard that the Phils had the two early games, but after seeing yesterday's record setting crowd it is truly obvious that this town does not quit on their teams...even when they're supposed to be working...I mean seriously, what recession?


I don't like doing this for playoff games, but I'm really excited about this one. Hamels should go about 7 strong, 7 hits, 2 earned runs, 6 left on base. The Phils will win the way they know best and get two big home runs, 1 from the Big Guy Ryan Howard and 1 from Chase Utley. Phillies win 5-3.

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