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World Series Game 1 Blog
Posted by Jeff Erickson at 10/22/2008 8:49:00 AM
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I thought I'd fire this up well in advance of tonight's game, so that we can get a few predictions out there. A lot of time has been spent talking about Cole Hamels and how much his two starts will mean towards giving the Phillies a chance. And justifiably so - he's been fantastic this postseason. Jamie Moyer might be equally important - right now he's tentatively slated to get two starts, including a Game 7 if it goes the distance. The Rays' OPS against right-handers this year was .778, but .726 against lefties. It's a far more dramatic swing in the playoffs, but given the sample size, it's hard to extrapolate further. Anyhow, the point here is that Moyer needs to use that platoon advantage if his starts are going to go well. He's been fairly awful so far, so it's hard to have a whole lot of confidence in him. I'm going to go with the Rays in 7.

For your feel-good, Olympics-style personal interest story, check this out:


I'm going Rays in 6. It's going to hinge on a couple of factors. You touched on Moyer-do you think the Phillies can win with Blanton and Moyer vs. Sonnanstine and Garza? I don't. BJ Upton and Longoria are hot, Pena will hit a blast or 2 and Howard will see nothing but a steady diet of breaking balls. I also give the edge to James Shields over Myers with the up and down season he's had, although he's doing ok now. The only chance the Phillies have is if the Rays bullpen remains shaky or at least a shadow of itself from the regular season.
Posted by kevinccp at 10/22/2008 9:30:00 AM
interested to see how the rays handle JMo considering they probably dont have more than a combined 50 ABs against him in that starting lineup - and those 50 probably coming from only carl crawford and carlos pena.
Posted by slambert at 10/22/2008 10:26:00 AM
I'm taking the Phillies, partly for the value, partly because I feel better about their bullpen depth (Price's electric, here-I-am-now, entertain-me debut to the side).

Tonight's game is probably more important to the Phillies; Hamels is obviously their best starter, while Kazmir is the most vulnerable of Tampa's big three right now.
Posted by spianow at 10/22/2008 10:36:00 AM
Phillies in six. My boyfriend Ryan Howard crushes four homers on way to MVP.
Posted by smckeown at 10/22/2008 2:15:00 PM
Rays in 6 for two reason; 1. The NL has to show me that they can compete with the AL when said AL team doesn't implode horrifically, a la my beloved Tigers in 2006. 2. Hamels is the best starter in the series, but I'll take Shields and Garza over any other pitcher the Phillies have.
Posted by cwmorgan at 10/22/2008 2:57:00 PM
Rays in 4. Philly will have trouble with the turf in Tampa having not played on turf all year. Rays will absolutely pound Moyer and Blanton in Philly sweeping the series.
Posted by mikepeck at 10/22/2008 3:11:00 PM
weren't there five backstreet boys?
Posted by rceisner at 10/22/2008 5:10:00 PM
Four too many Backstreet Boys, if you ask me. Awful rendition.
Posted by sixsigmagus at 10/22/2008 5:13:00 PM
Just got home from work here in Safety Harbor, about 20 miles north of St. Pete .... and there wasn't a soul on the road. Everyone must be home watching Pushing Daisies, I guess.
Posted by sixsigmagus at 10/22/2008 5:15:00 PM
FYI, if you have not heard, Sonnanstine is availble out of the bullpen tonight ... could be the first guy out of the pen if Kazmir goes just five or so.
Posted by sixsigmagus at 10/22/2008 5:19:00 PM
Why again is Manuel batting Utley and Howard back-to-back in the 3-4 spots, against a bullpen with three lefties (two of those being Price and Howell)? Recipe for disaster.
Posted by sixsigmagus at 10/22/2008 5:20:00 PM
Track, wall, crap. 2-0 Phils.
Posted by sixsigmagus at 10/22/2008 5:35:00 PM
Iwamura gets on ... Howard looks bad on that play, but that's all Hamels' fault for not getting over fast enough.
Posted by sixsigmagus at 10/22/2008 5:42:00 PM
I focused on the Rays' record against lefties - the Phillies also are worth mentioning, given how important Utley/Howard are to that order. That Utley was able to get to Kazmir early was pretty big.
Posted by Erickson at 10/22/2008 6:21:00 PM
Crawford gets the Rays on the board ... CC had played in nearly 500 losses over the past five seasons. Betcha he thought he might never see this day. Very cool. Kazmir now in a bit of a groove here in the fifth, but vs Hamels and that pen, might be too late already.
Posted by sixsigmagus at 10/22/2008 6:51:00 PM
Kazmir at 96 pitches thru five ... he'll stay in for Feliz-Coste-Ruiz in the sixth, but those are his last three batters, whether he gets them 1-2-3 or not.
Posted by sixsigmagus at 10/22/2008 7:05:00 PM
Upton 0-for-3, 2 GIDP, 5 LOB. Over at Baseball Prospectus' live chat, Joe Sheehan is skewering Upton for not hustling. Not sure I see that, but he's not giving himself much of a chance at the plate vs Hamels.
Posted by sixsigmagus at 10/22/2008 7:23:00 PM
Balfour gets Victorino swinging on a 96 mph heater to end the seventh. After his struggles vs Boston, he needed that. BTW, last inning, how was that not a balk by Hamels?
Posted by sixsigmagus at 10/22/2008 7:57:00 PM
Going into the ninth, Pena-Longoria-Crawford versus Lidge, with all three facing Lidge for the first time in their careers. K-K-popout; no surprise.
Posted by sixsigmagus at 10/22/2008 8:53:00 PM
And, at the stroke of midnight, we go final; 3-2 Phils. Iwamura goes 3-for-4, rest of the Rays go 2-for-26; the other bats need to show up tomorrow night. Signing off ...
Posted by sixsigmagus at 10/22/2008 8:59:00 PM
If I'm TB I'm happy because it looks like the bullpen is back in line. Bad pitch on a good count for Kazin the 1st. One mistake and they lost. I think they'll be back though.
Posted by kevinccp at 10/22/2008 9:02:00 PM
Phillies are full of gamers (defined as any type of player that Omar Minaya would never target) and have the advantage with the top of their rotation (id take bmyers ahead of anyone on rays), depth of bullpen and closer. Phillies in 5. Obviously helps to have benefit of game one being played.
Posted by djm1144 at 10/23/2008 8:04:00 AM
Runs to put money on the Rays...
Posted by vtadave at 10/23/2008 10:01:00 AM

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