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World Series Game 2 Blog
Posted by Jeff Erickson at 10/23/2008 9:46:00 AM
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Game 1 was considered a "must-win" for the Phillies by many because of Cole Hamels starting. If you subscribed to this point of view, and picked the Rays to win the Series, does your prediction change now that he and the Phillies essentially held serve last night?

By the way, I just heard a commentator suggest that the Phillies won because of "small ball" last night. Except for that two-run homer by Utley, of course. Which was just two of their three runs and gave them the lead. Besides that, we can just wish away that homer.


I am a subscriber to the "Must win with Hamels" theory for the Phils and I still think the Rays are going to win the Series. I think this will be another close game but these Rays bats wake up tonight against Myers and even the Series headed back to Philly, where I still like every Rays starting pitcher in the match-ups until Hamels pitches again. Rays tonight.
Posted by stanley_gibson at 10/23/2008 11:35:00 AM
Now is a perfect time to bet on the Rays to win the series. Their advantage is in starters 2-4.
Posted by MPStopa at 10/23/2008 11:44:00 AM
That's what everybody said about Detroit when the Cards won the series, too. What about Dome field advantage? How does that play out now as the Phillies took Game 1?
Posted by schwang2u at 10/23/2008 2:00:00 PM
The Rays may have the advantage 2-4, but the Phillies have the advantage of knowledge, experience, and bigger names. Why does Ryan Howard even swing at a pitch? They're all breaking balls and they're mostly all balls. Just leave the bat on your shoulder and take first base.
Posted by schwang2u at 10/23/2008 2:06:00 PM
Because his value is driving in runs, not taking walks everytime. If Pujols did that this year, he wouldn't be an MVP candidate. Great hitters have to expand their zones and hope for a mistake pitch and take full advantage. The Rays would be happy if he never took the bat off his shoulder.
Posted by stanley_gibson at 10/23/2008 2:13:00 PM
What gets me is this:

Brewers had the pitching advantage over the Phillies - They lost.

Then there is no way the Phillies can stand up to the LA pitching - They lost.

See a pattern?
Posted by hextall at 10/23/2008 2:18:00 PM
The Brewers had the pitching advantage? Really? I couldn't disagree more. They had Gallardo making just his second start since April in Game 1, vs. Hamels. They had Sabbathia working on short rest for the fourth start in a row. They had David Bush and Jeff Suppan in Games 3 & 4. No way that they had the pitching advantage.
Posted by Erickson at 10/23/2008 2:24:00 PM
John Kruk just said that the Phillies won because the Rays came out flat. No mention that they just happened to be facing Hamels, which just might have had something to do with the outcome.
Posted by Erickson at 10/23/2008 2:26:00 PM
Sabbathia had been lights out until that point, so much so they brought him back on short rest. That may have been a mistake, but everyone loved it at the time. The Phillies decided not to do the same with Hamels and it worked out.

What about LA?
Posted by hextall at 10/23/2008 2:29:00 PM
Kit calls John Kruk "cookie monster with a suit."
Posted by spianow at 10/23/2008 2:32:00 PM
That's pretty funny
Posted by hextall at 10/23/2008 2:36:00 PM
Kruk isn't biased at all is he? Don't be surprised if Cliff Floyd or Rocco has an impact on this game.
Posted by kevinccp at 10/23/2008 3:05:00 PM
I wonder how one measures "flatness"?
Posted by vtadave at 10/23/2008 3:29:00 PM
Heres an absolute guarantee- That dunderhead Maddon is going to mismanage the bullpen as he usually does (think back to game 7, 8th inning when he needed to bring in 3 pitchers before turning to David Price) and some lightweight "specialist" who shouldnt even be in the game is going to hand a victory to the Phillies.

The recipe for the Rays should be pretty simple- Attempt each game to limit the pitchers involved to the starter and David Price. Maddon's strategy is to get as many arms as he can into the game so he can benefit from matchups.

Posted by djm1144 at 10/23/2008 4:50:00 PM
Completely disagree Dave - I think Maddon's bullpen usage was actually pretty good. Howell, Balfour, Wheeler were all pretty effective this season, and there's some pretty pronounced platoon advantages to be had, especially against Howard and Burrell.
Posted by Erickson at 10/23/2008 5:27:00 PM
Big thanks to Fox for miking up Jonny Gomes - really useful stuff there.
Posted by Erickson at 10/23/2008 5:28:00 PM
As many breaking balls as Howard is getting, you'd think he'd learn to hit 1 sooner or later...
Posted by schwang2u at 10/23/2008 5:29:00 PM
above the knees to Howard?
Posted by kevinccp at 10/23/2008 5:42:00 PM
The overall bullpen advantage is to the Rays, not the Phils. The Phils have the better closer but past Madson and Lidge they have nothing.
Posted by kevinccp at 10/23/2008 5:44:00 PM
I wouldn't say they have nothing, Romero and Durbin have been very reliable all year...
Posted by schwang2u at 10/23/2008 5:52:00 PM
The Phills BA w/ RISP can't be very good this post-season despite being where they are...
Posted by schwang2u at 10/23/2008 5:55:00 PM
I wonder how much Kerwin Danley has on the game?
Posted by hextall at 10/23/2008 8:20:00 PM
1-1 going back to Philly....oh well. At least they didn't blow out the bullpen.
Posted by hextall at 10/23/2008 8:28:00 PM
I don't know that Tampa has the bullpen edge; Bafour's magical run seems to be over, and Wheeler can come unglued at any moment. I still give Philly the check mark in that department.
Posted by spianow at 10/23/2008 9:24:00 PM
I'd say the bullpens are roughly equal - Tampa is deeper, Philly's back-end more dominant.
Posted by Erickson at 10/23/2008 11:17:00 PM

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