Friday, October 10, 2008

Can't Dodge Brett Myers

Throughout the game, you could hear the Phillie Phaithful chanting "Beat L-A" every chance they got. They Phillies complied, putting the Dodgers down 8-5. Brett Myers (above) was the star of this one. But it wasn't his pitching (which was mediocre) that won him cheers from the fans, and the win. It was the piece of lumber he carried around that won the game for the Phillies. Myers was a remarkable 3 for 3 in the ball game, knocking in three runs.

Brett Myers didn't pitch all that well, giving up five runs in five innings. Myers knocked in three very important runs at the beginning of the ballgame. The Phillies so called "big bats" were horrible in the game. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, and Pat Burrell combined for nine strikeouts. The bottom of the order, especially Carlos Ruiz and Brett Myers, picked up the pace. Ruiz was 2 for 4 with one RBI.

The other hero of the game for the Phillies was Shane Victorino. Victorino was 2 for 5 with four runs batted in. Victorino has been the definition of clutch in this postseason. In the seventh inning, with two runners on, Victorino saved the game for the Phillies by making a remarkable catch against the wall in deep centerfield. Victorino leaped as high as he could and saved extra bases and at least two runs. Victorino is batting .318 with 9 RBIs in the postseason.

Ryan Howard looked atrocious at the plate in this game. He was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. Howard has been as impatient and undisciplined as two year old with a big bowl of chocolate ice cream. The Dodgers threw all curve balls to him tonight and he chased them low almost every single time. Here is a rule of thumb: If you see a curve ball before you have two strikes, don't swing! 90% of all the curve balls were low!

I know this may sound crazy, but if I was Charlie Manuel, I would strip Brad Lidge of the closer roll. I would implement Ryan Madson instead. I know Lidge hasn't blown a save all season, but he has been allowing too many hits and walking too many batters. I think his arm is a little tired from the regular season because his fastball is not as fast as it usually is. He also had no control tonight. He walked Manny Ramirez to lead off the ninth. He got an out, then walked another batter. He can't do that! The Dodgers could have tied the game with a simple swing of the bat. Madson has been masterful lately, and struck out the side in the eighth inning of tonight's game.

The Phillies should be very pleased with their two wins. They are now guaranteed to come back to Philly for at least one game (after three in LA.) Manny Ramirez did homer tonight, but it proved to be moot. I would be happy if the Phillies took one game of the three at the Coliseum. Of course, I'd be thrilled to wrap up the series there too!

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