Is there a doctor in the house? Because by the end of this game, I was positive I would need someone to resuscitate me; Surely, I was going to be rendered unconscious due to the excessive stress. Is there some kind of pill I can take to remain calm during what is going to be a VERY tight series? If so, please pass the pharmaceuticals.
It was looking good in the first inning when Chase Utley nailed a 2 run homer over the right field wall. And in the 4th, Carlos Ruiz manufactured a run, driving in Shane Victorino from third as Ruiz was thrown out at first; the only real productive out of the night. At that point it was 3-0, Phillies. But the Rays slowly started to creep back into the game, giving me a real bad tummy ache L
Cole Hamels seemed disgusted with himself after giving up a solo homer to Carl Crawford in the bottom of the 4th inning, which made the score 3-1, but he has nothing to hang his head over. He did his job tonight and did it well. Hamels continued his post-season dominance by pitching 7 innings, allowing only 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. Ryan Madson came in with a 3-2 Phillies lead and pitched a perfect 8th inning. That was the one point in the game where, thanks to Madson, I did not feel lightheaded or dizzy. Or perhaps it was just the pills kicking in… J
Why the stress? The Phillies squandered many scoring opportunities in this game, which added to my potential heart failure. A few players tried to get rallies started – Utley, Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz were all on base 3 times each, but no one could knock them in. By the end of the game, the team had gone 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base. Jimmy Rollins alone made the last out of an inning 3 times, all with runners on base. Ryan Howard was just as bad, going 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts, and again, ALL 3 K’s came with runners on base. Of course, on the other side of the fence, BJ Upton of the Rays hit into 2 double plays in his first 2 at bats. Hey, thanks BJ! You are my favorite Ray of the day…a Ray of sunshine to all Phillies fans J
Essentially what I am saying here is that the Phillies need to do A LOT better with runners on base if they are going to contend. If Howard and Pat Burrell would stop swinging at pitches in the dirt, that would be “a good start,” as Joe Buck likes to say. I actually counted how many times Buck said either “good” or “bad” start at the beginning of an inning tonight and gave up counting after I got to 7. It got boring. Anyway, what would this team do without Brad Lidge?! He came in for the 9th inning and sent the Rays down in order, saving the day once again! Lidge is awesome!
So the Phils come away with the win, doing what they have done all year. When the big guys aren’t getting it done, the rest of the team steps up and makes it happen. This, of course, will not do wonders for anyone’s health, but it does make for some exciting baseball. And I am guessing that, despite the shaky offense, Joe Buck would call this game a “good start” to the series for the Phillies. Ok, I’ll go along. You the man, Mr. Buck! Go Phillies!
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