The Phillies were lucky. In spite of what could be a World Series record in futility with runners in scoring position (RISP), they scored just enough runs for their ace Cole Hamels and closer Brad Lidge to edge the Rays in a nail-biter that should never have been that close.
But a victory is a victory and by tomorrow, few will remember how ugly this was. Our hitters deserve a pass because of the long lay-off. - or perhaps it was those annoying cowbells. Whatever, lets hope the bats show up tonight for game 2. Brett Myers, even the Good Brett, is not Cole Hamels and needs a few more runs.
Game One Notes:
1. The Phils were 0 for 13 with RISP. Think about that - there’s only 27 outs in a game! If they were even 3 for 13 (which, by the way, matches their less-than-stellar .230 average in the postseason), the score might have been 6-2 or 7-2, making this tight one more of a yawner.
2. Speaking of yawner, Fox play-by-play announcer Joe Buck looked like he was leaning back for a nap in the 8th inning when the camera surprised him and Tim McCarver in the booth. (Sorry Joe, but Manny and Big Papi are not playing so get over it).
3. Included in the Phils 0-13 with RISP futility, were at least 5 chances with runners at third and less than two out. They scored only once on a ground ball to short.
4. Ryan Howard, Jimmie Rollins and Pat Burrell were most of that 0 - fer, looking like windmills most of the night. Fortunately for them, they heard a chorus of cowbells on their way back to the dugout and not their own home-town Phan-noise.
5. If Ryan Howard keeps striking out like this, his benefactors at Subway might have to come up with a new sub - the “swing cheese and missarella meatball”
6. The Phils might have done better to let Hamels bat for himself last night instead of DH Chris Coste. A few bunts would have been better than the production they got out of Coste in the 8-hole.
7. Fox field reporter Ken Rosenthal looked really really short interviewing Brad Lidge after the game. He should stick to interviewing Jimmie Rollins. (Oops - but Jimmie got an 0-fer)
8. Were my brother and I the only ones that had a hard time recognizing our National Anthem? I don’t want to seem mean, but it’s a good thing they didn’t bring that act to Philly or the media would be all over us for “booing the National Anthem”
9. I’m told that in the past decade, the winners of game 1 went on to win the series 90 percent of the time. That sounds great, but runners on third with less than two out have a high chance of scoring, too. Sigh………..
This Day in Phan History:
October 23, 1993 - 15 years ago today - The Phils lost their last World Series on a dramtaic come-from-behind walk-off home run by Joe Carter. A sweet game 2 victory tonight would be a nice way to rid us of those demons.