Last night, the Dodgers and Phillies played game one of the NLCS and everything came down to a fateful sixth inning. Los Angeles went up 2-0 in the top of the first inning, thanks to Manny Ramirez -- again -- with an RBI double; thereafter, Blake DeWitt plated Matt Kemp with an RBI.
Derek Lowe had things in control in the sixth inning; however, Shane Victorino reached base on a error off Rafael Furcal, and the Chase Utley homered to tie the game. Two batters, Pat Burrell hit his third homer of the postseason -- a two-run shot -- to make the difference. Cole Hamels was shaky in the first, but kept things in order with yet another post-season start for the victory. Lowe was good, but his two mistakes -- homers to Utley and Burrel -- cost them the win.
Like I said, if the Dodgers fall 2-0 in the series, it will be hard for them to come back. It was a very well played game yesterday night in the City of Brotherly Love, and I expect the same tonight in Beantown as the Red Sox and Rays begin their series.
I see Boston taking this series in six games and here's why -- Jon Lester and Josh Beckett. Lester has been an inspirational story -- whether you care for the Red Sox or not -- and has become a a hell of a pitcher, and Beckett, I think will bounce back.
If you add to that the fact that the Red Sox just seem to have that killer instinct about them -- Tampa might find themselves done.
A lot of people are discounting Tampa because of their experience, or lack thereof; however, let's not forget what division they played in -- the AL East. They used to the wild atmosphere of sold-out Fenway, considering they have played there 9 times in 2008, plus if you add Yankee Stadium in the mix, Tampa has played in a pressure-cooker place 18+ times.
They'll be fine.
I think Tampa is more athletic, and maybe even better than the Red Sox on paper, but a lack of a true ace may cost them the series.
Then again, anything can happen in the playoffs.
Before I go, I'll say I'm not all that impressed by the playoff coverage on TV at all.
Sometimes, I'd rather just watch the TV in silence and then get analysis on the internet, because frankly, I'm not liking what I am watching.
We all know about Tim McCarver and Joe Buck (last night was McCarver ever negative against Manny -- perhaps even rightfully so), but I am not a fan of the bells and whistles that Fox has; thus, I prefer TBS' coverage -- but not by much.
TBS seems to just labor through the playoffs and their analysis; however, they sick to the meat and potatoes rather than go into endless prattle. The studio show is actually rather dull, and not all that insightful; however, I did really enjoy seeing Curtis Granderson on the tube -- ok, LCD TV -- but everyone else I could have fallen asleep on.