Saturday, October 11, 2008

Playoff Refelctions: Philly Goes Up 2-0, Boston Strikes First...

Last night, I spent much of it flipping between the games along watching the political news on TV.

Well, the baseball on the air has been somewhat compelling so far, and it is fascinating to see what has come about so far.

The first game, which featured the Philadelphia Phillies versus the Los Angeles Dodgers just two hours up I-95 showed why October is so unpredictable. The Phillies won the game, 8-5, thanks to the golden arm (ok, no so much) of Brett Myers and also his – um, bat – as he went 3 for 3 with three RBI’s and went five innings for the win.

Shane Victorino, also had a huge night with two hits, four RBI, and a huge game saving catch in centerfield in the eighth inning robbing Casey Blake of a sure double, if not a triple.

Chad Billingsley, who I thought would win, only went a little more than two innings in the loss and surrendered eight runs – all but one earned.

The one-man team of Manny Ramirez hit a 3-run homer in top of the fourth; however, the rest of the Dodger offense could not wake up and squandered a chance in the latter innings to make a difference.

Needless to say, with the series at 2-0 in favor of the Phillies, it could be over unless someone else besides Ramirez wants to help out with the offense.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia offense is tearing it up, and at this venture, they could end it all by Monday.

One more thing, my prayers are with Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel and his family as he suffered the loss of his mother.


The game of the night was the Red Sox and the Rays, down in sunny Florida – albeit, in a dome.

The Rays, in their first ever ALCS were stymied by Daisuke Matsuzaka and lost, 2-0.

Matsuzaka -- whom I really didn’t think much of coming into the series despite 18 wins – hurled a gem as took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and led Boston to a win. Tampa had chances in the seventh and eighth off Dasiuke to score; however, could not.

Jonathan Papelbon closed out the game.

An RBI single by Jed Lowrie, and one from Kevin Youlikis in the eighth made the difference.

James Shields held his own by a little only seven inning and giving up two runs; however, that could do little to stop the Red Sox.

Kazmir – who has given up 18 runs in 18 IP against the Red Sox in 2008 – is on the hill against Josh Beckett. The Rays must win game two or I am going to count this series as being close to over as they would have to travel to Fenway and win at least two games – a place which is nothing short of intimidating for anyone on the opposing team – playoffs or not.

Tampa needs to simply get on base and use their athleticism to beat Boston, and hope Beckett is off is game and still in the process of getting rhythm back.

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