Friday, July 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

A hitters' night?

Will the bats arrive for Game 3?

A hitters' night?

Fans greet the Phillies´ Ryan Howard as he walks into the dugout before Game 3 of the World Series at Citizens Bank Park. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Fans greet the Phillies' Ryan Howard as he walks into the dugout before Game 3 of the World Series at Citizens Bank Park. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)

You thought it was going to be a hitters' World Series between the Phillies and the Yankees. I thought it was going to be a hitters' World Series. Phils manager Charlie Manuel thought it was going to be a hitters' World Series. So far, though...

"I thought, if you had asked me before the series, I thought...this was going to be a series were one of either two teams hit," Manuel said before Game 3. I felt like whoever won the series...that the team was going to kind of hit a lot and score a lot of runs. So far, on both teams, it's been -- the pitching has been very good. It's been outstanding. And when I say that, the pitching has been what you call World Series or playoff pitching..."

For Game 3, though, that could change.

The history is somewhat limited, but a few Yankees have eye-popping numbers against Phillies starter Cole Hamels -- not a lot of power, but a lot of contact. Johnny Damon has hit .600 against Hamels in 7 plate appearances, Derek Jeter .571 in 7 PA, and Melky Cabrera .500 in 6 PA. Mark Teixeira has hit .294 against Hamels with 2 HR and 5 RBI in 17 PA. Again, very limited numbers -- but it's all we have. As a team, the Yankees have hit .286 off of Hamels.

As for the Phillies, their numbers against Yankees starter Andy Pettitte are a little bit more extensive, but only a little -- and they are grimmer. The Phillies have a team batting average of .219 against Pettitte. Ryan Howard is 1-for-9 lifetime, Jayson Werth 1-for-13 (a home run). Werth, Raul Ibanez, Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz each have a single home run off of Pettitte. And that's about it.

If the Phillies are going to get to Pettitte -- and they are going to have to get to him, or likely have a real problem winning this series -- it will be by killing him with patience, hoping that home plate umpire Brian Gorman doesn't have too generous a strike zone, and then pouncing on the mistakes that will not arrive with a lot of velocity.

Again: the Phillies' bats awaken tonight or this gets very, very difficult.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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