One hundred down, three to go.
Jimmy Rollins predicted the Phillies would win 100 games this year. They got 100 last night. But what Rollins and the Phillies (and millions of Phillies fans) really want is 103 wins. Three more wins and we're asking important questions like, "When exactly is the parade?"
Game 1 of the World Series sure played like a Game 1 of the World Series. Big moments. Stress. Lots and lots of stress. But the Phillies came through last night at Tropicana Field, where they beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-2, to take the lead in the best-of-seven series. There were big moments like Chase Utley's two-run homer to right field in the first inning and Cole Hamels' seven strong innings on the mound. Tense moments like the Rays loading the bases in the third inning, only to have Pedro Feliz pick B.J. Upton's ground ball and turn it into an inning-ending double play. Stressful moments like those 13 at-bats the Phillies had with runners in scoring position, only to watch them go hitless each time.
Bob Ford talks about Hamels and how he is elevating his status as a big-game pitcher. John Gonzalez was equally as impressed with Hamels. Gonzalez, Ford and Phil Sheridan also talk about grouper sandwiches and baseball.
Jim Salisbury takes us Inside the Game.
The Rays had no chance against Brad Lidge in the ninth.
So which Brett Myers will show up? The stud that pitched most of the second half ... or the other one?
The Phillies were brutal in the clutch last night. No at-bat might have been more frustrating to watch for fans than Rollins' at-bat in the second inning. Rays lefthander Scott Kazmir had just walked the bases loaded and was very erratic. But Rollins swung at the second pitch and flied out to shallow center field. Upton caught the ball and threw out Shane Victorino at the plate.
Their inability to hit in the clutch hasn't hurt them so far, but it will if it continues.
Frank Fitzpatrick talks about those annoying cowbells and such. ... Kazmir's first inning sunk him. .... Chris Coste gets to DH, but goes 0 for 4. ... Like Coste, Ben Zobrist got his first postseason start. ... The Phillies silenced Upton, who has been HUGE this postseason. ... Are we in agreement that the Backstreet Boys' version of the national anthem was absolutely terrible? Like I said in an earlier post, these clowns had an hour-long sound check on the field. "My mike is up too high. Can you turn it down? No, now it's down to low. Can you turn it up a bit? No, tool loud again." Seriously, it went on like that for about an hour.
Shameless Plug Warning: Got this in my inbox yesterday from Triumph Books.
Phillies' Beat Writer Reveals Good, Bad & Ugly History
Move aside Donovan McNabb and Andre Iguodala, the City of Brotherly Love is about to embrace Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard as the city's next favorite sons. With the Phillies in their first World Series since 1993, it's the perfect time to start preparing for what is sure to be one of the most interesting reads that Philadelphia will see all spring. Long-time Major League Baseball beat writer Todd Zolecki, who has covered the Philadelphia Phillies for The Philadelphia Inquirer for the past six seasons, will author his first book this coming spring titled The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Heart-Pounding, Jaw-Dropping, and Gut-Wrenching Moments from Philadelphia Phillies History. Zolecki’s book will be available to Phillies fans everywhere books are sold in March 2009. The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Heart-Pounding, Jaw-Dropping, and Gut-Wrenching Moments from Philadelphia Phillies History will be the 20th installment in Triumph Books’ successful Good, Bad, Ugly series and just the latest to a Phillies book collection.