King Cole on a Roll

 Brett Myers made a bold -- bold, I tell ya! -- prediction Saturday that the Phillies would not be sweep in the National League division series.

Cole Hamels proved him right.

The Phillies beat the Brewers in Game 1 yesterday, 3-1, to win the critical first game in the best-of-five series. but it was Hamels who got them there because the Phillies offense looked flat, and Brad Lidge made things a little too interesting in the ninth inning. Hamels allowed two hits and one walk in eight shutout innings. He struck out nine. That makes it one of the franchise's best Game 1 performances in a postseason series. Here are the others:

  • Grover Cleveland Alexander. Eight hits, one run, two walks and six strikeouts in nine innings in Game 1 of the 1915 World Series. The Phillies won, 3-1, their only victory against the Boston Red Sox.
  • Jim Konstanty. Four hits, one run and four walks in eight innings in Game 1 of the 1950 World Series. Phillies manager Eddie Sawyer shocked the world when he had Konstanty, who pitched out of the bullpen the entire season, start Game 1. But he had to pitch somebody because Robin Roberts pitched nearly every other game down the stretch. Konstanty pitched well, but the Phillies lost to the New York Yankees, 1-0. The Yankees swept the series.
  • Steve Carlton. Seven hits, one run, three walks and three strikeouts in seven innings in Game 1 of the 1980 NL championship series against the Houston Astros. The Phillies won, 3-1, on their way to the World Series.
  • Carlton. Seven hits, two walks and six strikeouts in 7 2/3 shutout innings in Game 1 of the 1983 NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • John Denny. Five hits, one run and five strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings in Game 1 of the 1983 World Series. It would be the only game the Phillies beat the Baltimore Orioles.
  • Curt Schilling. Seven hits, two runs, two walks and 10 strikeouts in Game 1 of the 1993 NLCS against the Atlanta Braves.

So Phil Sheridan is right when he writes "it was the stuff of legend, the stuff of Carlton and Schilling, the stuff that makes October baseball so special."

Now the Phillies just have to hope the right Myers shows up. The right one better if he expects to beat CC Sabathia.


Bob Ford thinks the Brewers look just like the old Brewers, which is a good thing.


Everything is magnified in the playoffs, and nothing seemed more magnified than those three defensive miscues the Brewers had in the third inning. Brewers manager Dale Sveum simply called them hiccups.


Come on, Dale. I know you want to keep everybody in the Brewers clubhouse calm and relaxed, but those plays flat out stunk. Bill Hall bobbled the ball, which prevented him from throwing to second. Rickie Weeks dropped the ball that absolutely should have been caught. Three-time Gold Glove winner Mike Cameron then took a poor route to the ball to allow Chase Utley's line out to turn into a two-run double. More hiccups like that tonight and the Brewers trail the Phillies, 2-0, in the best-of-five series.

Jim Salisbury also takes us inside the game.


Could Brad Lidge be tipping his pitches?

In his first 66 appearances this season, he averaged 16.7 pitches. In his last seven, which includes Game 1, he averaged 24.7. Lidge said he always has been a high-pitch count pitcher, and that this recent streak is nothing to worry about.

"If they weren't late on my fastball, maybe," Lidge said. "But they make an adjustment. They start laying off sliders in the dirt, let's come back with a fastball and see if they're on that, too. If they're on that, then maybe I'm tipping my pitches. But they weren't."


In the Phillies Notebook: Pat Burrell is back, Adam Eaton is sent home and more.


John Gonzalez offers his take on Lidge, Hamels and more. He also corresponds with Ford and Sheridan. Do these guys watch the game? Frank Fitzpatrick offers some observations as well.