.... And Then There Were 3
The Phillies won Game 1 of the World Series last night 3-2 in Tampa Bay against the Rays, leaving them three wins shy of winning the World Series. I have never been alive to say the words, the Phillies won game 1 of the World Series, so this is extremely exciting for any Phillies fan, young and old.
The Phillies, who were supposed to be the cold team coming into this series having sat around for a whole week warmed up real quickly with a Chase Utley 2-run home run as the 3rd batter of the game. The Phillies got another run in the top of the 4th inning to make it 3-0 on an RBI groundout by Carlos Ruiz.
The Rays would not go quietly however, and answered with a run each in the 4th and 5th innings to make it a tight 3-2 game. The Rays wouldn’t get a hit the rest of the game. The Phillies took a 1-0 series lead led by the stellar pitching from mostly Cole Hamels, and then Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge. Hamels went 7 innings once again, and allowed 2 earned runs, striking out 5. He got out of a few jams, and induced two huge double plays, both from B.J. Upton, in key situations. Madson, who has looked unhittable this postseason got through the 8th, and Lidge mowed down the Rays in the 9th to record the save.
The offense did their job of getting on base, however, could not convert the baserunners into runs. The Phillies set a World Series record for futility by going 0-13 with runners in scoring position, the worst ever in World Series history. On offense, Jayson Werth, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, and Pedro Feliz all had 2 hits each for the Phillies. Those were the only 8 hits the Phillies had all game. Give credit to Werth, Utley, and Victorino for really doing good work on the base paths, and stealing 3 total bases, and disrupting the Rays pitchers multiple times.
Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins combined to go 0-9 with five strikeouts. This team really struggles when their lead-off man Jimmy Rollins does not get on base. Rollins will need to step it up this series for the Phillies to succeed.
The Phillies will need to do some things better if they want to win this series, but guess what? A win is a win in the World Series, so none of the bad things really matter anymore. The goal is to win 4 games anyway possible, and the Phillies are up 1-0, with 3 wins to go until the biggest celebration Philadelphia has ever seen.