Phillies Win Game 1 - Game 2 Looming

The Phillies won Game 1 of their NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers 3-1, in what basically amounted to a must-win game. It is always important to get off to a 1-0 series lead in a best-of-five series. It was the Phillies first postseason win since Game 5 of the World Series in 1993. I believe we had the lead in Game 6 in that series, until the chump Mitch Williams came into the game..... but I digress.

Cole Hamels came up large in Game 1...

Cole Hamels was clearly the story of this game. Hamels showed why he is the ace of this staff, and looked extremely comfortable all game. Hamels pitched 8 innings, allowing only 2 hits, 0 runs, while striking out 9, and only walking 1. Hamels had to be on the top of his game, because the offense came out fairly flat. The Phillies scored 3 runs in the 3rd inning, and those would be their only runs of the game. In the bottom of the 3rd, Carlos Ruiz led off with a single. Cole Hamels came up to bunt him over, but a Brewers error put Ruiz at 2nd, and Hamels at 1st with no outs. After Rollins and Werth both were retired, it looked like the Brewers may get out of the inning unscathed. However, Chase Utley ripped a lined shot to center, which Mike Cameron mis-played. The ball went off of Cameron's glove, and allowed 2 runs to score, and put Utley at 2nd with a 2-RBI double. Howard proceeded to be intentially walked, Burrell followed with a walk, and Victorino followed with another walk to score the 3rd run. Hamels didn't need much help, as he was dominant all game long. All of his pitches were working, and the Brewers didn't hit a ball hard all day. With the threat of rain looming, Hamels was retiring the Brewers batters handily and quickly. Hamels' performance is what you expect out of your ace, and he did not disappoint.

The game never seems to be easy for the Phillies though, and Brad Lidge was shaky coming on to close out the game in the 9th. Lidge allowed an unearned run on a error by Chase Utley when he fell down taking the relay throw from Jayson Werth after a Ryan Braun double down the line. The big at-bat in the inning came with 1 out, and Prince Fielder coming to bat representing the tying run. After working a full count, and fouling off a pitch, Lidge got him with a fast ball off the outside corner of the plate. Lidge then walked J.J. Hardy, however, struck out Corey Hart to end the game. Lidge threw 35 pitches in the 9th inning to earn the save. Let's hope he is not needed in Game 2.

The Phillies ended the game with 3 runs on 4 hits. Utley had the only extra base hit, and had 2 RBI's. Ryan Howard went 0-1 with 3 walks, including 1 intentional.


...Brett Myers must do the same in Game 2

The reason this game seemed like a must-win for the Phillies is because C.C. Sabathia takes the bump for the Brewers in tomorrow's Game 2. Sabathia, who has been the hottest pitcher in the 2nd half of the season will be opposed by the up-and-down Brett Myers. Game 2 becomes a must-win for the Brewers with their ace on the mound. The Brewers can't go down 0-2, and lose a game in which Sabathia pitches. The Phillies hitters should be able to come out loose with a 1-0 series lead, and nobody expecting them to be able to hit off of Sabathia. Brett Myers will need to match Sabathia inning for inning, which he has shown the ability to do. Unfortunately, we don't know which Brett Myers will show up this game. Brett Myers knows how big a game this is, and will be making his first postseason start of his career. He is a very intense pitcher, which he often uses to his advantage, we just have to hope he keeps his emotions in check. The right-handers in the lineup, namely Werth, Burrell, and Feliz have to come up big and get some hits off of the left-hander Sabathia. The Phillies must take the same approach that they did in Game 1. Even though the Phillies didn't hit, they were patient, and made Gallardo throw pitches. If they can work a couple walks, and foul off some Sabathia pitches, they should be able to get his pitch count up there, and hopefully get to the Brewers bullpen with a chance to win the game.

Phillies have a 1-0 series lead, Game 2, Thursday 6:00 p.m. EDT.

1 comment:

eleanor the dog said...

we were lucky to win that game. the offense needs to step it up more. CC pitches today, hopefully he is tired from pitches on 3 days rest for 4 straight games. go phil!