It seems like earlier this morning we were all celebrating a Phillies Game 3 victory. Ohh that's right, we were. The Phillies Game 3 victory did not end until 1:47 a.m., and they will have to come back 18 short hours later for Game 4.
Game 4 will feature a pitching matchup of Joe Blanton vs. Andy Sonnanstine. Sonnanstine, like the other Rays pitchers, has a good ERA and good record. Blanton never amazes with the stuff he had, but he just gets the job done, and still has 0 losses as a member of the Phillies. The Phillies have also won both of the games he has pitched in the postseason thus far. Blanton is the key to this game, as a good performance by him, and the Phillies could be looking at a chance to clinch the World Series on Monday. I can barely even type those words without getting excited for what could come.
First things first however, the Phillies need to come out strong Game 4, and put their emotional Game 3 victory behind them. The Phillies still didn't really hit with runners in scoring position, but they did generate a run, and finally saw some power from Ryan Howard. The Rays bats have been quiet this whole World Series. The Rays came into the World Series setting records for home runs in the ALCS. The Rays only have one home run thus far in the World Series, and it came in Game 1. You can't expect to keep shutting down the Rays the way we have so far, so the offense has to step it up. It is nice to win low scoring games, but at some point, the Phillies offense needs to take the pressure off of the pitching, and put up a large number.
Jimmy Rollins finally got the Phillies started in this game, and went 2-4 with a run scored. Utley and Howard hit homers. All of those things are good signs for the offense who needs to score some runs. The bottom of the lineup has done a good job most of the postseason, and continued to last night, mostly thanks to Carlos Ruiz, who had been great this World Series.
As fans, we need to do our parts again, and I think that the fans are a huge advantage in a close game, and there is no reason to suggest that every game this series will not be close.
Game time is 8:00 EDT, Blanton vs. Sonnanstine. Phillies lead the series 2-1.