Blog Entry

Phillies take Game 1

Posted on: October 23, 2008 12:01 am

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The first World Series game in Tampa Bay franchise history, and wouldn't it figure that in the majors' most unusual ballpark, a most unusual occurrence would result?

It did not involve catwalks, doglegs or funky artificial turf. Instead, the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays produced this bizarre tale: The Phillies went 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position and still won Game 1, 3-2.

A productive first inning, in which Chase Utley followed a one-out walk by rocketing a home run to right against Rays starter Scott Kazmir, gave the Phillies liftoff.

Tacking on a run in the fourth when Shane Victorino scored on Carlos Ruiz's ground ball to shortstop gave the Phillies the final breathing room they would need.

Twenty-four-year-old starter Cole Hamels, in his World Series debut, did the rest. Well, most of the rest. Mixing in crisp curves, well-placed high-80s fastballs and the poise of a seasoned October man, Hamels limited Tampa Bay to two runs and five hits over seven innings.

Then manager Charlie Manuel went to his blueprint, employing set-up man Ryan Madson to work the eighth and closer Brad Lidge in the ninth.

So Philadelphia got a game it had to win.

And yes, even though it was only Game 1, you read that right.

The rotation matchup clearly favored the Phillies in Game 1 -- Hamels is that good. The rest of the way, not so much. Maybe you'd take Brett Myers over James Shields in Game 2 -- but that's iffy, and only if Myers is on top of his game. Matt Garza gets the nod over Jamie Moyer in Game 3, and Andy Sonnanstine vs. Joe Blanton is, at worst, a draw in Game 4.

None of this is to say that the Phillies can't, or won't, win with those matchups. Who knows, maybe they'll run the table and make it a short series.

If they don't win when Hamels pitches, it makes it that much more difficult, is all.
So they did win. And for a team that hadn't played a game in a week, a team surrounded by questions of whether it would be rusty, this was a very good start.



Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: October 23, 2008 2:25 pm

Phillies take Game 1

I could be wrong, but I don't see the Phils winning the first two in Tampa.  Look, the Rays are a good team, and I kind of thought they'd lose to Hamels.  However, I wrote this team off in the ALCS when they blew that 7 run lead against Boston.  They proved me wrong.  Everyone has been writing this team off since Day 1, and said they couldn't win a division, or a playoff series, or the pennant.  But they are still here.  I am in no means trying to take away from what the Phillies accomplished because they, too, have heard the same kinds of arguments.  But, they Rays just seem to have it together this year.  If they do win, and they keep this core team, then I'm going to be afraid for my BoSox in the future.  The AL East will be a tough division for a change.  Again, I could be wrong, but I'm picking the Rays in 6.

Wigga Please!
Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: October 23, 2008 1:56 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 23, 2008
Posted on: October 23, 2008 1:27 am

Phillies take Game 1

I am not worried.  Howard had a long rest and we know he always starts slow at the beginning of the season.  I think the rest affected him more than the others.  Hopefully he will be get back to form tomorrow and crush em in Philly.  I am concerned about Rollins.  What is his problem?  For some reason, right now I am remebering what he said about us Philly fans more than before.

Since: Oct 23, 2008
Posted on: October 23, 2008 1:18 am

Phillies take Game 1

What a win!  The Phillies went into the hardest ball park to get a road win and did it.  Even with the long rest and stranding 13 it did not matter. As for Howard and Rollins, being a sports bettor I believe in due factors.  Watch out Rays.  I clearly saw that the Phils have more confidence and experience.  As they should with their ability to "home run you to death" in combination with the Madson-Lidge combo.

Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: October 23, 2008 1:16 am

Phillies take Game 1

I didn't get a chance to watch the game, but have read some articles.  I have a bad feeling about the Phillies.  I'm pretty neutral in this Series-it would be awesome no matter who wins.  I think the Rays take it in 6, which I predicted while talking to my father today.  The fact that Philly won this game by only one run is scary.  Not only could it have been a blowout-it SHOULD have been a blowout and the fact that it wasn't does not bode well for the Phils.  I have to agree with the article-I think it'll be hard to win with the rest of the Phillies rotation. Hamels is great, no doubt, but the Rays match up a little better in the other starters.  So, should be great Series, which has been lacking in recent years, what with all those 4 or 5 game Series'.  I'm pulling for the Rays though(always root for the AL team).  Good luck, though, to all you Phillies fans.  Philadelphia has a great club too.

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: October 23, 2008 12:48 am

Phillies take Game 1

he needs to get closer to the plate. he is way too far off to do any damage. at least if he's up on the plate they'll start throwing him inside and then he can adjust to try and get a good pitch to hit. At worst he strikes out like he has been anyway, and there's a good chance he knocks a couple base hits to left.

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: October 23, 2008 12:43 am

Phillies take Game 1

Could have been a blowout, SHOULD have been at least a 3-run win.

What in the world is wrong with Ryan Howard? Struggling is one thing...but in his last at-bat he offered at the two worst pitches thrown (one strike, and one he checked for a ball I believe), and then watched two fastballs go right down the middle to strikeout.

Hell, we don't even expect hits or home runs anymore, but how about a fly ball to score a runner from third Ryan? Jeez.

Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: October 23, 2008 12:35 am

Phillies take Game 1

Hamels rarely throws a curveball, it's a changeup that he mixed in (50% fastballs, 50% changeups) and his fastball consistently hit 91-92 on the gun all nite.  Phils won this game without swinging the bats at all.  Really could have been a blowout.  1 down, can't wait til tomorrow nite.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or