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Friday, October 17, 2008

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I saw Papi hit the homer to make it 7-4. I was yawning and thought about the improbability of the BoSox coming back in two innings or worse extra innings, so I went to bed. In a sense it is good. I got an extra hour’s sleep!

Let Boston win game six while the Phillies do all their intelligence surveillance of these two teams, then let the teams beat each other up in game seven. I want extra inning games in both to stretch the bullpens. Let the worse team win in seven, then let them lose to the Phillies.

I clicked a BL link and read Bill Conlin: The all-stars of red Octobers. What a stupid article. He attempts to select the best Phillies players at each position from each of the six World Series teams. Right at the start, he announces that he's not going to include the 1915 or the 1950 teams (he's obviously too lazy to do the research). For first base he picks Ryan Howard, then lists a 2nd and 3rd choice. For 2B he lists three players, none named Chase Utley. What and idiot! For SS he picks Rollins. For CF, Victober rates 3rd place. Then he really gets lazy when it comes to pitching. He only lists a 1st place finisher, so Cole Hamels is left off the list. I guess Conlin got too tired at the end of his article to write in 2nd and 3rd place winners. Maybe the dumb writer (Conlin) should have waited until after the WS to write his article, then he'd have more facts to work with. Ahh, no. He'll be napping after the WS.

"The tubs of champagne, which had been sitting in tubs on carts, were quickly wheeled out of view."

That sucks.

Fred, how he left 2B Bert Niehoff from the 1915 team with his .238/.280/.308 line off the All Time list I'll never know.

I assume he was ONE HELL of a defensive 2B. .

That comeback last night was incredible. One thing for sure with the Red Sox is that you can NEVER count them out until the third out is made to clinch the series. This team just knows how to win and they have clutch, winning players. I mean they looked dead in the 5th inning and lifeless and next thing you know they are right back in it and then they win.

I have to admit that both Tampa Bay and the Red Sox scare the crap out of me as World Series opponents. Tampa Bay is just so talented and balanced from top to bottom and from the bullpen (well not last night) to the rotation. Their management has done an unbelievable job of assembling this great, young team. They are going to be competitive for years with this team. Hopefully they aren't like the Marlins and just trade everyone when they become arbitration eligible because it is a fun and exciting team to watch. Longoria at CBP is scary.

The Red Sox on paper would seem like the easier opponent. Beckett clearly isn't 100%. Dice-K doesn't last past 5 innings so he doesn't scare me. Their bullpen is shaky until Papelbon. They don't have Lowell and Manny. The bottom half of their lineup looks like a spring training lineup at times. HOWEVER, they just win. They win with their backs against the wall. They are made up of players that know how to win. They never die. They do have Lester, who already shut out the Phillies once this year if I remember correctly. They still have Ortiz, who even if he is 0-20 with 20 K's is still dangerous, Dustin and Youkalis are as good as anyone now and both clutch, Bay and Drew are solid and have come through in big situations too.

No matter who we face we have this Saturday and possibily Sunday to really enjoy what should be some great games. I can't pick a winner on Saturday. It'll be fun to sit back and watch them fight for the right to face our Phillies in the WORLD SERIES.

LF: Just read Conlin's article and have to agree with you. That was one of the laziest articles (and a dumb topic to begin with) I have ever seen written. Horrendous actually. How Utley was left off and Morandini put on? That article was just all over the place.

And besides, who cares? Why compare this to '93, '83, or '80? This isn't about them right now. It's about this 2008 team putting there own mark in Phillies history. This is about Jimmy Rollins, who predicted we would win 100 games and we are now 1 away from that statement. It's about Cole Hamels, who quieted his critics that he couldn't come through in big games. It's about Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, the two hosuehold names who put fans on the edge of their sear everytime they pick up a bat and stroll to the plate. It's about Victober, Lights Out Lidge, the suddenly strong bullpen, the Dobbs/Feliz debate, Pat the Bat and Brett the Bat, and Grampa Moyer. This is what it's about right now. All of these pieces of the puzzle coming together, and as JW said previously, it smells like destiny. But most of all, it's about 4 more wins. Four more wins and we can celebrate like we never have before.

Oh, and let's not forget. We haven't had to hear a mid-inning Tom McCarthy report for almost a month now during a playoff run! Woo!

The Red Sox have experience, while the Rays have young talent. Either team will present a challenge, but this is not the time of year we get to play the Nationals. They both are good -- but so are we. To me, Howard and Myers are the keys. If they both show up, there will be a parade down Broad Street. With any luck, the ALCS will go 7 and we'll have an advantage going in.

The whole idea of wanting the Sox and Rays beat each other up over seven games while the Phils sit back and watch sounds like an advantage, but most of the time it isn't. Momentum is often just as important to winning as talent.

Look at the last two years. The Tigers in '06 and Rockies in '07 each swept their CS opponents and waited for a week while the opposing leagues' teams went to seven games. Then the Tigers and Rockies went a combined 1-8 in the World Series.

Still, with the ALCS going at least six games, the Rays starting rotation will be affected. If the World Series goes 6 or 7, then I think the Phils will have some advantage from the rest. They just need to do whatever they can to avoid rust in the first few games.

Len, It's easy for "management to do an unbelievable job of assembling" a great team when you get the top draft pick every year. They even let Josh Hamilton go and don't miss him. It took awhile for the team to mature but they are sure for real now.

I hope the Rays wrap it up in 6 tonight. Their starting rotation will be altered, they will have a black eye on their bull pen and they will have 3 days to cool off their bats.

Going into Tampa is not as scary as Fenway.

That said, they are a very tough opponent and have loads of talent all over. It will be a fight.

I just think tha attitude of this Phillies team this year negates any momentum.
I haven't seen an NL team in a while going into the WS with this kind of "It's not even a question if we're going to win" mentality.
When they were supposed to win they went out and won. I can't say that for either the Sox or Rays they've both shown chinks in their armor. To me it looks like the Rays got lazy in the 8th and 9th inning almost expecting to win as if it were some foregone conclusion. They didn't seem urgent. The Phillies went out and said to LA and Milwauke "this ends now!"
I didn't see the "we'll get em tommorrow attitude" that the sox seemed to have in this series or the "we got this locked up" attitude the rays had last night.

Maybe I'm wrong but I got a sense this team right now is a team playing with unfinished business. These Phillies just seem to have that "killer" mentality and the "how dare you assume victory" attitude.

I think to beat the Phils right now in a best of 7 you're gonna have to play perfect because if you make mistakes they're going to punish you for it. I don't see either AL team as perfect.

Also I love the fact that this is a team (phillies) I forget which sports journalist said it in a post game show but basically the line was.
"This is a tough team to string wins together against". It's true I don't remember the phillies this year having losing streaks and to win in the post season you need to string some wins together.

Last night if anything made me less scared of these AL teams not more. It's just up to the phillies right now to go out and keep that same "WE know we're going to win, So F@#! you." attitude they've had all post season.

That comeback was largely fueled last night by TB. Maddon made some questionable decisions with his BP and defense. With 2 outs you don't play no doubles defense in the OF? You leave Wheeler out there when it's apparent he's got nothing to give away a 3-run lead?

It's as if he conceded this game. Stupid.

About the dead time, I don't know if its ever been done before, but maybe trying to have a short exhibition game against a minor league team to stay fresh, and possibly have Cole pitch a simulated game so he would be on 5 days rest come Wed. Prob would never happen, but our offense has been sluggish without a huge break, really dont feel like having it get stuck in the mud.

I originally wanted the Red Sox. But I don't want a Red Sox team that will have won 3 in a row to complete an improbably comeback.

Can you imagine the Phils playing a exhibition game and someone getting hurt? I can only imagine the reaction. Still, it must be torture for these guys. I'm sure they wish they were starting the series right now. I know I'd like to take a nap and wake up on Wednesday.

Like some of you, I am a bit concerned about the one week lay-over we have. Baseball is a sport that relies pretty heavily on routine and habit. I know our phils have a great mentality going on during this post-season; however, I'm wondering if this week-downtime might have them pressing too hard once the WS starts.

I agree with everyone about Conlin's article. Since Bill Lyon retired, there hasn't been anyone locally that can hold a candle. The only guy I like in the Philly media is Zolecki, and that is because of the level of detail and not necessarily because he writes well or provides insight. Does anyone know a journalist in town who isn't lazy, writes well, and writes intelligently?

Squatter, yes, his name is Jason Weitzel.

IT seems the DH is a big issue coming up and the talk revolves around whether Burrell fills that role. Why wouldn't we put Howard in at DH so he can stop butchering balls in teh field? Burrell may be slow, but at least he can catch and throw.

I agree with BobbyD: Coming back from 3-1 in the ALCS has worked pretty well for the Sox; I don't want to be this year's Cardinals or Rockies.

Ideal would be for the Rays to JUST clinch tomorrow night. They've got it in their heads that the pen can't necessarily be trusted with a seven-run lead, and they're on their heels a little bit.

Ideally, they win tomorrow because Beckett is struggling. Perfect scenario: Beckett stinks in the first, and the Rays score about 6; then they get all but shut down for the rest of the game, and the Sox score 5 on Shields, maybe rough him a little bit.

I don't think we *need* the Sox to do our work for us, but it wouldn't hurt if they did.

You know, maybe Lyon was good at one time, but during the years I was reading him, from 2000 on, he was awful. Just tries way too hard.

hey folks, wanted to post a quick heads up that carlos ruiz will be meeting fans and signing free autographs on saturday between 4 and 5:30 in the showroom at northeast lincoln mercury, at tyson and the boulevard in ne philly. i've met carlos several times, and he's a really good guy and will sign pretty much anything you bring him. he's usually cool with posing for photos with people and such, too. northeast lincoln did this last year too, and they gave away some sweet 8x10 photos for carlos to sign, so hopefully they'll have those again for people. worth a stop if you're local.

Re: Phillies WS Rotation

There is no reason to change Hamels' and Myers' role in the WS. They will pitch games 1, 2, 5 and 6. The only quesiton is whether it's Moyer in 3 and Blanton in 4 or the other way around... and then, based on their performance, we'd know who would pitch game 7.

If you change Hamels and/or Myers to get a better starter in game 7, than you are managing to get the series to seven games. I'd prefer winning it in 5 or 6 games. Manage to get to game 7 and you'll definitely see it.

CJ:

That's a great point. I wonder if they will set a firm rotation of Hamels, Myers, Moyer, Blanton, or make a decision about the number 3 starter after the first two games. If Blanton's 3, he would obviously get the ball for Game 7, if there is one. But what to do with Moyer. I don't see him out-finessing either lineup.

Harv: Does the team with the long layoff have the advantage over the team that's extended to 7 games?

How did that work out in 2007?

Rays just need to take Game 6 and be done with this thing. We do not need a Game 7 as much as the TV networks are rooting for it. Game 7 means whoever wins it comes into the WS hot. Hot teams beat good teams a lot of times. And a hot team that's already better than the Phillies is not something I want to see...

If anyone has extra tickets they are not using and would like to sell for Game 3 or 4 please let me know. Unfortunately, I missed on the lottery. Thanks!

patterson.r.michael@gmail.com

doubleh: if the Rays win in Game 7, that means they won 1 of their last 3 games--not exactly hot. But if the Sox won in 7, that would definitely be a team that believes in itself (especially after last night).

As the rotation goes it may be out of the box, but I would consider pitching Myers in Game 3 instead of Game 2 since he pitches so much better at home (you also get his monster bat in the lineup). OTOH, that might put him in position to pitch Game 7 and I have absolutely no faith in him being able to handle that kind of pressure.

Great comment from the SportsGuy's column on the game. The Red Sox's 2008 roster just beat their 2010 roster.

Was Kazmir as good as the box score shows? It took him nearly 50 pitches to get out of the second inning (two walks in the first, one HBP and a single in the second). I think of his first 43 pitches, 22 were balls. It looks like the Red Sox ended up making it a much easier day for Kazmir than it should have been. In the end, he threw a whopping 111 pitches through just 6 innings and just over half (62) were balls.

I just noticed something hilariously ironic. Two years ago, I went to the Phillies spring training in Clearwater and the St. Pete Times was inserting these small posters in their newspapers that read "Phillies Phan Forever." The poster had a neat design, so I hung it up on my office cubicle and it's been there since. It's pretty funny now when I look at it and see the small "St. Petersburg Times" logo in the corner. You have to wonder how Rays fans would react if they saw it now. Some angry letters to the editor!

If the rotation stands, which I think it will, things still look pretty good for us. We'll need to take 1 in Tampa with Hamels and Myers going which is reasonable, 2 at home with Moyer/Blanton/Hamels which is doable especially if Moyer returns to form, and hopefully win game 6 with Myers.

If the worst happens and we drop the first 2, we lead at home with Moyer with the option for a quick hook to Blanton if necessary, and have Hamels and Myers pitch games 4-5 on short rest.

Yes, I know that's not ideal for Hamels, but when you're down to a possible 15 innings left pitching for the entire season it hardly matters.

Switching will give you an extra start for Myers, but if things are good you'll still have to throw out both Moyer/Blanton and if bad Hamels will have to pitch on short rest anyway, leaving game 7 up to Myers instead of Hamels.

What it all comes down to is whether Hamels, with a title on the line, will go on short rest or not, and I think he will if necessary. It wasn't in LA.

Yeah, a week layoff worries me from a momentum perspective, but a full week of rest for Hamels, with the highest innings pitched, could be critical.

I think the Sox already believe in themselves, whether they win the series or not. As the sign said "Been there. Won that"

Conlin's article was one of his dumbest and weakest in a quite a while. Usually he at least has a few good stories/insights among his ramblings (columns).

Glad the Phils are getting so much love but man the bandwagon is getting pretty full the past 2 seasons. Still, bette to see them get the attention and accolades for doing well than performing miserably and being a non-entity in Philly like the late 1990s.

Momentum?

The Phils are 20-5 over their last 25 games.

New thread. Enjoy.

Yo, new thread.

What he said.

I have been predicting a Phillies/Red Sox series for 2 seasons and wanna see my prediction come through. But it will quite a challenge for the Phils whoever wins. Let's hope the Phils are up to it, especially after a weks rest. Hope they're not stale.

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