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Thursday, October 29, 2009

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No team is ever as good as they look in a win or as bad as they look in a loss.

Expect the Yankees to come out strong tonight. Pedro will need to spin a gem to take Game 2.

However, we accomplished a split at minimum and beat their Ace (who looked very human).

That game was UTerLEE amazing. See what I did there? Anyway, that was the exact game the Phils needed to play last night to send a message to the Yankees, their fans, and the media that the Phils are for real and won't roll over and play dead for the sake of New York and their goons. Read Fox.com and ESPN.com's prediction for the series, and I think only 3 analysts picked the Phils to win. Like Rodney Dangerfield would say- "No respect, I tell ya, no respect."

I look for Pedro to pitch well tonight, because that's what Pedro does in spots like this. Having a 2-0 series lead heading back to Philly would be incredible.

From NEPP's Question regarding starting Lee for Game 4 from end of last thread:

NEPP: I am against it as well. No need to pitch him on 3 days rest. I would rather have him for Game 5 on full rest and ready to pitch, rather than throw him in there and hope he can pitch.

Also, a play that ISN'T being talked about enough is that heads up play by JRoll. When Jimmy does something wrong, everyone is right there to talk about it and break it down frame-by-frame. But that double play he made last night was "Utley-like" in that it was so heads up and a smart baseball play. I think Matsui honeslty didn't know what was happening, whether it was te language barrier or what. Also, the umps needs to be offered Kudos for getting together and making sure the call was RIGHT.

""Chase Utley joined Babe Ruth as the only left-handed hitter to smack two homers off a left-handed pitcher in a World Series game. Just sick.""

And the beautiful irony of that, JW, was he did it AT Yankee Stadium.

I watched the game last nite jawdropped for about 80% of it. Best world series performance I have ever seen in my quartercentury on this earth.

The other 20% of the game was spent trying to research if Cliff Lee was the monster that hid under Johnny Damon's bed. Inconclusive, but I would submit film from last nite as evidence of 'Yes'.

Also, I loved chooch's double in the 9th. I was fearing that he was coming off his hot streak, but that made me feel much better about the bottom of our lineup. Well, 'much better' as in not completely useless.

Chooch vs AJ career: 3-3 1HR 2RBI.

Let the good times roll.

****Also, a play that ISN'T being talked about enough is that heads up play by JRoll. When Jimmy does something wrong, everyone is right there to talk about it and break it down frame-by-frame.****

Other than the fact that everyone here thinks he's the best defensive SS in baseball and should easily win his 3rd straight GG last night.

If Jeter had made that play, we would never hear the end of it.

Gotta love it.

How did you embed a video link like that???

'Splain how!

Phils in 5.

And Pedro starting after that ball buster game.

I think someone said this on the Comcast postgame, "it felt like a blowout at 2-0."

Was that pop up to Lee ruled an infield fly? I assumed at the time that it was, making Lee's stylings amusing but not terribly relevant. I haven't seen any indication since about this. Perhaps because it makes a better story if the catch mattered?

The calmness of Cliff Lee was amazing, and I think it might have been unlike anything I've ever seen in a player before. I don't remember in all the stories about Lee at the time of the trade, stories about unique his demeanor is.

The guy looks like he has a pulse of about 40.

Barely cracks a smile after that weird catch of the pop up and the behind-the-back-snag of Cano's hard grounder?

Saying after the game that he's never been nervous, ever, when pitching in the majors?

Yesterday, there was a topic of conversation "Who needs to win game 1 more?" The consenses (on the ESPN radio) was the Phillies did, because the Yankees had the deeper pitching staff. Only one man (I forget who) said the Yankees because they were playing at home.

Amazing how blind people are. Clearly the Yankees needed the win last night more than the Phils. With a win, they had beated our best pitcher and could clamp down with another win against Pedro. With the loss, however, things are reversed, and suddenly the Phils are looking to AJ Burnett to salvage a split. Anything can happen, of course, but you have to like the Phils chances tonight against the erratic rightie.

Look at it this way, BP had the odds of winning the series at 60% for the Yanks before last night. With a win, it would likely have gone up to about 70 or 75%. Now, it's 60% odds for the Phils to win it all. Last night represented a swing odds of winning from 75% to 40% for the Yanks, which made winning that game amazingly important to them.

awh's postgame take:

Cliff Lee was lights out last night - but he has been for the entire postseason. So it's no big surprise here that he went into "the mecca of baseball" and dominated a good lineup - he's "been there, done that" already this postseason.

This is still a very dangerous lineup that Phillies pitchers are facing, and if anyone thinks this Yankee team isn't capable of taking 4 straight from the Phillies - think again.

I don't make predictions (I've given up because I'm almost never right), but I posted before the series started that BOTH of these teams are capable of sweeping the other if they get hot. One loss does not mean they're not capable of taking 4 straight.

My view has not changed.

Dangerous team, dangerous opponent - backed into a corner.

Do not expect these Yankees to go down without a tremendous fight - Jeter will not let that happen.

Yes, Cliff was great last night, but don't let his postseason domination of EVERY team he has faced so far fool you into believing these Yankees are not just as capable of putting up a 6-10 spot on the Phillies pitching as the Phillies are on theirs.

They will come out fighting, and AJ Burnett can be dominant if he has his command (just ask Ryan Howard, who has been feast or famine against him - mostly famine).

Here's hoping Pedro shows up the same way he did against the Dodgers. IMHO, he'll need to.

All the road team ever needs to do is split the first two games.

We beat their Ace and basically have forced Girardi to bring him back on short rest where he'll be easier to beat again.

p. Red......i have to make that catch my screensaver

What a masterpiece by Cliff last night!!! Perhaps the only comparable performance that I've seen in such a tight spot was Jack Morris in Game 7 of the '91 World Series or Beckett against the Yanks in '03... Let's go get game 2 tonight fellas...

Richard: Excellent question. My immediate take on it was that Lee intended to drop the ball if he didn't hear the ump rule INF fly. I don't think he was showboating, just playing smart baseball. Same thing on Jimmy's DP catch.

It wasn't an infield fly. For the infield fly rule to be in effect, there has to be a force play at third or home. The rule is intended to prevent the infielder from dropping the ball on purpose to double up the other team. With a runner on first, if you intentionally drop the ball you still only get one runner out, because the batter would make it to first on most pop-ups.

my friend turned to me at said play and said "whiffle ball catch".

yup. beer in one hand, catching lazy flies with the other. good times.

MLB hasn't posted the radio calls of the catch of the Damon pop-up. Is it because it's an irrelevant play, or too badass for a family game?

I'd like to hear the radio calls, personally.

Jayson Stark has his WS video blog up on ESPN. He's on it with Jim Caple, who obviously hadn't seen the Phillies play muc this season.

TAKE A LOOK


I hope, no matter how the series plays out, the silly talk about starting Lee on 3 days rest goes away. Lee has never in his career pitched on 3 days rest, according to BB-Ref. He should be the Game 5 stopper, period.

Dave: I thought there were 2 men on. Thanks for the clarification. I guess he was just showboating.

It wasn't showboating, it was an easy catch. Its not like he made a basket catch or anything, he didn't even have to move off the mound.

FWIW, I think Lee didn't think it was an infield fly rule, I think he saw it coming down and the spun a little more than he thought it would. It's not like pitchers practice that kind of catch 100 times a day. It just spun a little and he reached for it rather than moving his feet, as would have been more proper. It looked kind of funny, but all's well that ends well.

" Lee has never in his career pitched on 3 days rest, "

He's also never been in the WS either. If, on the off chance, the Phils are down 2-1 by the fourth game, you absolutely have to consider starting Lee over Happ/Blanton.

"Dave: I thought there were 2 men on."

Translation = "I didn't know (remember) the infield fly rule, but I can't ever admit it when I'm wrong about something."

Did the Yankess of two men on at any point in the game before the 9th?

"About being cool, I've always been that way. This is the same game I've been playing my whole life. This is the stage I've wanted to get from the time I was a little kid. Now that I'm here, I've already put all the work in, there's no sense in being nervous and worry. It's time to go out there and let my talents and skills take over and execute pitches. I've already done everything I know I need to do to prepare for it so there's no reason for me to be nervous." -Cliff Lee

NEPP: Just an animated gif that I embedded using HTML coding.

BTW - not only is Lee the first pitcher ever to record double-digit stikeouts and zero walks in the WS..... he has had double-digit strikeouts and zero walks in BACK-TO-BACK games.

No question - we are witnessing one of the best playoff performances ever.

About time we had a dominant LHP in the post-season.

Sorry - needed to add....while allowing zero earned runs.

im sure there were a lot of "Wooooooo...PIIIIIIG SOOOOOOI" chants goin down at Lee's alma mater, U. of Arkansas last night.

Interesting stat:

Lee threw first-pitch strikes to only 50% of the batters he faced.

Lee has the lowest ERA, all time, of pitchers with at least three post-season starts.

What I find interesting is that prior to the game, I think that there were few Phillies fans who had the kind of confidence in Lee that Yankee fans had in Sabathia.

Sorry if I missed this, but who the DH tonight against Burnett?

The last post with Lee catching that ball and your following comments were awesome! LOVE IT Keep up the great work.

'"Dave: I thought there were 2 men on."

Translation = "I didn't know (remember) the infield fly rule, but I can't ever admit it when I'm wrong about something."'

Well, I'll man up: I forgot that the infield fly rule only kicks in with both first and second occupied.

I once understood the offside rules in hockey, but decided that this took up far too much of my available brain.

phlipper: Pitching in the WS is no different than pitching a normal game; there's just a lot more pressure. Pitching when your body has not had sufficient time to recover from your last outing is a totally different ballgame. Sabathia has shown that he can do it but he is one of the few. More often than not, pitchers who pitch on 3 days rest get lit up -- even good pitchers.

Blanton has had a rough patch lately, but he has been our best starter all year long. He pitches Game 4 no matter what happens. Personally, I think this issue will be moot because I expect the Phillies to be ahead in the series going into Game 4.

Does anyone know how many 3-2 counts Sabathia had? Seemed like a ton, and I think that, besides Lee's huge effort, that was key.


LOL, let's see if this turns off the italics.

"What I find interesting is that prior to the game, I think that there were few Phillies fans who had the kind of confidence in Lee that Yankee fans had in Sabathia"
phlipper, unless Yankee Fans thought Sabathia would play all positions like Bugs Bunny, I don't see how they could have had more confidence in him than we did in Lee. We know what he's all about here, and most of those I spoke to and listed to fully expected something like what we got last night.

"I think that there were few Phillies fans who had the kind of confidence in Lee that Yankee fans had in Sabathia."
Is that a reflection on the pitchers or the fans?

It appears that Lee uses the least amount of energy and movement he needs to when pitching, and evidently he does the same on defense. One thing he is not is dramatic.

and again...

awh: Thanks for that link to Stark's blog. Didn't Stark pick the Yanks? He sounds pretty confident about the Phils. Guess he's like those of us who want the Phils to prove us wrong in predicting the Yankees. -- As for the other guy, I'm wondering how after picking the Rays to sweep last year, and presumably watching the WS, he was nevertheless surprised to see the Phillies play "good baseball" against the Yankees, just b/c the Twins and Angels made mistakes. But to his credit, he learned from last year that the Phils are competitive, picking them to lose not in 4 this time, but in 6.

I agree with you that the Yankees are a dangerous team. (So are the Phillies.) And that Pedro needs to be good tonight. But so does our offense. Remember the last time Pedro pitched a gem? So did the other guy, and we lost when our BP was not airtight...Fortunately, this team doesn't take anything for granted and will play hard at every opportunity.

Go Phils!

Dave is exactly right on the infield fly rule.

I still say the big issue in the game was CC missing his spot badly with Utley trying to go outside on the first home run, and inside on the second. Both pitches ended up in the same spot and both were hit hard.

The 8th and 9th innings though were beautiful in that it showcased something this team didn't have 4-5 years ago. Remember when they would blow late leads and everytime they had someone down they would let them off the mat?

This Phillies team is now playing with the confidence of being champions and knowing what they are capable of. They have become really good at stepping on team's throats and finishing out games. Last night a 2-0 lead was not a lock and they tacked on 4 runs in the final frames. Those extra runs rendered what could've been a nail-biting 9th inning largely inconsequential.

Teams that win championships have that killer instinct the Phillies now have.

Right after Chase hit the first homerun CC settled into a rhythym. That had me concerned. Up until that point, the Phillies had run a ton of deep counts and had nothing but a high pitch count to show for it. Rollins and Victorino and I believe also Werth let him off the hook by swinging at pitches that could have produced a base on balls. While the Phils showed patience in general I thought they helped Sabathia out a lot too. Also, I bet Girardi would have left CC in a bit longer if he were destined to leave as a free agent. Last year the Brewers rode him like a horse and didn't have to worry too much about pitch counts. Girardi is certainly riding CC but he can't risk damaging him like Milwaukee could last year. They have to pay him a kings ransome for 4 more years.

Just because Lee hasn't done it, doesn't mean he can't do it. I thought going into last night that Manuel wasn't likely to consider it unless Phils were down 3-0 going into game 4. An interesting decision will still need to be made, though, if he decides to throw Blanton for multiple innings in long relief tonight. I think starting Lee on short rest is likely to be more successful in a game 4 than a game 7 but, it seems the numbers bandied about for short rest starters are largely based on such starts. My very cursory review of hte last 10 seven game world series indicates that 8 of the winners used at least one starter 3X,although, in 3 of those, so did hte losers. In only one series ('79) did neither team use a starter thrice and, in only one other was the losing team the only one to send a starter out 3X. All very academic, especially if this one is closed out in 6 or less.

It seems to me that the big news from last night's game, other than Lee, is our scoring 4 off their pen in 2 innings. If that trend continues, it would be tough for them to win the series.

NEPP, I don't think CC on short rest will be easier. I think that unless he's used repeatedly on short rest, it doesn't hurt him. Not that the Phils can't beat him, but I won't expect it to be easier.

Count me in with those who prefer Lee not come back on short rest. Although I reserve the right to change my mind if we are down 2-1, esp. if we end up looking really bad v. Burnett and Pettite.

Great game. I feel really good about our chances now.

Go PHILLIES!!

To the discussion about who had more confidence in their ace going into last night - I was confident Lee and CC would both pitch very well. I thought there was an equal chance one of them would make a few more mistakes and be the loser in a low-scoring game. I thought that with the Yankees playing more recently than us, and our propensity for being hot & cold offensively, that we might find ourselves unable to score against CC whereas the Yankees might manage a HR against Lee.

Credit to Chase, who had some very good ABs - and to all the other Phils who likewise worked the count. Chase was able to capitalize on the little mistakes CC made, and that was all Lee needed.

I just read Joe Posnanski's column on si.com, and he seems amazed at Cliff Lee's "cool" under pressure.

Maybe we need a new nickname for Cliff:

Cliff "Prestone" Lee, anyone?

..

The wife was asking me to take the trash out last night in the middle of the 5th. I put my hand up and said "World Series".

Sequel last night - 'Cool Hand Lee' starring Cliff Lee?

Yankee fans in the office today are... (a) suddenly quiet and deflated, (b) very concerned that AJ Burnett will lay an egg tonight, (c) comparing Utley to Jeter.
I refuse to look ahead beyond tonight's game. One at a time, just the Phils approach right now. It's Pedro's turn, I hope we get something akin to his game against the Mets back in late August.

Okay people </i> ain't doing it. Guess we just need to get this thing to page 2.

All the Red Sox fans in the office congratulated me on beating the Yankees. The NY fans are non-existent today...guess they forgot about the WS.

One thing I'm glad of:

The whole world now has to acknowledge what we know about Chase Utley. He's the best 2nd baseman in baseball today, and maybe the best infielder, when you add his offense and defense together. And yes, I'm including Pujols in that statement.

Did I miss something or did Sabathia only really make 2 mistakes last night? He pitched very well and his curveball (especially to lefties was filthy).

It wasn't like he was leaving his fastball up or out or the plate. Just not the pinpoint control he has had in the postseason. Howard did have that double in the 1st inning but Sabathia made him look foolish the next 2 times up. Same with the 3 ABs Ibanez had vs. Sabathia. Completely overmatched.

I still am really surprised though that nobody is really talking about the first HR by Utley and the sequence. Yet again, Utley waited for just the opportune time to step out of the box down 0-2 in the count to disrupt Sabathia's concentration.

It clearly worked because Utley sharply fouled off the next ball and hit the following inside fastball just out of the park. It wasn't a bad pitch by Sabathia but Utley just did a great job of turning on it.

There are at least 2-3 other times the last 2 years I can think of where Utley took time out of the box right as a pitcher was getting ready to wind up and then hit a HR on the next pitch or two. Did it again last night and set the tone for the course of the game.

Utley is lucky though he plays in a MLB today where there isn't immediate reliation for that kind of crap where he calls time right as a pitcher is ready to throw. A guy like Gibson or Drysdale would have drilled him the next time up immediately on the 1st pitch or two or at the very least throw something very hard on the inside. Different game today.

In a 1 for 1 trade, I would probably take Pujols (in a vacuum, no other considerations)...but it would be a tough one.

BAP - My point was this:

clout said that Lee had never pitched on short rest in his career, which I think begs the question of when was Lee in a circumstance that would increase the importance of him pitching on short rest.

Circumstances, sometimes, dictate that you'd do things that you wouldn't do otherwise.

Has Lee been on a team when they needed him to go on short rest in a playoff series, or to clinch a playoff spot late in a season?

If the Phillies should be facing a 2-1 deficit going into game four - you HAVE to give consideration to pitching Lee on short rest.

No?

I'd love to see a four game sweep - to balance off them having swept us in 1950.

As for the comment about which team's fans were more confident. My point was really just that, in general, Lee didn't seem to inspire the kind of confidence that Sabathia did.

That could be a mis-reading of Philly fans on my part, or it could be that Sabathia was so hyped by the media. But I think it is also in part because while Lee has put together a post-season performance, undoubtedly, of historic proportions, he doesn't SEEM overpowering.

One major point in last night's game that was mentioned briefly in the game thread: It was the best officiated game I've seen in a long time. The umps deserve major kudos for their job. They got the Rollins call correct (something that could have screwed us royally in the middle innings) and the strike zone was for the most part very uniform and consistent. There were maybe 3 pitches that were legit bad calls out of 250 or so thrown in the game.

Quick poll:

How many people here would be worried to see CC against us in game 4?

Vote me a no.

My secretary is oddly quiet today. Thank you Cliff Lee, St. Utley, etc.

You should still fire her.

No Mercy!

It's funny. The legend of Sabathia pitching on 3 days rest somehow caused me to remember he had done it for an entire month last season, and that he had been dominant in every start until the NLDS. In reality, it was only the last 3 starts of the regular season, plus the game in the NLDS. And the results were far more mixed than anyone remembers.

The first time he did it, he lasted just 5.2 innings, allowed 7 hits, 4 runs & got the loss; only 1 of the runs was earned, but the fact is, he didn't pitch very well. The second time out, he went 7 innings, allowed 1 run & struck out 11. The next time, he pitched a CG against a Cubs team that had already clinched the division & was resting half their starters. The next time out was the NLDS debacle. More recently, he also pitched on 3 days rest in this year's ALCS, and went 8 innings, allowing 1 run.

So, yeah, he CAN pitch on 3 days rest. If he does, there's a pretty good chance that he'll be just as good as always. But, even with Sabathia, there's still a higher-than-usual risk that he'll be fairly ineffective.

MG: Both pitches Utley hit out were in almost the same spot. About knee high and almost splitting the plate. Sabathia had good stuff last night but his location was off a majority of the night. Those were really the only times it hurt him though.

Another big moment that is largely going unmentioned- the walk Rollins drew in the 8th. He got on first and clearly unnerved Phil Hughes with his starting and stopping. Hughes was more worried about him at the start of the Victorino at bat and got himself down 3-0. He battled back to a full count but then concerned himself with Rollins again and missed badly on the 3-2 pitch.

That could be big stuff going forward. The Phillies pitching staff is mostly veterans while the Yankees bullpen is still relatively young guys. If Rollins, Vic, Utley, and Werth can get on against them- they demand attention. Smart runners will get the pitcher thinking about them too much and not worrying about the hitter. Could be a huge spot to exploit in the series.

I have the pink slip all filled out and ready to go. Just in case.

In other news, I want to have Cliff Lee's children.

phlipper - poor use of the phrase "begs the question." You meant "raise the question." See http://begthequestion.info/ .

(I really hate to correct peoples' grammar and word choice, and I certainly make mistakes myself--but this is really a pet peeve of mine. Sorry!)

Go Phils!

See, this is what happens when you allow html in your posts and dont close the html tag.

OT, but I've got a ticket question maybe some of you who attend a lot more games than I do can help with. Given my budget, it looks like I have a choice between 400 level seats near third base (428) or 300 level between third and the foul pole (310). Any opinions. I suspect there isn't a lot a difference, but this will be my first ever WS game and I am coming from 250 mikes away, so I'd like to make the most of it. Thanks.

Dumbest suggestion:

- Signing Lee to a 4 or 5-year extension at huge dollars this offseason?

One of the professed maxims the Phils have lived by is not paying a pitcher more than 3 years. This should be especially true of a pitcher who will be 32 next year. Paying a starting pitcher who is entering his mid-30s top-dollar is usually a recipe for disaster.

Additionally, why would the Phils want to buy 'high' on a resource that likely won't have any higher value? Another maxim you should always follow when possible is "buy low, sell high." Paying top dollar for Lee at his possible potential highest value makes ZERO sense.

This team really isn't constructed a long-term future for beyond 2011 and it doesn't make sense to potentially devote $16M+/year to a pitcher who may no longer be an elite starter.

I am one happy individual today. Cliff "Cool Man" Lee is unbelievable. His post game interview on Fox was priceless.

This Phillies team is on a mission and it shows in their hustle and demeanor. The Yanks home field advantage is gone and their 3 game "Ace" is still good, but human. Other than Rivera, I don't think the Yankees 'pen is anything special. I am also not impressed with the tail end of the Yankees line-up, either.

What a great reward for being a lifetime Phillies fan. I don't care what y'all have to say, this team is better than the Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Greg Luzinski, Larry Bowa team from the days of yesteryear.

phlipper: Maybe if we had no viable 4th starter, I would consider starting him on 3 days rest. But we've got a guy who has been the team's best starter all year long. That's a pretty viable alternative. Lee is the team's best asset right now & you don't want to use that asset in a way that might waste him.

NEPP: I'd also trade Utley for Pujols (any sane person would). But why would you want Pujols "in a vacuum?" He can't be of much help to us if you keep him locked up in a vacuum.

See, this is what happens when you allow html in your posts and dont close the html tag.

Nepp- Agree about the umpires.

Good qoute on umpiring , for what it's worth:
"We're supposed to be perfect our first day on the job and then show constant improvement."
Ed Vargo, major league baseball umpire

Someone forgot to close the italics tag.

Close your tags HTML-ers!

Phils in 5 - fair enough. No harm in helping me to be clearer in my posts. I need all the help I can get.

TTI - Sabathia's control was off a bit but it was really on in the 1st inning that he really struggled with it. After that generally had pretty good control.

There seems to be this almost foolish overconfidence now in the Phils against Sabathia. Sabathia is just as capable of coming back on 3-days rest in Game 4 and really putting this clamps on the team again.

http://www.philebrity.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/n70334753605_4298.jpg>.

Greysfan - I would go with the 400 level seats as long as they aren't up to high by the 3rd base line. I have only sat down down the toward the LF foul-line in the 300 level and thought they were kind of crummy seats for the price.

You may be right, BAP, and hopefully we won't face that situation. But I have a whole lot more confidence in Lee than in Happ or Blanton - so much so that at the risk of going down 3-1, I'd probably go with starting Lee over either of them - especially since it's likely that Happ will have pitched in the interim.

Are you suggesting that Charles adjust his use of Happ or Blanton out of the pen, with the primary objective being to preserve them for a forth game start? Based on past history, it seems unlikely to me that Charlie would do that - he seems to be a "go for a win in this game at all costs" kind of manager. Remember how heavily he was criticized for his use of Blanton and Happ in the Colorado series?

Now, on to the game. Last night was a great experience. Truly a game to savor. For the seven innings he pitched, CC was very, very good, but Cool Cliff was even better. Still, until the eighth I was very much on the edge of my seat (standing up a lot in fact), fearing the whole thing could blow up at any moment. Watching the Phils post four additional runs against what seemed like almost the entire Yankee bullpen was extremely satisfying and a huge relief. Here's what I come away with...

• Cliff Lee can throw a real stinker occasionally, but when he is on he is among the best pitchers in the game.

• Derek Jeter can really hit. I hate him.

• The Phillies offense can be relentless. Even though CC was pitching well, they continued to be patient, got some men on base, wore him down, and then blasted his relief.

• Ryno is still in the groove, Chooch is still hitting, Raul always plays until the game is over. Chase Utley is still the man.

I am in no way over confident or thinking sweep, but it is good to see this team demonstrate that most of the experts are so blown away by Yankees hype that they will need an extended series to extract heads from butts. I am thinking Pedro will be very good today, but... See ya tonight.

"or it could be that Sabathia was so hyped by the media."

Uhhhh, phlipper....ya think?


" and the strike zone was for the most part very uniform and consistent. "

NEPP, I disagree. I thought early in the game the HP Ump did a good job, but later in the game he got somewhat erratic and inconsistent.

Greysfan - Last year I had seats in section 432, and they were pretty good. We had a perfect view of Utley throwing out (insert Rays player here - was it Bartlett? I think it was) at home.

This year I'm in section 302 - way out in right field.

Thanks MG. They are row 7. Kind of how I have been leaning as I never like sitting in the OF.

Here’s a fun read from Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com…

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/story/12436206

A few lines from this piece…

“They demonstrated something that remains a hardcore truth but seems to still be largely forgotten by too many people: There isn't a tougher team in baseball than the Phillies.”

“The Phillies aren't just like an American League team. They're just like an NFC East team.”

“For anyone who really knows baseball, Philadelphia's victory isn't shocking. This is what the Phillies do. They don't give a damn. Meet them in the back alley, bring your boys and your knives, or your pennants, and they'll Muay Thai dropkick you.”

Whats Dutch doing on Post Game? It seems like he's been around a lot more lately. Perhaps he turned down the crazy? Or is he just positioning to better warn the public for 2012?

And thanks also Kutztown. Unless I hear a dissenting voice, I will be making the buy in a couple minutes. Its a bunch of money (especially since I am bringing my 17 year old daughter), but I am peeing my pants with excitement already.

Love the NFC East comparison and have to agree. This team has a toughness and sense of purpose that I love. Maybe the 70s/80's team still has more achievements, but they also crapped out way too much (and I suffered through all of those experiences). Dallas Green said of that 1980 team in comparison to this one that nobody liked each other on that squad. I am sure that included him too.

On that note, it was nice to see Charlie looking like he was really having a good time last night.

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