Apparently, I wasn't the only one astounded that Joe Torre gave Kid Kershaw all that rope to hang himself in the fifth inning, along with several other head-scratching moves. From the Los Angeles Times this morning: "With a 21-year-old sophomore bumping and staggering through a roomful of boos, the fifth inning Thursday contained every element of a textbook youthful playoff meltdown except for one: An adult to stop it. Where was Joe Torre? How could the Dodgers' manager allow Kershaw to endure the kind of beating that haunted the Dodgers for the next two hours? Eight batters, three walks, three wild pitches, five runs, kid rocked, Dodgers floored, Phillies never trail again."
Cole Hamels: The LA writers also can't believe the Dodgers couldn't do more against some pretty lackluster pitching by the Phillies. I'd love for this to be a non-issue, because he got the win and the night belonged to the offense, but turn on Philadelphia sports radio this morning and they're all discussing how Hamels has failed to live up to expectations.
It's true he wasn't very good in Game 1, allowing eight hits. But at this stage, everyone recognizes that Cliff Lee is the pitcher the Phillies are truly leaning on for wins, and they're rolling right through the postseason getting so-so games from the reigning World Series MVP. I'm still debating whether that was a bad pitch to Manny, and for most of the game, I saw a pitcher whose focus seemed to be in some other place. But let's not lose sight of the real issue: he desperately needs a third pitch. It would go a long way in keeping the hitters guessing and preventing some of these deep at bats. While his teammates are living in the moment, I'm sure Hamels would rather turn the page and start retooling for 2010.
Nevertheless, on to Game 2. No matter how you spin it, a 8-6 score and 1-0 series lead is all that matters.