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Monday, November 02, 2009

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JW, I've been thinking about this all day... but the fitting comparison is really games 4 and 5 of the two series. After splitting on the road, the 1993 Phils came home to lose the first two home games, the second in memorable, and heartbreaking fashion (15-14). Then, in game 5, with their ace on the mound, the 2-0 victory sent the game back to Toronto. We know what happened there.

There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do . . . . go through his clothes and look for loose change.

This team is built to handle this type of adversity, and they have to take it one game at a time. Aside from Hamels, I don't think anyone is ready to go home yet.

JW: So far, I feel the comparison to '93 is still valid. The Phils split the opening 2 games on the road in '93 & '09. They came home & lost Game 3 in '93 & '09. Last night reminded me very much of '93 World Series Game 4 (the nauseating 15-14 loss in the rain). If history repeats itself, Lee will pitch a Schilling-like gem in Game 5 tonight, & the Phils will lose the series on the road in Game 6.

However, you are correct that the overall impact should be nothing like '93. Winning it all last season & (remarkably, considering injuries, career worst years, etc.) getting back to the Series this year is a far cry from the island of woulda/coulda/shoulda heartbreak that was the '93 Phillies.

3-2 after tonight with a very winnable game 6 on the horizon. Not dark yet (but it's getting there).

The big comparison between '93 and '09 is that we all knew the closer was going to implode. In Williams' case, we knew he was physically shot; as to Lidge, we only know something is wrong and I guess we all are hoping it's fixable.

Pete Happy: You forgot about the Undead.

Gotta believe

Last nights game proved its not our year

I still love this team. They fought back last night after the Yanks scored 2 really bogus runs to take a 4-2 lead. I will never understand why Lidge/Chooch seemed afraid to throw the slider when Chooch is so good at blocking it (or why he wouldn't throw it to Damon 2-2 or 3-2), but I am still glad they fought back to tie it up, despite the gut-wrenching ending.

Jonesman - Definitely the story to me as well. He threw Damon 5 straight fastballs (pitches 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9). Really thought Lidge had control of that inning until Damon started fouling off all those 4-seamers until he got a meaty one.

Well, the difference between last night and its '93 companion was we had no lead to blow last night.

I, for one, can't wait for the Brad Lidge salsa in a few years.

Gotta give Mitch one thing, though. Even he knew that starting Hamels in Game 3 was a bad idea.

Well, I'm off to Citizens Bank Park. It feels like I'm going to go visit an old friend on Death Row...

EFF, good point. I have every confidence in the world in this team to play from behind, but it sure would be nice to get a nice 3/4 run lead tonight and not have to press as it gets late in the game. Props to Feliz last night for not letting the pressure get to him, especially after the first 2 K's that inning and Joba dealing some cheese.

It will all come down to whichever of the two pitchers better attacks the opposing lineup. Neither of these guys nibble and both look for the first pitch strike. I just hope that the Burnett who led the league in BB's finds his way to CBP and the guy who started everyone out 0-1 in Game 2 got lost somewhere near Penn's Landing.

Yeah, up five runs after seven and then losing game 4 in '93 seemed like an insurmountable set back. I guess it was but, game 5 was a great game.

Dennis Connor and Team America also had a 3-1 lead with their ladies dressed in red white and blue, and carts of champagne waiting for them at the finish line. The celebration never happened.

Let's go Phillies.

A yachting reference on Beerleaguer . . . George Steinbrenner would appreciate that.

Pete Happy: Humperdink!!

JW: You remind me of Jimmy Fallon's character in Fever Pitch when Berrymore dumps him and he holes up in his apartment and watches Bill Buckner over and over.

Yes, we are paralleling the '93 series a bit. However, the teams roles are mixed up. And there is no guarantee that history will repeat. We could go out tonight or Wed., or we could win it all on Thurs. The boys have to go fight it out. They need to grind out every at-bat.

If I were manager and heard Hamels "I'm a quitter" comment, he'd rot in the pen for the rest of the series and I'd start Happ in 7 instead, or short-rest Lee. There are no guarantees in life. Hamels may NEVER again be what he was last year. His career could turn into a journeyman 5th starter type and slowly fade away. And with comments like that, he may very well be on the way.

One difference between 1993 and 2009: The Phillies lost game one of the '93 series, while this year's team won game one. Doesn't sound like much, but after game one this year, I think that hopes were much higher than in 1993... especially considering what happened last year.

Come on guys, a yachting reference and an allusion to having actually watched "Fever Pitch" in one thread? I know things look bleak, but what the hell is going on here??? This isn't the Beerleaguer I know.

On the positive side, the Phils have won three games in a row in a World Series as recently as 2008!

On the positive side, the Phils have won three World Series games in a row as recently as 2008!

I'm not as big a fan of Schilling's Game 5 in 1993 as most phans seem to be, since if he had done that in the first game of the series it might have turned out quite differently.

Ozzie Guillen had a typically concise comment on what he would do with Cole if Cole played for him. I can't remember Ozzie's exact words, so I'm paraphrasing, but it was along the lines of, "I would talk to him and tell him we need to be on the same page, and if we aren't, good-bye, and I'll see you in Spring training next year."

EF - I guess you'll change your opinion of Lee's performance in Game 1 if he doesn't replicate it tonight? Like a variation on 'what have you done for me lately?' - "why didn't you do that for me last time?"

Just an excuse to commend Pedro Feliz. Not a big fan but, that guy showed up last night. Too bad he runs like a 75 year old woman who missed the bus.

One game at a time folks. One game at a time.

Figgins would have caught Damon.

Yanks starting Gardner and Molina tonight. Pretty weak lineup, after you get past the top 4. Lee should do well.

Lots of Yankee chatter today about how starting Burnett on 3 days rest is a big risk.

These Phils have come back from the dead before. The pressure is now off. Nobody expects them to win the series now. Play the game loose tonight and play it aggressive. I'd look for a lot of early hacking from most in the lineup to try and jump on that early fastball from Burnett.

I could see the Yankee sphinctors tightening if it gets back to New York. Especially if it ever got to a Game 7.

Shane: The Hamels comment needs to be read in its entirety including the question, which specifically asked about next season. The answer wasn't great but it wasn't close to being the way it's been portrayed on blogs.

I don't want to misrepresent the position of the Phils, they are up against a wall. But, at the same rate they need to do the same thing the Yankees just did; win 1 here and 2 there.

I didn't see the Hamels comment but, I tend to disbelieve that he was referring to the world series when he said " I can't wait for it to be over."

Do we really expect Burnett to replicate the first pitch automatic strike fro game 2? I wonder if he'll mix it up a bit to try and take advantage of potentially agressive swings early in the at bats.

Sad stat of the postseason...

Phillie pinch-hitters are 0 for the playoffs. 0 for 15 in 3 series. If it wasn't for a couple of Stairs walks, no Phillie pinch-hitter has sniffed 1st base in a month.

The lack of a real bench has rared its ugly head.

Hugh: I don't know for sure about that. In the Angels series, Burnett dominated the first game against LA, and then had a much less efficient outing the second time around. They adjusted more than he did; hope we do the same.

I chalk up what Hamels said as the typical "Hamels just wasn't thinking when he said that," response. He didn't mean for it to come out the way it did, but I understood the sentiment.

Trouble is, a lot of Philly won't. This is a "what have you done for me lately" town, like most passionate sports towns, and I could see them turning on him.

Hugh,

It was more of a case of 'Too little, too late', not what have you done for me lately.

Just like the Yankees now, the Blue Jays didn't have to worry much about dropping a game when they were up 3-1.

Clout is right. As bad as it sounded, the quote should be taken in context. When you do that, it's much better. In the same interview, Hamels said he WANTS the ball in game 7.

"The pressure is now off. Nobody expects them to win the series now. Play the game loose tonight and play it aggressive."

I agree with this. The team has been really tight in this series and I think being basically left for dead could help them out a bit.

But if Burnett is able to replicate his first start on short rest tonight, then it won't matter whether they're feeling loose or not.

The best part of Burnett on 3 days rest, aside from potential fatigue, is that it puts him in the batters box in CBP, rather than the DH. That, plus his personal catcher needing to hit and the Yanks lineup is quite a bit weaker than we've seen. I'd expect that Girardi has a slightly shorter leash on Burnett tonight, as a result, which could potentially bode well for the rest of the series if we can get into that 'pen early tonight, too.

Let's work a few counts and make them pay, boys.

Marcus Hayes with a piece on how hitting ARod had the adverse effect--basically saying it woke him up. Puh-lease. He got the GW hit last night because Lidge gave him a fat pitch to hit not because Blanton hit him earlier in the game. He wasn't doing much up until that point.

Why do I even read the paper any more (although the DN hardly counts as journalism outside of a few articles here and there)?

Was at the game last night. Have not yet recovered. I've never heard so many people be so quiet on the way out of the park. I'm going to stop talking now because there is no way I can be positive tonight.

The Phils smacked around Burnett on 5/22, did enough to win against Pettite on 5/23 (Lidge, of course, FTL!), and did enough to squeak by Sabathia on 5/24. All in NY. Until I hear otherwise, there's reason for hope, even after last night's gut-punch. I'm not optimistic and I'm bracing for the disappointment of them losing the WS. And I reserve the right to bitch and moan about various underachievers and such. But with Lee on the mound tonight, I gotta like our chances to at least get to the point where all hell could break loose in the Bronx.

BTW, what's the over/under on Yankees' mound meetings tonight? Geezus, those guys are human rain delays.

No wonder Yanks/Sox games last an eternity.

Why are all these national "experts" ripping Cholly for not pitching Lee in Game 4?

Cholly made the RIGHT move and Blanton pitched well enough to keep the team in the game. Blanton gave up 4 runs in 6 innings and "3 Days Rest" Sabathia gave up 3 runs in 7 innings.

If these fools actually watched the game last night, they would have seen it was the 9th inning that cost the Phils the game and possibly the series. The first 8 innings, were dead even.

Plus Lee has 265 innings pitched this year. He is not a machine. You need him for 2010 and beyond too. See Hamels, Cole for a example of someone who couldnt' recover from a heavy workload the year after. Lee had never pitched on 3 days rest and is a stickler for routine. Lee was going to pitch twice in this series. If he wins tonight, he will have won the 2 games he pitched. It was up to the rest of the staff and the offense to find a way to win 2 other games.

Biggest difference between 1993/2009: the Phillies won the year before in '09.

For me, the 15-14 game, even more than the Carter/Williams game, is the single toughest Phillies loss in my rooting experience. It's hard to compare, though, really. I was 19 and it meant so much more then. But last night? It just didn't have any effect. None. The one they lost in LA on the Utley error seemed like a tougher loss to me.

My theory: I'm burnt out on the post-season. It's November 2. This has been going on almost a solid month. They're in the World Series back to back years. I'm satisfied. Can I have my life back now? Seriously. These four-hour games, these epic catcher-pitcher meetings and umpire huddles and obsequious interviews and unfunny pre-game hosts and soulless anthem singers and sponsored starting lineups and promos for tv shows and movies that look so bad I want to vomit in my slippers - I feel like I'm watching them mostly out of a debt to my 15 year-old self who could only dream of my team playing in the post-season. I'm sorry; I truly am. The post-season is overkill. Didn't feel like it last year, there was still novelty involved. I feel it now. Okay, so it's just me. This site's all about Alternate Viewpoints, correct? Very well.

denny b.: Because they think that pitching guys on short rest is the smart thing to do, just because the NYY are being forced to do it. Blanton pitched well enough to win (2 of the runs were bloop crap) and it wasn't the SP that cost us that game.

Most of these national experts are idiots. This postseason has really driven that point home for me.

RSB: I thought it was only me. I, too, am burnt out. I want to win, of course, don't get me wrong--but this is just too late to be playing baseball. It's going to be Thanksgiving in a few weeks, for the love of Pete. The football season is half over!

I'm tired.

That being said, let's win this sh*t tonight and take it back to that souless New Yankee Stadium!

"Figgins would have caught Damon."

Yea, Right.

RSB: I can sympathize with that viewpoint a bit, although I won't go as far as you. I think the fact that we're down 3-1 makes the absurd Posada/Sabathia huddles (they really need to pass a rule limiting that) and the fact that it's November more annoying. This weekend was emotionally exhausting too. Both games we were just constantly playing from behind, yesterday being the worst. We overcome all that bad luck only to have Lidge implode in a split second, with a couple of really stupid plays thrown in.

I can't believe everyone thinks the Phillies blew last night's game. They were down for the whole game and lost a close one.

We live to fight again.

Lee apparently is a big game pitcher.

50/50 shot that he goes 9 tonight. No bullpen necessary.

RSB - Appreciate your viewpoint although I, in the end, disagree. I think it may be playing from behind, being down 3-1, and the antics of the opponent that have me fatigued. Not that the production isn't a contributing factor.

I'm exaggerating, of course. I'm duly grateful that the Phils are still standing, that they're playing the Yanks, etc.

I think it's MLB and the networks and the way they do their damndest to ruin October I have the problem with. It becomes a challenge to fully enjoy after awhile.

big win 2nite, book it...

big win 2nite...book it

OK I just wanted to tell you even though its kind of hard to say nice try this season. I hate but you guys were the only team could have put up a decent fight against the "Lets buy a World Series and pretend we are good other wise" New York Yankees. How you guys some how make it interesting. Hopefully you win to night cause of jeter or cano dropping a ball. It would get all the jokes about Castillo done with because of my Yankee friends.

P.S Should be a very interesting race next year...

If I'm Charlie Manuel I have a boombox in the clubhouse playing "High Hopes" before the game.

Lee won't be as good as he was last time, and I hope the Phils realize that. There are some good hitters on this Yanks team and they will make some adjustments. Lee can likely hold 'em to 2 or 3 runs, but probably won't go the distance, so the bottom line is that the Phils have to score a bunch of runs tonight. If it remains close late in the game, they are going to lose; they've got to take advantage of a (hopefully) fatigued Burnett early, and get to the Yanks middle relief too.

Speaking of yacht references:

"I imagine rooting for the Yankees is like owning a Yacht." - Jimmy Cannon

One game at a time. Git R Dun. There is precedent for 3-1 World Series comebacks. St. Louis fans have three rough world series losses including the 1987 Homerdome seven game loss to the Twins.

1985 Royals Cardinals
1979 Pirates Orioles
1968 Tigers Cardinals
1958 Yankees Braves
1925 Pirates Senators

Speaking of the networks, I wish Fox could've just hired the Mets announcers for the WS. They have tons of familiarity with the Phillies and probably would with the Yankees as well. I've always found them to give really good analysis and just do a great job overeall. Would've greatly enhanced my enjoyment over the robot Joe Buck and the annoying McCarver.

My husband just told me that on WIP this morning they were talking about how Keith Jones should throw out the first pitch tonight--as he's been on 4 teams--4!--that have been up 3-1 in the postseason and ended up losing the series. I remember one of them all too well, unfortunately.

RSB: I feel exactly the same. I think its not just the length of the playoffs, but the times of these games. I'm 28 and at work everyday at 7 am. I can't physically function after all these midnight/1 am games. Thanks MLB for ruining the playoffs.

Brian G:


I not trying to be a homer or anything but I think you are correct. They always have very cool facts about other teams. They never just sound like they are rooting for the mets but just give accurate ideas and analysis of a game nomatter who does what they make it neutral. And yes they probably do have more insight then these to fools on fox

Game thread is up. Good luck, Phils! Just play your game tonight.

RSB, loving what the Phils are doing and behind them 100%. But I hear you and greg especially. The games start too late and drag out way too long. My son has to get some sleep for school and can't see the end of the game. I, for whatever reason take a while to unwind, I can't just turn the TV off and fall asleep in 10 minutes. That's one thing when the games end at 10PM, and another when it's after midnight. The getting up at 6 the next day a few days in a row piles in.

I would not have said anything for fear of seeming ungrateful and I am not, I am profoundly grateful to this team and am loving their success. But they need to find a way to wrap up in late October and have the games start at a reasonable hour.

How do they do that? I dunno, I'm not the one being paid mega bucks to produce this extravaganza.

All that said, I'm grateful to be able to see this special team, it sure beats the team being done in September and clicking back and forth between CSI reruns and a Dodgers/Mets playoffs.

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