Hawaiian Punch KO's Brewers

Friday, October 03, 2008

Question: Which current Phillies player has the most career post season homeruns?

Answer: It is actually a tie with two homeruns. So Taguchi and Shane Victorino.

Yesterday Victorino added his second career post season homerun in grand fashion, hitting a grand slam in the second inning off of CC Sabathia. Amazingly the grand slam was not even the most memorable at bat in the inning! Check out earlier when Brett Myers steps to the plate with two outs and Pedro Feliz on base. Typically when the pitcher comes to bat with two outs you figure that the inning is over, but Myers had other ideas in his head. Sabathia got ahead of Myers with an 0-2 count but Myers stuck with it and battled back to a full count by fouling off pitches and staying patient and laying off balls. It was incredible! Myers forced his counterpart to throw nine pitches and he drew a base on balls. The Phillies were in the head of Sabathia.

Jimmy Rollins walked on the next four pitches, bringing up Victorino with the bases jacked and two outs. Then this happened...

After that the Phillies were on cruise control. Brett Myers had struggled in the first inning but escaped with only one run on the scoreboard. After the second inning you knew that Myers was going to be in control the rest of the way. Myers went seven strong innings, and the bullpen did the rest as the Phillies went on to win 5-2. Myers allowed both runs but it didn't matter. Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero combined for a score-free eighth inning and Brad Lidge finished it off with a solid 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Let's talk about Myers some more.

Everybody knows the Myers story by now. He was the closer last year and with the addition of Lidge Myers was vocal about his move back to the starting rotation. Myers was adamant that he wanted to stay in the bullpen and at first it appeared that he was not prepared, whatever the reasons may be, to be back as a starter this year. He had been named the opening day starter in a move to try and force him to focus on starting. It didn't work. After a number of mediocre at best outings Myers was sent to triple A ball in Lehigh to retool himself. When the time came for his return to the big leagues it was obvious that he was ready. Everything was going fine until recently when bad habits returned against the Florida Marlins and the Atlanta Braves. Questions were everywhere heading into his first post season start of his career yesterday.

In the first inning everybody wearing Phillies red must have been like me as I yelled at the tv in a futile attempt to motivate Myers. He had gotten into serious trouble with the bases loaded and one out. He had already walked in a run as well. Cue Rich Dubee.

Whatever Dubee said may have worked. Either that or Corey Hart can't walk the walk and talk the talk. Hart had proclaimed the Brewers were going to kick the Phillies' butt in their playoff rally before heading to Philadlphia. Hart proceeded to swing at the first pitch from Myers and grounded into an inning ending double play. Later we would know that that may have been the real key play of the game.

Defense would be another negative to the Brewers in game two. Not so much as in game one, but Mike Cameron had another ball go over his head, resulting in a double for the Phillies. I will give Cameron credit though. He robbed Victorino of a triple, limiting him to a double on the play by playing the ball nicely off of the wall. Maybe that is why he has won those gold gloves.

I expect Cameron will have some better fielding games in his own park.

So you would think I'm happy right? I am. The Phillies are up 2-0 in the NLDS! Do I have concerns? Absolutely.

For the second straight game the Phillies scored in only one inning. Credit given for scoring enough runs to win each of the first two games, but there were so many wasted opportunities in both games in which they could have buried the Brewers and they failed to take advantage. A win is a win is a win though and heading to Milwaukee the Phillies are in prime position to get to the NLCS.

There is no pitcher I would rather have taking the mound in game three than Jamie Moyer. I expect the Brewers to be amped for their first home playoff game since 1982 and I could see that energy sparking them early. Moyer is just the guy to have in that situation to slow things down and take the players out of the game. Am I cautiously scouting the Dodgers right now? You bet. Foolish I would be though to say that this NLDS is over though. One game at a time. Win game three.

Win game three.

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