Please, No Moyer!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Attention Jamie Moyer! The playoffs have started. Will you be attending this year?

Moyer has pitched two games this year in the playoffs and has not pitched past the fourth inning. His second outing was worst than his lone appearance in the NLDS against the Brewers, as he allowed five runs to the Dodgers in the first inning. After giving up a lead off home run in the second inning, after the Phillies had gotten one run back in the top of the second, Charlie Manuel made the switch and brought in Clay Condrey, starting a long night for the bullpen.

The Dodgers won game three of the National League Championship Series 7-2 on a night when tempers would flare.

The good news to come from Moyer's short night was that the bullpen was very good, only allowing one run in seven innings of work. Unfortunately the Phillies continued their struggling against Hiroki Kuroda. Jimmy Rollins continues to be non-existent in the lead off spot, going 0-4 last night with two strike outs. Shane Victorino, who would be a player of interest later in the game was also sub par with an 0-4 night. The struggles at the top of the order limited the effectiveness of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard who combined for three hits and the only runs of the night for the Phillies.

The night started off ominously as the Dodgers pounded Moyer for five runs in the first inning. Rafael Furcal lead off the bottom of the first for the Dodgers with a single. Andre Ethier followed that up with a single, bring Manny Ramirez to the plate with two men on. Ramirez notched a single that scored Furcal, getting the Dodgers on the board early 1-0 with two men on and nobody out.

The inning continued when Russell Martin was hit in the knees. Now, Martin was upset and so were the rest of his teammates because the Dodgers felt Brett Myers was throwing at Ramirez in game two.

If you were smart enough you would know that wasn't the case. If Myers wanted to throw at somebody, he would have hit you. Case in point, Chase Utley lead the league in being hit by a pitch. Did the Phillies ever retaliate? Not once. The Phillies do not have a history of ever throwing at anybody under Manuel. That is just flat out the truth! Myers was quick to point out that he was trying to pitch inside (the only way to get Ramirez out) and the ball got away from him. That should have been the end of the debate. But the Dodgers were not satisfied. So when Moyer hit Martin the Dodgers felt the Phillies were going after their hitters again, or at least Martin did. While the Dodgers went on to score four more times in the inning they were not happy with having a five run lead.

In the third inning Hiroki Kuroda and Martin, who at that point was upset about another pitching coming high and inside on him (and grounding into a double play) waited for their spot for retaliation. Shane Victorino would be their mark. When the opportunity came Kuroda threw his pitch up and in on Victorino, going over the head of the ducking Victorino. Give Victorino credit. He could have charge the mound for the head hunting, but he restrained himself and vehemently gestured to Kuroda that if he wanted to throw at Victorino to throw at his ribs. Stay away from the head.

The Dodgers were totally at fault for this whole incident. The Phillies never threw at Ramirez. The Phillies never threw at Martin. None of those pitches were intentional. But the Dodgers, who were down 0-2 needed something to spark their team and that is the way they wanted to handle things. Fine. Cry babies.

Russell Martin after the game said "...we didn't throw at his head. We threw it over his head." Only because Victorino ducked.

Victorino said after the game "Someone was bound to get hit. The situation called for it. Just don't throw at my head." He added later "I think it's over. I'll squash it."

Hopefully for the sake of the game this non sense is over. I would expect nothing less from a pair of teams managed by Charlie Manuel and Joe Torre. I admit though I would love to hear what Larry Bowa and Davey Lopes had to say to each other when the benches cleared.

Let's move forward to game four. Joe Blanton will take the mound for the Phillies, who need to slow down the Dodgers momentum from last night. Blanton was fantastic in game four against the Brewers but the Dodgers are not the Brewers. Derek Lowe is going to start for the Dodgers on short rest. Lowe pitched brilliantly against the Phillies through five innings in game one but gave up three runs on two home runs in the sixth inning. The Phillies won that game 3-2.

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