2009 Recaps

Lee Takes Charge, Stifles Rockies in Game One Win

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee waits to throw to a Colorado Rockies batter as fans cheer him on during the ninth inning of Game 1 of the National League division baseball series, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009, in Philadelphia. The Phillies won 5-0. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)So much for worrying about who the Game 1 starter should be.  Charlie Manuel made a wise decision as Cliff Lee tossed a complete game to open the Phillies 2009 postseason.

Lee absolutely dumbfounded the Rockies lineup over nine innings, leading the Phillies to a 5-1 victory. There were butterflies to start the game, as the Rockies put two men on base, only to watch Lee finagle his way out of the jam. The tall lefty then settled in, calming his nerves in the second on an inning-ending double play by Clint Barmes. It was smooth sailing from then until the ninth.

In the final frame, just when it appeared a shutout was in order, a clearly amped-up Lee allowed a single by Carlos Gonzalez, who then scored on a gap-double by Troy Tulowitzki.

For the Fightin’s, the fun began in the fifth inning when Ubaldo Jimenez lost all control.  Jayson Werth kicked off the frame with a walk and Raul Ibanez doubled him home, shooting it past first baseman Todd Helton into the corner. Two batters later, Carlos Ruiz hit a liner to right field that skipped past right fielder Brad Hawpe to score Ibanez, making it 2-0.  The floodgates would then open.

The Phillies would score three more in the sixth, chasing the starter Jimenez, who had been virtually un-hittable through four innings. Chase Utley led things off with a single, after two awful previous plate appearances.  Ryan Howard then smashed one into the wind to the opposite field, only to have the wind play tricks with it, and drop off of the glove of the backpedaling Carlos Gonzalez in left.  Gonzalez himself smashed against the wall, and Utley easily crossed home plate to make it a three run advantage.

Jayson Werth then annihilated a pitch that headed toward the left-center field seats and would have easily been a bomb had the jet stream not be present above CBP.  It barely stayed in play, and hit off of the top of the wall, just above the reach of Dexter Fowler. Werth ended up at third base, sending Howard home.  4-0.  After a pitching change, Raul Ibanez singled to right, bringing Werth home and putting the Phils up by a five spot.

Offensively, you just never know when this team will strike, and they did quickly and efficiently on this beautiful afternoon.  And although the festivities began with an anxious sigh as Jimenez pumped 100 m.p.h. fastballs through the zone, the Phils pounced at the perfect moment and sent the Rockies starter into tizzy.  As is customary by this group, they put together back-to-back big innings and it was more than enough for the dazzling Cliff Lee.

He was brought here for one reason: to win big games. The fans looked slightly disheveled early on, but they stuck with the mid-season acquisition through the bumps. All-in-all, it was a powerful performance by all involved.  The lineup from top to bottom came up large (every player got a hit for the Phils) and the defense was just as steady.  Several routine plays were anything but due to the whipping winds, but that’s why the Phils as a unit are one of the best with the leather.

Phillies Nation can now breathe a little easier with a Game 1 win in the books.

94 Comments

94 Comments

  1. Mazinman

    October 7, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Lee came into the game as a question mark after a shaky September but he is leaving as an exclamation point. If this is the beginning of a run like the one Lee had to start his career as a Phillies player then things are looking REAL good.

  2. Harry Kalas

    October 7, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    No surprise here. Not at all. Don’t start fantasizing about the NLCS…… Take one game at a time.. I guess we have every right to trash that misguided and delusional Rockies’ fan, but that poster really doesn’t deserve the attention… That poster’s lack of basic post season baseball knownledge is truly said. I’ll enjoy the win for about 5 more minutes, before I start looking ahead to Game 2. Great win Phillies! Very impressive. We go for the choke hold on this series tomm…

  3. Dave S

    October 7, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Nice! Man that is exactly what we wanted to see…the defense of the title is ON…

  4. Mostone

    October 7, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    My dad and I are on our way home from the game. Wow, did we have a great time. The last post-season game we went to together was Game 5 of the 1975 World Series when we lived in Cincinnati. I thought I was going to pass out from screaming in the 9th! One down, ten to go!

  5. Harry Kalas

    October 7, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Brett Favre the baseball analyst? What can’t he do…. Ricky B is a total douche… He won’t stop trying to be a Mitch Williams reject. It’s almost unbearable. Good to see Geoff Jenkins again….

  6. Josephine of Haddonfield

    October 7, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Great game by Cliff Lee and every Phils player in the lineup had at least one hit . I hope Cole uses his curve ball more in tomorrows start and, of course, I hope the curve is effective. COle needs three pitches.

  7. Petite Penny Pine

    October 7, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    GOOOO PHILS !!!! Live my red pinstripes. Joe Blanton is an absolute doll, a real macho man. I hope he gets a start.

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  9. Harry Kalas

    October 7, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    How does Bud Sleazy keep his job?…. Phils fans get robbed with two day games, and Phils/Rockies fans that have tickets to Game 3 will be forced to sit through the blistering cold. With temps predicted to be 30 degrees at game time, along with some snow showers, Bud sticks with his decision…. He has a gold opp to make amends some what by changing the start time in Game 3 to the afternoon, but you know he would do it…. If our post run is afft. in any way shape or fashion by this boneheaded decision I going to protest at the MLB head quaters….

  10. Harry Kalas

    October 7, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    won’t.. post season run….

  11. bob

    October 7, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Man sure was boneheaded to start Lee in game 1…….

    Great game all around, the pitching, hitting and fielding in those conditions. Phils showed up to play and showed that they mean business. That Jimenez kid is nasty but I loved our approach at the plate from the 4th inning on.

    Number 1B: To quote a coaching friend of ours “time’s yours”. Go get em Cole!

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  13. Manny

    October 7, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Watching the Yankees-Twins game, just realized that CHOOCH > Posada

  14. Keith E

    October 7, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Nice solid win. As was proven last year; the Phils don’t need that idiot Selig to win a World Series. Start times and playing conditions be damned!!! This is Philly and we work, play and live in all situations. Cold in Colorado? Please!!!
    GO PHILS!!!

  15. Havoc

    October 7, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    I was at the park today and it was magic. Got to hang out in Centerfield messing with Dexter Fowler the entire game. My throat is going to regreat all the yelling tomorrow but tonight I’m feeling no pain! Can’t wait for Cole to get out there tomorrow just wish I could get out of work and go back to the park.

  16. Brooks

    October 7, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    This team won with only 2/3 rds of their offense in place & it’s always a pleasure to watch. Rollins, Victorino & Utley were once again more silent than potent. And we all know what the offense is capable of when those cylinders are firing.
    I cant help but believe even if the Phils falter some in Colorado, they will wind up in the NLCS – that I am confident about.
    Go Phils! Great job by Lee.

  17. joedad

    October 7, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Brooks, all 3 went 1 for 4. They can’t hit .500 every game.

  18. Brooks

    October 7, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I am expecting Utley especially to step up big.
    That would be icing.

  19. Harry Kalas

    October 7, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    That’s not the point… Cole made that very clear earlier. The WBC pushed back the season a week… You have to think at some point rain will play a factor in any one of these ps series al/nl…. Add the snow possb here or any other weird factors and you’re playing with fire… Bud’s boneheaded decision on Game 5 could’ve cost us dearly last October…. As far as the fans sitting thru the cold… It’s a valid issue… In 2007 Rockies’ fans and the Rockies front office had issue with the night games in that NLDS. By the mid-game the temp will drop even further below the expected 30 degrees game time temp.. Factor in the wind chill and that’s brutal..Neither fans bases are soft. Ditto w/both ball clubs… A 9:37pm est for both Game 3 and a potential Game 4 is absolutely insane…

  20. bob

    October 7, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    They will hit. If you told me those 3 would go 1 for 4 and every starter would have a hit (with Lee pitching) I would have chalked up a game 1 win and that is exactly what happened.

    I was very encouraged by Lee. He looks sharp and more importantly looked fresh. Very pleased that Charlie correctly went with Lee and kept Hamels on normal rest, which is his preference.

    Don’t think an extra day of rest for the bullpen is a small feat either. This will go a lonnnngggg way in keeping this magical run going.

    Time to put a foot on the neck of this team and take a 2-0 lead. I’m sick and tired of this Phillies team getting constantly overlooked. If they can repeat, it might be even sweeter.

  21. bob

    October 7, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Also in my opinion, if the Phils get a 2-0 lead you start Blanton in game 3 and save Happ for a potential game 4. In the other scenario, I think you go to Happ in Game 3.

    I am curious to see where Martinez fits into the plans for this round?

  22. Harry Kalas

    October 7, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Football is diff from baseball in that regard. FB games are much more electric and you move around a lot more. In baseball there’s a lot more sitting still… We live and die by the long ball…. You saw how the wind robbed us of 2-3 hrs today. Those late starts in Col could cost us some more hrs…

  23. James Kay

    October 7, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    The Phillies are playing on the field and dealing with the media like professional champions. This was a reaffirming and confidence building win! I hate the Rockies.
    Carlos Ruiz is gradually becoming one of the top receivers in the National League. He currently is a bargain who plays seriously and with enthusiasm both defensively and offensively. I believe he definitely has the potential to hit .300.
    @ Phillies Nation: You might consider adding some variations to the Ashburn and Jeltz awards. Considering that the Phillies have a long and rich history of performers and non-performers in all aspects of the game, you could give an outstanding hitting performance the Dick Allen or Chuck Klein award. Similarly, a stellar pitching performance could receive a Robin Roberts or Steve Carlton award. Also, a poor pitcher’s outing could be given the coveted Adam Eaton distinction, whereas an absence of clutch hits in a game could receive the Bobby Wine or Jeltz awards. I think you get the idea. Use your imagination. There are many names and qualities to choose from.

  24. Ed R.

    October 7, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    As much as I don’t like Bud, and believe me, I think the guy is a douche, his hands are pretty much tied when it comes to deciding game times. The networks tell him who they want to see and when. He can say what he wants, and I guess ultimately he has the say but at the risk of losing money from Fox or TBS, he won’t say anything. He took a lot of crap for fighting as hard as he did to get the World Series games moved up an hour from when they started last year to when they will start this year. And that was all because of the networks. Take today for example. The Phillies played at 2:37 simply because the networks wanted the bigger market, the Yankees on at 6:00. And of course the west coast team had to play at 9:37.

    Clearly they don’t pay attention because you can play the game at 6:37 or 9:37 and Dodger fans will still be late. There is no reason the Phillies couldn’t have started at 4:00pm. Heck, yesterdays Twins and Tigers game had the highest rating of any baseball game in over two months. And these are teams with small fan bases as compared to the Phillies, Yankees, Cardinals and Dodgers.

    Am I happy about the Phillies start times? Absolutely not. Fortunately I can get done work early to see them. And as much as I love to rip Bud Selig, and I do. This has more to do with the networks than it does with him.

  25. Jeff

    October 7, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Why today was so great. Lee for one was dominate after he got out of that first inning. No help from Howard. The phillies offense was patient today. They took there shots and put the Rockies away. No homeruns which is even better. It was a tough day with the wind and our fielders did a great job making the catches. We also got aggresive on the bases which I loved. There catcher has a bad throwing arm and we picked them apart. Overall just a great day and did not need the pen. Hopefully Cole can repeat. If we can go up 2-0 then we end this on the Road. Let the Dodgers and Cards kill each other.

  26. GWFightinsFan

    October 7, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    tomorrow is a dangerous game…Hamels could get shelled, then all of a sudden the Rockies will have the momentum…it all comes down to how Cole pitches…

  27. jt

    October 7, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    nice game by cliff lee…he obviously benfitted from rest and figured out what was wrong…i hope the same goes for cole tomorrow and he uses his curve ball more.

  28. bob

    October 7, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Cole is gonna be damn good tomorrow. I am now convinced there is something to the Rockies being mediocre against LHP. The Phillies got to Jimenez and if they are as patient with Cook, they will once again do damage.

    Keep on running, keep moving those runners. We are the better team. PERIOD.

  29. Mike D.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    Agreed, GW, we ‘ve got to get Cole a W so he can have his mystique back. Get to Aaron Cook. Thanks for hitting your spots, Cliff, but mind you don’t suck next time you’re out.

    I kinda like the varying awards, but why chance karma now?

    My boldest prediction thus far: Lidge will get a scoreless save when he has the chance. He will also get a win.

  30. j reed

    October 8, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Great performances all round….everyone showed up. Fortunately the initial post season jitters didn’t cost us. Good to see Lee rise above it and get that uber focus a big game pitcher needs. I was so impressed with the plate discipline and how intelligently they dismantle the Rox ace. Other than the fielding burps in the first two innings, they flashed the leather like the class of the NL should. Some aggressive baserunning, tempered by some little league decisions on the base paths.

    HK – selig keeps his job because he is the dark lord’s apprentice

    Josephine of Haddonfield – I’ve been looking at all of Hamels starts from day 1 til 9/28 (that as far as the database I use goes). So far it looks like many of the outings where he gave up the fewest runs were games inwhich he used his curveball more than usual. Is this causal or just coincidence, I can’t say yet. But from watching all his starts it seemed clear that his change-up was more effective only when he could flawlessly locate his FB. Otherwise he became predictable as the foul ball fiestas teams had against him attests to. It makes sense then another pitch could keep hitters more off balance and actually help set up the change-up when his FB failed to. I mean how far can a 92+ mph 4 seamer and a change-up go when the entire league is spending extra time in the video room and are gunning for you.
    His last 2 starts if I remember correctly, he hardly threw any. And those he did we’re terribly executed…we’ll see. Hopefully he’ll have command of his FB like he did for that complete game shut-out against LA and he won’t even it need the curveball. He only threw 3 that game.
    What ever the outcome of this game or season, next year Hamels will come back a smarter, more developed pitcher….I would say a cy youngish season in 2010.

    Mike D. – what’s your track record on your predicitions…Lidge getting a save, okay but getting a win….what transpires to get the game to that point is to Revelations scary.

  31. Harry Kalas

    October 8, 2009 at 12:51 am

    I agree Edr…. it’s all about the Beer Ads…. About Cole? Don Baylor’s game plan to beat Lee blew up in his face. The winds won’t be nearly as much of a factor as it was in Game 1.

    So with Cole, I think the Rockies plan(which they’ve used when facing Cole before) will be to attack Cole from the 1st pitch… Cool needs that curve ball to help keep the Rockies honest…. He can still pitch well w/o it, but a curve with bite potentially would allow him to completely dominate the Rockies lineup….. Can’t wait for Game 2….

  32. Brian of CO

    October 8, 2009 at 1:01 am

    I am SO GLAD to see the Phillies beat the Rockies. I HATE the Rockies. The Rockies “fans” are the most pathetic fair weather fans in the country. In Colorado any time prior to them actually making the playoffs, you seriously wonder if there is a “professional” ball club in Colorado. All of sudden the Rockies are in the playoffs, and “Rocktober” every. Lets go with “Hunt for RED October II”. I believe it will definately depend on which Cole Hamels shows up tomorrow. If he is lights out and puts the Rockies away, the series is ours. If they get to him, and beat the Phillies lose, and head to Colorado, the series is in question. I 100% agree with Harry Kalas as stated above. The temp and wind chill in Denver is a definate home field advantage for the Rockies. I also agree that it is complete BS that those games are played at night in Denver, when played afternoons in Philly. Lets go get game 2. We need Cole to look like the Cole of last seasons postseason. Either way, I was especially glad to wear my Phillies gear today out here in Colorado.

  33. j reed

    October 8, 2009 at 1:23 am

    brian of co –
    send them one ping….I suppose it’s the 2 hr delay…right it’s two hours that could be the issue…the game would be on at 12:30….not they couldn’t put the game back to 4 which would put the game on at 2. It is hard not to suspect conspiracy since Selig legacy is parity and the small market approach. Perhaps he’s banking on the Cinderella Effect to spark ratings.
    Happ went to school in Illinois and has experience with cold weather pitching. Also the crap we played in last year wasn’t exactly hospitible. With temps. that cold do they still use the humidoor?

    Torre burning up his bull pen….that what worries me about the dodgers so keep dragging them out there by the 5 th inning Torre…

  34. Brian of CO

    October 8, 2009 at 1:29 am

    j reed the Phillies can obviously take the Rockies in Colorado, even with it cold, but I still think its BS. I just cant stand the Rockies.

  35. j reed

    October 8, 2009 at 1:41 am

    HK – the weather is perfect for a curve ball. Cool air = denser air = more drag = more bite on breaking pitches, but slows down fastballs (mind you that the initial velocity is the speed it leaves the hand, the final velocity is what slower as it reaches the plate. the former is a function of arm speed, the latter is a function of drag which is dependent on air density). But cold air is a sinker ballers best friend.

  36. j reed

    October 8, 2009 at 1:46 am

    so brian do they still use the humidoor in the temps below freezing…just curious.

  37. Harry Kalas

    October 8, 2009 at 1:58 am

    The dehumd really isn’t needed with the weather, but I have a feeling they will do it anyway if they think it will increase the Rockies chances…
    If the series is tied going to Col… The Phils would have no problem trying to close it out on the road and on their field. We were the best road team in MLB for a reason….

    Yeah, Torre is burning up his BP just like last yr….

  38. Harry Kalas

    October 8, 2009 at 2:10 am

    Correction: Per MLB, in 2007 every team were required to store all baseball in humidors… Rockies introduced the concept and began using it in 2002. It’s said a humidor’s sole purpose is to insure that all baseballs stay the same temp/humidity. Baseballs travel 9% further w’o the humidor and baseballs become bouncier as well… The humidor in Coors Field is mainly needed for the Colorado’s thin air…

  39. Brian of CO

    October 8, 2009 at 2:14 am

    Good thing HK stepped in, because honestly I had no idea.

  40. Harry Kalas

    October 8, 2009 at 2:16 am

    humidors also effect pitchers…Prior to 2002 the baseballs in Coors field would dry up and shrink a little in the Denver thin air and humidity causing the seam to sink in to the baseball. Pitchers couldn’t find the right grip with these baseballs and it gave a huge advan to the hitter.

  41. j reed

    October 8, 2009 at 3:48 am

    hk -yeah, crazy about the ball shrinking….i read a paper published by two physists who confirmed basically what mlb should have already known before granting a the rox a franchise…the ball will travel farther in the thinner air. They confirmed that on average, it traveled 20 ft further. No wonder Helton stayed. I figured the thinner air would be a plus for fastballs but breaking pitches would suffer alot. I thought pitchers would compensate by increasing grip pressure by apparently as the study noted the shrinking seam issue. Why mlb didn’t require them to dome their park is beyond me and hope the twins new digs will have a retractable dome cause its like “piss freezing in your bladder” cold for more than half the year there. At least the Marlins will have a dome. I think that a part of their revenue sharing allowance should go to all the clubs that had to endure the game cancellations because of the monsoon season rains. How many rotations got screwed up and bull pen taxed because of those frickin’ rain delays. MLB, proving once again that it’s still in the dark ages…open stadium in the tropics…in the summer time…open stadium in the mile high city…it boggles the mind.

  42. mikeB

    October 8, 2009 at 4:47 am

    j reed; the last I heard about the Twin’s proposed new stadium is that it will be open air. No dome. No retractable roof or dome. Talk was that one of the reasons for the Twins building a new stadium was to get away from a covered playing field. Best of luck to them and whoever has to play against the Twins up there early and late in the seasons. Will need thermal underclothing and whatever else.

  43. Brooks

    October 8, 2009 at 4:58 am

    I remember the first time I went to see the Rox.. the Phils had taken a west coast trip and one stop was an 18 run pasting of the Rockies in Colorado. Excited to see what the Phils could do at home vs them and Terry Muholland pitching, I watched as the Phils lost a gem, 1-0. If I remember correctly, Muholland pitched a gem complete game but the Phils offense sputtered. Not quite what I expected.

    This is all pretty overwhelming. The Phils, as WS champions are making a serious run at another championship and we are part of it all. Can it really happen?

  44. PhxPhilly

    October 8, 2009 at 5:28 am

    I’m glad to see someone specifically mention (Sam Donnellon of all people) the most unheralded at-bat of the game. Pedro Feliz moving Ibanez over to third for the first out in a 1-0 game. Feliz has a 2-0 count and took a short swing on an outside pitch just to tap it to the second baseman. That forced the infield up and put pressure on Jimenez. He decided to pitch to Ruiz who had a great at bat and drove in the run.
    Werth would get second voting for Ashburn. Threw out a guy at 3rd early to end an inning. Cause havoc from first with Ibanez up. I was surprised by the poor effort from Helton on the double to score the first run. The triple knocked in one and he then scored another insurance run.

  45. Papa Thompson

    October 8, 2009 at 7:09 am

    The Feliz at-bat was nice, but let’s keep things in perspective here. It didn’t end up making a bit of difference in the game. After the error, Raul would have scored from anywhere on the field, and it’s not like they nailed down a 1-run victory anyway.

    jeff – “no help from howard”? He was 2-4, the wind robbed him of a home run and the two runs he accounted for alone were enough to secure the win for Lee. The worst thing about howard-haters is that most of them don’t even know how to pick their spots. wait till he has a genuinely bad game to criticize him. when he helps, say so.

    j reed – I think you’re making too much out of your curveball analysis. I understand what you’re saying about the numbers indicating he should throw more curveballs. But I don’t think you can draw a conclusion from the numbers. Pitchers either have pitches on given days or they don’t. And if Hamels throws a few to several curveballs in warm-ups and says to himself, “this pitch is crap today,” I personally would rather see him stay away from it. I think he throws more curveballs when he thinks he has a good one, and lives off the change-up when he thinks his curveball is bad. Who should argue with the reigning WS and NLCS MVP?

    That said, I can’t wait to see Hamels try to top that start by Lee last night.

  46. Bobby in Boston

    October 8, 2009 at 7:33 am

    J-Roll’s hard left turn leading to smooth basket catch of the pop-up was a beautiful thing to watch. Never got tired of the replay. Jimmy is a guy who can help the team tremendously even if he doesn’t go 3 for 4. When he makes plays like that, the rest of the world can see his greatness, too.

    As for the debate over Hamels’s pitch selection, a few additional curve balls might be nice, but it’s less about the absolute numbers and more about the spots he’s choosing. If he’s getting everyone out in the first half of the game with change-ups than some key curve balls late in the game could work. Not to be a cliche, however, it’s all about command. If he has great control of his fastball, hitting corners, opposing teams will be in trouble. Look at Greg Maddux. All he did for 20 years was throw different speeds of pitches that generally lacked eye-popping breaks. But he won all those games because he hardly ever threw fastballs down the middle of the plate. This should be Cole’s primary concern as well, even if he only throws three curve balls all night.

  47. Harry Kalas

    October 8, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Sorry Papa, but jreed and others were right about Cole needing the curve ball today… The reason why Cole doesn’t have better career numbers is due to the lack of a third pitch… He seems a little behind(ws run withstanding) I know

    That curve (a good one) will freeze Rockies who are coming into day’s game mad and embrass by their Game 1 performance…. Lee shut down the Rocks, but Col can still mash…. The only concern I have about Cole’s curve is that when it’s off it tends to land in the perfect LH’s dream zone for upper deck moon shots. We’ll just have wait and see what happens. out to right field. I think Cole will be fine today,. I also think we win today and go up 2-0….

  48. Ed R.

    October 8, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Question for you all.

    Would you rather face the Dodgers or Cardinals?

    I personally am struggling with this as I view the Cardinals as the better, team, though maybe not if they lose to the Dodgers, but still, the Cardinals scare me more. Playing the Dodgers however means the Phillies do not have home field like they would if they played the Cardinals. You can say, well the Phillies won the W.S without home field in the LCS and WS but the fact is, it still matters, they were 7-0 at home last year in the playoffs. Clearly playing at home matters.

    The Cardinals also have all right handed starters which goes well with our left heavy offense. The Dodgers can throw Wolf and Kershaw out there, an option the Cardinals don’t really have. Though the Cardinals offense in my opinion is much better than that of the Dodgers.

    Just curious what everyones thoughts were.

    Papa Thompson is right, the Twins new ballpark, Target Field is completely open air. Which totally blows for opposing teams in May, April and September/October. Though I wonder if that will somehow give them better home field advantage over that awful but very Twins friendly dome.

  49. cas

    October 8, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Worried about Cole today. “Mr. Diva” is complaining about not pitching at either the regular afternoon time or at night. I’m afraid he’ll psych himself out so completely that he’ll blow the game. I DON’T want to face the weird weather (which could cause who knows what kind of weird problems) in CO without a 2-0 lead.

  50. Ed R.

    October 8, 2009 at 8:33 am

    I would feel a little better about today if Cole wasn’t 0-6 with a 5.44 ERA this year in day games.

    This is a must win game for the Phillies. They can not allow the Rockies to get any momentum heading back home. They need to put the Rockies on life support today and King Cole has to be the guy to do it. Hopefully he took notes from what the Jeweler did yesterday, if anything, he doesn’t want to get shown up by Clifton.

  51. Morris Buttermaker

    October 8, 2009 at 8:41 am

    I thought the same thing when I saw the clip of Cole complaining about the start time. That is going to be his excuse after the game if he has a poor outing. It almost seemed like he was preparing himself and the fans for a disappointing outting.

    What do you mean about weird weather in Colorado? It is supposed to be 31 degrees with a possibility of snow on Saturday. It’s ideal for some smashmouth football. Should be a good time.

  52. Ed R.

    October 8, 2009 at 9:04 am

    For anyone who wants to watch the game at work but can’t try this site:

    http://www.atdhe.net/index.html

  53. joedad

    October 8, 2009 at 9:20 am

    ”Being the defending world champs, I think it’s kind of a little weird that we got both games at [2:37 p.m.],” Hamels, Philadelphia’s Game 2 starter, said. ”I don’t think it’s fair. I definitely don’t think it’s fair for the fans. I understand TV ratings, but at the end of the day, most players would rather play when they’re most comfortable, and that’s kind of what we’ve been trained to do, and I think it’s more fair for us than really the TV ratings.”

    So Hamels sticks up for the FANS and for HIS TEAM, THE DEFENDING NATIONAL CHAMPS and some people find fault calling him a diva and believe he is saying it in case he needs and excuse for a bad game. Some of you people are pathetic.

  54. joedad

    October 8, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Ed R, thanks for the link. I had some other yesterday but they were taken offline quickly.

    I disagree about this being a ‘must” win although it would make life much easier for them. The Phils are a great road team so even with a loss today they should be able to split in CO. That being said, i think they win today because Cole is a big game pitcher and the Rockies really struggle against lefties.

  55. Harry Kalas

    October 8, 2009 at 9:25 am

    So…..if Cole kept his mouth shut he would’ve threw a perfect game today? C’mon son… Ya heard me….. Cole’s right… He knows the electricity during the day was going to be loud…. But nothing beats the atmosphere of nite playoff games at the bank…. Bud Sleazy is worst than Don King… We won the division and are The Champs, but the Rockies are getting the VIP treatment in terms of the game atmosph. h/r)…. Day games in Philly, nite games in Col. Cole is 7-5 at home this season with a 3.76 era in 17 home starts(105 inns)… He’s 3-6 on the road in 15 road starts with a 4.99 era (88 inns). Cole 5-6 since the A/S break. He gave up 15hrs in the first half and just 9hrs in the 2nd half.

    Since the calendar turned to Sept, Hamels is 3-2 in six starts with a 3.32era He pitched 43.1 inns in Sept/October the most inns he pitched in any single month this season. He S/O 40 and wlk 8 and he only gave up 2 hrs.

    In 4 day time starts at home this season Cole is 0-3 with an 3.38era
    He pitched 21inns, 2hrs, 27 k’s, 3 bb….

    It’s daytime games on the road that has eaten Cole up in 5 daytime road starts Cole is 0-3 with a 7.09 era 26.2 inns

    Relax Phillies Nation…..

  56. SpankyYankee

    October 8, 2009 at 9:39 am

    I think if Hamels wears his log johns in side in “baseball costume” the one with pink flamingos he’ll do just fine and have an extra 2 or 3 boxes of tissues in the dugout….but if you consider he is a 2 legged excuse of ball player and a pitcher and a teamate he might have some trouble today….I can hear it now with excuses after he gives up the first 4 runs ….calm down little man you do have the best offense in the national league….oh thats right they don’t come thru for Cole Hamels maybe today he’ll break that 0-6 daytime excuse ……………………don’t forget the flamingo long johns.

  57. The Original Chuck P

    October 8, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Great win for the Phils… Lee does exactly what we brought him here to do. A complete game in his first postseason game… it’s pretty clear that Lee likes the big stage.

    Rollins deserves a lot of credit for what he did in the field… he secured at least two non-routine outs and in a game like that, outs are just as important as runs. You can’t waste opportunities to get guys out…

    Werth also came up big… getting on base, playing the field and igniting the fire.

    All in all, we played opportunistic baseball; we took extra bases, we didn’t leave runners on base, we didn’t make costly errors, we stayed away from double plays, we moved runners along and when Jimenez lost control of his fastball we sat on his changeup and hit the ball into the gaps. Colorado has two clear advantages; pen and bench… we didn’t have to use either.

  58. Ed R.

    October 8, 2009 at 9:54 am

    joedad…I certainly don’t mean to say that the Phillies will lose the series if they lose today but rather that the Rockies are a team who thrive on momentum…give them a foot and they will take a mile. If you don’t bury them early then will come back to haunt you. They are like the Twins except with a nicer ball park and less fans. I think the Rockies have a better chance to come back and win the series down 0-2 than the Phillies do of winning the series if they leave Philly tied 1-1. I know that sounds crazy, and maybe I am crazy. Momentum is afterall, only as good as tomorrows starting pitcher.

  59. j reed

    October 8, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Papa Thompson – if you re read my analysis of Hamels you will see I qualified alot of my statements with words like “could”, “may”, or “might”. Also, i did say “Is this causal or just coincidence, I can’t say yet.” I just thought the word hypothesis was a little heavy handed for this blog. But that what it is. I didn’t draw any conclusions. I did go on site my own observations not numbers, but what i saw in support of my hypothesis but didn’t draw any conclusions otherwise i would have shown the numbers i was spoke of and said something like ” and therefore he should throw more curveballs.” Instead I said,
    “His last 2 starts if I remember correctly, he hardly threw any. And those he did we’re terribly executed…we’ll see. Hopefully he’ll have command of his FB like he did for that complete game shut-out against LA and he won’t even it need the curveball. He only threw 3 that game.”
    Did i conclude he should therefore throw more curveballs? No. if he can perform like he did in that LA game or is locating his fastball then why to do anything else. I think that this is easily inferred from what i originally wrote. Also, it is reasonable to speculate that tim linececum might have thought that Cy Young Award would be a target on his back and so developed that nasty change up in the off season because two pitches now a days with the ever diminishiing strike zone can hamstring you esp. once batters make it a point to spend that extra time in the video room looking for any advantage they can get. I mean three pitches is sort of standard these days for starters. Now do i think Hamels should have done the same in the off season, maybe but he did has less time to prepare and there was the injury issue. Futhermore he has a free pass in my book for taking us to the promised land; a sentiment best expressed when I said,
    “What ever the outcome of this game or season, next year Hamels will come back a smarter, more developed pitcher….I would say a cy youngish season in 2010.” I think i am acknowledging his talent aplenty with that statement. I don’t have an issue with criticism provided your really read what I said and consider the tone with which it is said.

  60. Harry Kalas

    October 8, 2009 at 10:01 am

    C.C. Phat B*stard pitches 6 2/3 inns against a hung over and exhausted Twin team and now all of sudden he’s Schill of 2004(Yankee epic choke job) or Schill/Randy J of 2001 (Yanks lose on walk-off), or the Marlins 2003 (beat Yanks again). The Marlins won it on your field, sprayed Champagne in your lockeroom and then they partied in your City and mated with your New York ‘Smores…. If the Twins were rested they would’ve tatooed.. that Fat B*astard. He had choke written all over his face when the Twins went up 2-0…. Consider yourselves lucky…. This post season is the Yanks to win or lose. If they don’t win C.C, A-Rod and the boys will be placed in a wittness protection program. and the Yankees will once again be the Richest Loser in sports.. We beat a real team yesterday. The Yanks beat a shell of a team…. You are the A**clown of the year. Like I keep telling you, win a title retard and then come back….

  61. j reed

    October 8, 2009 at 10:07 am

    that’s “did i conclude that he shoud throw more curveballls?”

  62. Ed R.

    October 8, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Someone take H.K’s blood pressure. He might be on the verge of a stroke.

  63. j reed

    October 8, 2009 at 10:17 am

    HK – fight the power. Yeah the yanks get a gassed team and a rookie pitcher…maybe burnett’s arm finally falls off tonight. the Yanks are like school in the summer time….no class

  64. Harry Kalas

    October 8, 2009 at 10:20 am

    No, I’m good Edr…. But do those spilts w Hamles numbers in day games at home make you view Cole chance’s today any different? Just curious… I am a bit amped for the Game… I didn’t sleep more than 2-3 hours on Tues because I was so excited about the game……

  65. Harry Kalas

    October 8, 2009 at 10:21 am

    fight the power…. classic! Good one

  66. joedad

    October 8, 2009 at 10:21 am

    HK, I wasn’t impressed with CC either. He had some decent numbers but was gassed pitching against, as you said, a hungover, exhausted Twins team.

  67. SDO

    October 8, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Kalas, now now, we must remember to be PC here on this board. I’m sure you meant to say the little “mentally challenged” man. In any case, I’m wondering how he got out of the schizo ward in the Bronx.

  68. bob

    October 8, 2009 at 10:24 am

    @ HK

    I actually agree with that. 6 2/3 for an $180 million dollar pitcher against a tired, hungover and depleted Twins team and he is God.

    I love it!

    I don’t think the Phillies have gotten enough respect being the defending champions and all. Yesterday seemed like they had a chip on their shoulder and I hope it continues. We all know that if we win this series and play either STL/LA, all the hype will be with them. If we are forunate enough to get back to the WS, the hype will be with the AL team.

    Maybe it’s just being “in the shadows of the NY, LA and Boston’s of the World” but I feel like this team is always overlooked.

  69. j reed

    October 8, 2009 at 10:36 am

    well if the dodgers come to town i guess the strating pitching will be in for 3.5 innings and we can expect to face a BP whose arms have been hot glued back on. I mean wolf looked flat but what little confidence did torre show in the guy esp with carpenter struggling. Though I liked seeing Jeff Weaver exact some revenge on the team that chucked after his amazing 2006 WS effort. Talk about head case…you lose your spot in one of the best rotations in the game (halos) because you were 3-10 but also lose it to your younger brother who is a total phenom, only to get traded as a pity project for Dave Duncan to fix. Then you are instrumental in winning the WS only to be rewarded with a pin slip. I ‘m amazed the guy isn’t at the bar hanging with Jean M ichael Vincent bt now.

  70. Don M

    October 8, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Jayson Werth said after yesterday’s game that Game 2 is “just as important, if not more important… because if they manage a split, it gives them homefield advantage the same way the Phillies took it in the World Series”

    Hamels will be on his game today..

  71. Ed R.

    October 8, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Truthfully HK the splits don’t matter to me at all. As Cliff Lee showed yesterday, the regular season really is a whole other animal. What happened May – September matters little if at all once the playoffs begin. Although Cole’s numbers blow in day games, and blow less at home I still think that he has the talent and ego to turn it on come 2:37 today. He does not want to relinquish the title of staff Ace so naturally, he is going to have to one up what Cliff Lee did. A CG shutout is pretty much the only way to do it, but hey, I’m not greedy. I’ll take a win, I don’t care how we get it.

  72. j reed

    October 8, 2009 at 10:44 am

    bob – don’t disrespect the holy trinity

    NYY

    BSox LAA

    with the mere mention of our Flithy Fhillies. We might get slotted for the early morning news hour if we don’t learn our place in MLB

  73. j reed

    October 8, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Any predictions….ed r., joedad, mike d., hk , don m

  74. The Original Chuck P

    October 8, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Look, Cole stated the obvious (that MLB sucks a big nut) and I respect him for that… maybe he’s searching for an excuse IF he doesn’t perform but I’m hopeful that we’re going to see the reemergence of Hollywood Hamels. I’m hopeful that he comes out with a chip on his shoulder because a.) he was tagged as the game 2 starter b.) MLB screwed us (collectively… I had to sell my tickets today because I couldn’t get out of work) c.) this team gets no respect.

    Yesterday, Lee pitched a gem and we handed the Rockies a big time loss… realistically, it’s going to be really tough for them to win this series because we are clearly the better team… but we are the third story on ESPN. Who gets the headlines? CC Sabathia for pitching 6 2/3 innings and A-Rod for finally getting his postseason RBI. On a side note, I think that Gardenhire is setting up the Yankees; pitching Duensing against CC means that he’s got Blackburn, Pavano and Baker to go against the Yankees 2,3 and 4 pitchers and I think that the Twins can still win that series.

  75. j reed

    October 8, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Yeah hamels really made his bed with that statement but I like the sentiment and I think he put himself against the wall to get more pumped

  76. Ed R.

    October 8, 2009 at 10:51 am

    I’m going with 6-2 Phillies. Expect a homer from the Big Piece and Raulllllllllllllllllllllllllllll!!!

    I also think we will see a Lights Out showing and I do mean, Lights Out.

  77. j reed

    October 8, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Don M. – i heard he preferred the number 2 because of his rest scheldule. I don’t know how true that is. that ‘s what i heard

  78. j reed

    October 8, 2009 at 10:55 am

    man mike D. said the same thing but uped the ante and said lidge for the win… that too much pants crapping for my blood

  79. joedad

    October 8, 2009 at 10:59 am

    j reed, a critisism of you, whenever you make a gramaticul eror or mispeling, you feel comp[elled to corect yer mistakes. No ned for that becuz we can undrestand what you aer writing.

  80. Ed R.

    October 8, 2009 at 11:00 am

    j-reed. To my understanding, Charlie went with Lee in game 1 because it was on his normal rest. Using Hamels in game 1 would have meant going on short rest and it is well documented that Cole does not like to,(I won’t say refuses to) pitch on short rest. Pitching today allows Cole to go on normal rest. Cole seems to know his body and so I guess his reluctance to pitch on short rest is due to him knowing what he can and can’t do. I guess that is a good thing?

  81. joedad

    October 8, 2009 at 11:04 am

    My prediction for the Rockies? PAIN

    Phillies win, of course, 5-4. Hamels pitches through 7+. Eyre with a shutdown appearance in the 7th or 8th. We might see Happ in the 7th or 8th. Madson closes the door.

  82. j reed

    October 8, 2009 at 11:04 am

    f Can’t help but to be rooting for the twins like every other baseball fan who aren’t yanks, white sox, or tiger fans

  83. The Original Chuck P

    October 8, 2009 at 11:06 am

    I predicted that the Phillies would win 7-0 yesterday…

    Today, I’m going with a 4-2 victory for the Phils… I think that the Rox will be keeping a close eye on Cook and won’t let this game get out of hand if his sinker is not sinking. They’ll throw the kitchen sink at us if they have to and we’re going to have to win by any means necessary… I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rockies likely switch it up and go with their “A” lineup in this one (no Atkins and no Fowler… insert Smith, for offense, and Stewart, for offense and defense). We’ve got too many LH SP… at some point, Tracy has to start thinking about playing his best players regardless of match ups. Cook is two weeks removed from a stint on the DL and although he has pitched well, the road to recovery is rarely smooth so I see him going 5-6 innings. Hamels should be good for 7-8 innings and hopefully our bullpen can string together a few tough outs.

  84. joedad

    October 8, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Ed R, Dela Rosa is not on the roster so the Rockies are down a starting pitcher So if they are only as good as their next day’s starting pitcher, it makes it even less probable that they would win 3 in a row.

  85. The Original Chuck P

    October 8, 2009 at 11:14 am

    I think that Charlie went with Lee because he’s thinking that he might be able to use him in game 3 or 4 to finish off the Rox… if Hamels pitches well today, you don’t have to worry about saving Lee for game 5… if you use Lee in relief, you can use Hamels for game 5 and bring in Lee in the late innings, if necessary. Once again, the Rockies have two clear advantages in their bench and bullpen… the only way that the Rockies can win is if we have to lean on our bench/pen. Our starters are going to carry us and using Lee to finish a potential series clinching game makes a lot of sense to me.

  86. GWFightinsFan

    October 8, 2009 at 11:16 am

    All this talk about Cole throwing the curveball more…I wonder if he’s actually slightly hurt, and that’s affecting his ability to throw the curve without pain..

  87. Don M

    October 8, 2009 at 11:23 am

    The one thing I kept thinking yesterday was how calm the entire team looked..

    knowing that it takes 3 wins to advance this round.. you can’t try to win all 3 games on the first day.. so I really doubt that Hamels was pissed about starting Game 2

    I actually think he’s pitched pretty well when following a strong-start by Lee .

    So im not one for projections usually, but I can see Hamels going a strong 7 innings or so, and definitely giving us a chance to win this game .. Our offense has all the confidence in the world right now .. every start got at least one hit yesterday!

    Hopefully our bats are getting hot at the right time.. and our streaky team will streak its way back into the World Series

  88. j reed

    October 8, 2009 at 11:28 am

    joedad – Yeah, I’m a little self conscious grammatically speaking. Ever seen Take the Money and Run….where Woody Allen tries to rob a bank with a note but mispelled “gun”? That’d be me. Ever since then I’ve become grammar/ spelling nazi.

  89. j reed

    October 8, 2009 at 11:37 am

    GWFightins – I read something in a forum on Fangraphs that said he might have tweaked his elbow. It makes sense because it really began to come around and then suddenly the last two games, neither hide nor hair of it really. And when you saw it, just a few times it was too ugly and scaring too many children.

  90. bob

    October 8, 2009 at 11:57 am

    I can’t see the Twins pulling that series out, as much as I would love to see it. They seem really worn down and who can blame them at this point. It took alot out of them making that September run, ala our 07 team. Too many hitters in that Yankee lineup, IMO.

    I feel good about the Phils. Today is the day to really show Colorado who the team in control is. This is why we paid Mr. Hamels, for starts like today. I think the crowd is gonna be even more pumped up. The jitters are gone and 2008 is now officially behind us.

  91. joedad

    October 8, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    That was a great movie, “gub” was a funny scene. My blog posts are streams of consiousness so i don’t take care to make sure I spell consiousness correctly. I’m sure the nuns who taought me in grade school are turning in their graves.

  92. The Original Chuck P

    October 8, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    It would be crazy for anyone to bet against the Yankees against the Twins but Gardenhire did what he had to do to give his team a chance to win the series… concede game 1, let NY waste CC against his worst pitcher and prepare for game 2. If they can win game 2, they’ve turned the series around heading back to MIN… there are a lot of question marks at the back end of the Yankee rotation (Pettitte’s not 100% and Joba is a train wreck) which is why game 2 is critical in that series… their lineup is capable but unproven in the postseason and Minnesota is one of those teams that always finds a way to hang around long enough to defy the odds.

  93. joedad

    October 8, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Speaking of betting, today’s line favors the Phils more than yesterday’s.

  94. Joey

    October 8, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    looked good last night

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