Coming into Game 1 of the Philly Dream Series, much of the talk surrounded the fact that we were going to get to see two of the greatest lefties in Philadelphia baseball history. Neither Cole Hamels nor Lefty Grove disappointed. The mighty A’s hitters managed a measly two hits off of Hamels in 7 innings of work. Phillies hitters didn’t have much more luck off of Grove, who allowed only 1 run in his first 9 innings of work, before finally wearing down in the 10th.
The scoring started in the bottom of the 4th, as Bing Miller sent a Cole Hamels fastball over the right field wall. Miller hasn’t had to pay for a steak in this town since his walk off double won the A’s the 1929 World Series, and a big Dream Series could only burnish his legend.
This being Philadelphia, that crowd was electric from the start. And when Herbert Hoover was announced to throw out the first pitch, he was met with boos and chants of “We Want Beer!” (Remember the ’29 A’s played in the midst of Prohibition). The crowd’s rowdy behavior did not go over well with the gentlemanly teetotaller Connie Mack. (After the game, the President jokingly responded to the boos by saying, “I thought they were cheering me on by screaming ‘Hooooooo-ver!'”)
Tied at 1 after 9, Mack decided to ride Lefty into the tenth, despite the fact that he was clocking in at over 120 pitches. Greg Dobbs, pinch hitting for Ryan Madson, hit a flyball double into right field to lead off the inning. After walking Rollins, Grove was replaced by reliever Ossie Orwoll (pic right), perhaps the finest athlete on the A’s. Orwoll played in the NFL in 1926, and as an Athletic, he’s played first base, center field and left field in addition to pitching. He coaxed Jayson Werth into a fly out to left, but the ball went deep enough to allow pinch runner So Taguchi to advance to third. Chase Utley then flew out to right. Bing Miller lined up his catch and threw a dart home, but Taguchi avoided Cochrane’s tag and gave the Phils the 2-1 lead.
Brad Lidge came on in the bottom of the 10th, and leaning heavily on the slider, struck out three batters to end the game.
Dobbs, who set a team record with 22 pinch hits this past season, spoke about his big hit after the game. “Lefty does a nice job of painting the corners with that fastball, but I think he was a little tired. That one he threw me caught a little too much of the plate and I was able to get around on it.” The wonkish Dobbs, known for studying pitchers, says he’s watched what video of Grove he could find. “Does all this help me tremendously? I don’t know. But I do know that it makes me feel prepared, and not feeling prepared is the worst thing that can happen. You need to feel good going into an at-bat.”
Well, Greg Dobbs has all of South Philadelphia feeling good after his heroics in Game 1.