Thursday, October 09, 2008

Live Blog - Phils vs. Dodgers - Game 1

We're coming to you from the Bonnes Bar and Baseball Basement in the Twins Geek Observatory. It's been more than a decade since the Phils made it to the NLCS. The last one ended with the Phils advancing to the World Series, me making that face you see above, and a bunch of us being discovered (and chased) from the kitchen of a Pizzaria Uno well after closing time. Sounds like an opportunity for a live blog...

1st Inning

Good Lord, is Manny Ramirez good. I don't know how far he hit that "double", but it only stayed in the Citizen Bank Park because of an architectural quirk in center field. He is an absolute hitting freak and hot as two suns right now. If the Phils end up being eliminated early in this series, I'm going to need to start rooting for the Red Sox in the ALCS, just so I can watch him face them.

Jack Buck and Tim McCarver raised one salient point and yet, I find them annoying.

Dodgers 1, Phils 0

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Fox gets mad props for having Harry Kalas introduce the Phils at the top of the first. He doesn't rank as high as cheesesteaks, pretzels and TastyKakes as a Philly institution, but he's at the next level.

Gawd, I miss Whitey.

So does Ryan Howard ever inside-out a ball to the opposite field? If not, it's going to be an awfully long night for him.


Dodgers 1, Phils 0

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2nd Inning
I just want to point out the The Voice of Reason(TVoR) just arrived for the game because she was too busy vacuuming upstairs. We both agree she's to blame for the early deficit.
And we learn that the home plate umpire tonight is Mike Reilly, whose recent work includes butchering the final game at the Metrodome between the White Sox and Twins. The next day I wrote:

I don't know if he had a bad night, or if he's just going through a rough patch, or if he's losing it after 31 years on the job. But I do know that someone besides the guys yelling from the two dugouts should call that performance what it was: embarassing. It truly marred an otherwise amazing game.


He doesn't seem as bad tonight, though he did call a strike on Ryan Howard for a pitch that Fox showed to be at least 6 inches outside.
Dodgers 1, Phils 0

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The bottom of the second provides a good example of why the designated hitter is underrated. The seventh hitter in the order gets a 2-out single, and my reaction is a yawn. You know the worst position player will be hitting next. And even if he somehow gets on base, the pitcher will be batting next. Yawn.


Dodgers 1, Phils 0


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3rd Inning
Hamels has only given up one run through 3 innings, but he's also give up three hits, two walks and four strikeouts. Usually Ks are a good thing, but in this case, its adding to his pitch count. He's already at 55 pitches through 3 innings.
Dodgers 1, Phils 0

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The highlight of the bottom of the 3rd inning? Using the basement toilet that was recently fixed for the first time in six months.


So, no, this game hasn't been everything I hoped so far. Utley leads off next inning. We'll hope for better.

Dodgers 1, Phils 0
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4th Inning

And things don't get any better in the top of the fourth. The Dodgers benefit from a fortunate lead-off double, but they take advantage of it. Give credit to Casey Blake for the job he did. Down 0-2, he works the count and eventually grounds out to the right side of the infield (and he's right-handed). The Dodgers got 'em over and got 'em in.

Dodgers 2, Phils 0

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Derek Lowe is at his junkballing best tonight. Everything he throws seems to be swerving as it approaches the plate. He might as well be throwing a wiffle ball - but harder. He just sat down the heart of the Phils order - Utley, Howard and Burrel - in order.

Dodgers 2, Phils 0

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5th Inning

TVoR is tempting fate tonight. For the upcoming elementary school book fair, she's cutting bookmarks. With a paper cutter. While she tries to watch her Phils. 8.5 is the over/under on digits she'll have at the conclusion of this game. If Manny Ramirez gets on again, I wouldn't put it past her to take one off just out of anger.

Dodgers 2, Phils 0

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The Phils finally get the crowd a little revved up and a runner in scoring position when the catcher Carlos Ruiz and the pitcher Cole Hamels each get two-out hits. Rollins pops out to left field, but at least he got the ball out of the infield.

Oh, and that second point under the second inning? You can ignore that, OK? We'll just keep that our little secret.

Dodgers 2, Phils 0

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Sixth Inning

After a lead-off single, the Phils turn a double play on a nice play by shortstop Jimmy Rollins. It not only snuffs a possible rally, but it probably means Cole Hamels gets to pitch the seventh inning.

Dodgers 2, Phils 0

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Shane Victorino leads off the inning. I'm guessing that South Philly loves Shane Victorino.

And they probably love him even a little more right now, because shortstop Rafael Furcal just threw a ball over first baseman's James Loney's head. Victorino is on second base.

Which turns out to be significant. For some reason, Derek Lowe, both last inning and this one, is a little freaked out by having a runner on second base because he believes they're reading his signs. Even after calling out his catcher to change the signs, he starts dancing around and scratching the mound like a hyperactive chicken. He looks like someone dumped itching powder down his pants.

Which may or may not have had an affect on the meatballs he threw to Chase Utley or Pat Burrell. And which they deposited into the bleachers of the Bank.

I never thought that Derek Lowe would exit this game before Cole Hamels, but it just happened. And I think I probably speak for a large segment of Dodger fandom when I say it happened a couple of batters too late. (Do people in Souther California scream at their TVs? I have trouble picturing that. "Dude. You should should pull him. Like now.")

Dodgers 2, Phils 3

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Seventh Inning

Hamels finishes (I assume) his night by striking out two of the batters he faces and getting the other to ground out weakly. That's 105 pitches, and he was battling from behind through the 92nd one. Nice recovery, kid.

In a related note, my wife has been doing The Happy Dance (which The The Boy™ believes he has copyighted) roughly a dozen times since that 92nd pitch. She's doing it right now. Join along, won't you? DO-dah-DO-dah-DO - DAH!

Dodgers 2, Phils 3

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I love the Joe Torre State Farm commercial. I like the idea of him sticking the Yankees nose in another playoff run. And I'll even buy that he should get some of the credit for the Dodgers success this year.

But he pulled Lowe too late. He should have been pulled before Ryan Howard, let alone Pat Burrell.

Dodgers 2, Phils 3

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Eighth Inning

The Dodgers' have the meat of the lineup hitting in the eighth, but since it's not the ninth, the Phils can't bring in Brad Lidge. Fortunately, they also have Ryan Madson, and he gets out of the inning without a runner getting past first base. Manny Ramirez was totally fooled by a changeup - and still managed a weak line drive that fortunately went right to Phillies third baseman Pedro Feliz. Manny is going to be scary this whole series. There is just no way around it.

Dodgers 2, Phils 3

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Chase Utley bats, and I end up getting props from TVoR for his very existence.

Apparently, very early in his career, he hit a grand slam, and she was all excited to tell me about how some rookie with a WASPie name hit a grand slam. And I got all excited because he was on starting on my roto team. And she was flabbergasted.

So now she claims I discovered him. And I'm OK with that.

Dodgers 2, Phils 3

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Ninth Inning

This will be a tough inning to type up. And I don't mean that emotionally. I mean that physically, because I'm going to need to knock on wood every time they mention that Brad Lidge hasn't blown a save yet this year (knock, knock). Except in Philly they call it "touching wood". You can add your own punchline to that one.

That first out was a fly ball hit awfully far to right field.

Lidge has been perfect, but he has not got stronger as the season has progressed. He's bringing to mind another closer from the playoffs from an earlier decade, and I hesitate to even mention his name.

Good lord. The second out might have been hit farther than the first. TVoR is even making sure her happy dance is a tiny, quiet, lower case, happy dance.

dodahdodahdo-dah!

Anyway, until the Phils win a big one, it's going to be hard for Philly to ever trust a closer again. But you have to like how the Phils handled that this year. Guess who threw out the first pitch for the first playoff game this year? Yep. The-Wild-Thing-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Talk about jumping in head first....

And like TWTWMNBN, Lidge gets the third out on a pitch that bounces in front of home plate.

Game 1 Final: Dodgers 2, Phillies 3

Epilogue

Phils win, Mike Reilly redeemed his reputation, and TVoR won the "over" bet on her digits. Thanks for stopping by.

2 comments:

Josh's Thoughts said...

Pretty good game thus far

tborg said...

Wait, TVOR was VACUUMING as the game started? Sigh... The fact that would never happen in a million years at my house, even if the distraction was as mild as an old episode of "Happy Days", says something about why our house looks the way it does.