NLCS Games 1 & 2Posted: October 17, 2009
NLCS GAME 1 – Phillies 8 vs. Dodgers 6
This game started off as a good pitching match-up, by the end of the 4th inning both pitchers seemed to be in their groove, the Dodgers had the advantage of a 1 run lead and nothing looked as if it would change anytime soon. The top of the 5th inning something did change, not sure what, but it did, the Phillies got to Kershaw and exploded with 5 runs, I am sure at this point many of the Phillies fans were ecstatic with Hamels pitching with the poise of 2008, how could the Dodgers come back. Well we found out in the bottom of the 5th, where the Dodgers got to Hamels with 3 runs making it a 1 run game.
Both starting pitchers, Kershaw and Hamels became the…
….VICTIMS OF GAME 1, their chances of greatness in this game were killed off by each teams offence.
The 6th inning and both teams were into their respective bullpens, I am sure this delighted many Dodger fans, since the Phillies bullpen has been below standard for most of the season. The Dodgers bullpen pitched 4 1/3 innings using 5 different pitchers. The Phillies bullpen pitched 3 2/3 innings using 6 different pitchers. For the most part both bullpens had solid performances. The Dodgers bullpen gave up 3 runs and the Phillies bullpen gave up 2 runs, miraculously these all came in the 8th inning.
The 8th inning not only gave us the deciding runs, the only runs that both bullpens gave up, but it also gave us…
…BELOW PAR PLAYERS, for Sherrill, it was his inability to find the strike zone, and when he did it was front and center for a long ball, and for Utley it was a throw to first to complete a double play that just sailed off into the dugout, I do not believe the hesitation from Rollins was at fault, Utley should have held the ball if that was the case.
It was definitely a nail-biter for both fans and in my eyes lived up to all expectations of excitement. It was one of those games where either team could have won it and for game 1 the Phillies were the lucky ones.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME…
Carlos Ruiz and Russell Martin, both catchers played outstanding baseball at the plate and behind the plate, they each handled a number and variety of pitchers, played good defense and showed us offense too.
Loney and Ibanez are my highlight players, Loney because it seemed like he was always on base, he went 3 for 4 with a walk, an RBI and 2 runs scored. Ibanez because he went 2 for 4 3 RBI’s and 2 runs scored which included the 8th inning, 3 run bomb.
NLCS GAME 2 – Phillies 1 vs. Dodgers 2
This game was a pure pitchers duel both starters went pitch for pitch with each other, it seemed like they both had something to prove, both guys facing clubs that had given them a rough deal when parting ways. Martinez went 7 innings giving up just 2 hits, while Padilla went 7 1/3 innings giving up 4 hits, a walk and a run. It was definitely another nail-biter for both sets of fans. The Phillies bullpen managed to give away the winning run to the Dodgers in the 8th inning by walking Ethier with 2 outs and the bases loaded after Utley threw away the tying run earlier in the inning.
Because of the way the starting pitchers performed for me they were the…
PLAYERS OF THE GAME…
and the VICTIMS OF THE GAME, because neither pitcher got the win, yet the performances they both produced were definitely winning performances.
This game, like game 1 was a game for the taking by either team, but once again there were in my eyes players that didn’t perform and because of that made it harder for their respective teams to win…
…BELOW PAR PLAYERS, Ramirez because he went 0 for 4 with a strikeout, but mostly because he had the opportunity to put the game well out of the Phillies reach, but chose to first pitch swing for a pop up. Utley because he didn’t learn from the game 1 mistake and made the same identical throwing error, that should have been a double play and the tying run would have possibly held at 3rd and may have allowed the Phillies to go on for the win.
…Howard for seizing his opportunity in the 4th inning, by hitting a long ball off Padilla, and Pierre for his excellent base running to bring the tying run home.
So now it’s off to Philadelphia and Citizens Bank Park for the next 3 games of this series. If the first 2 games are anything to go by then it is going to make a lot of fans on both sides more nervous than ever. For baseball fans in general it should produce some more of the most exciting baseball we’ve seen all year long.
The Yankees and the Angels played the first game of the ALCS series Friday, which saw CC Sabathia pitch 8 tremendous innings, throwing 113 pitches with 7 strikeouts, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits. Matsui came through as a DH should, going 2 for 3 with a walk and 2 RBI’s. The Angels appeared to have a lack-luster performance due to the dominance of Sabathia. The Yankees won the game 4-1 taking a series lead. Game 2 is Saturday (tonight) evening at Yankee Stadium where the Yankees will be looking to go 2-0 up in the series and the Angels hoping they can take a tie back to Anaheim.
– it will be, what it will be –