Thursday, October 08, 2009

Phillies and Dodgers Take Command

The Phillies look unstoppable and the Dodgers proved they are a force you'd better not take lightly as both teams took command in their five game series. After watching the Phillies dismantle the Rockies in every phase of the game, it would seem impossible for the Rockies to win a game this series. The Dodgers, on the other hand, weren't respected by many going into their series with the Cardinals. The Cardinals had the hot team and the best pitcher in the National League. But the Dodgers weren't listening and took game one.

Not to say that it was pretty in Chavez Ravine. Randy Wolf, starting the first post season game of his career, was all over the place. He gave up five walks (two of them intentional to Pujols) and six hits in three and a third innings before giving way to Jeff Weaver (of all people). Despite all those base runners, Wolf only let two of those runners score. He was helped in part by a remarkable double-play started by Belliard.

And the Dodgers didn't hit in the clutch either. The two teams stranded almost thirty base runners between them and couldn't get the big hit. The Dodgers showed their superiority in the bullpen and that was the main difference in the game.

It was surprising to see Carpenter struggle. He left so many pitches in the heart of the strike zone, one had to wonder how he had as brilliant a season as he had. There is a real possibility that Carpenter is spent a bit after pitching all season when he had pitched so few innings the two years before. Fatigue may be a big factor here.

In Philadelphia, those fans were awesome with a sea of towels and the fans got treated to a first class performance by the Phillies. Cliff Lee looked unflappable and unhittable for most of the game. He's a funny pitcher where sometimes he looks untouchable and other times, he just gets torched. There doesn't seem to be an in between with him. Fortunately, it was his A game against the Rockies, who looked over matched against the Phillies.

In a side note, the Phillies should shut up about playing two day games to start the playoffs. Geez, of all the silly things to complain about. Jim Tracy, the manager of the Rockies had the right take on the thing. His comment, "I'm just glad we're playing these games. I don't care what time they start." That's the right attitude. Enjoy the ride, folks. It doesn't come to everyone.

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