World Series Game 1: It’s Deja Vu All Over Again

October 23, 2008 at 1:08 am | Posted in Baseball, Rays, World Series | 6 Comments

While watching Game 1 of the World Series tonight, I had to check my TV to make sure that I wasn’t watching a rerun of Game 1 of the ALCS.  Tonight’s game seemed like a carbon copy of that game.  We saw a great effort from the Rays starting pitcher canceled out by an even greater effort by the opposing starter, and a total lack of production from the heart of the Rays lineup of Upton, Pena, and Longoria.

I tip my hat to Cole Hamels tonight.  He was what I thought he was – one of the best pitchers in baseball.  I do think that after seeing him once, the Tampa Bay hitters will be better prepared for him in Game 5.  The Phillies hitters, with the exceptions of Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz (who I dubbed “King of the Bloop Single” during the game), were not overly impressive.  Ryan Howard looked especially horrendous.  I felt like I might even be able to strike him out…

Some other thoughts about the Phillies:

  • I was shocked to see Eric Bruntlett pinch run for Pat Burrell in the 7th inning.  Was it really a good idea to take Burrell’s bat out of the lineup for a very important at-bat in the 9th?
  • Even though Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge didn’t give up any hits tonight, I thought they both looked very hittable.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see them give up a few runs in this series.
  • Question for Phillies fans: Is Charlie Manuel as dumb as he sounds when he talks?  I listened to him in the postgame press conference, and I thought he was going to turn into Admiral Stockdale for a minute.  Who am I?  Why am I here?

As for the Rays, if it hadn’t been for one mistake by Scott Kazmir, the pitch that Chase Utley hit out of the park in the 1st inning, they would have won the game.  I was very impressed by the bullpen tonight, especially Grant Balfour.  It looks like he’s over what happened in Game 5 of the ALCS, and he’s back to being the most dominant middle reliever in baseball.  As for the hitters, Akinori Iwamura was really the only bright spot in the lineup tonight.  Crawford’s home run was obviously nice to see too.

I loved Upton’s throw to get Shane Victorino out at home plate in the 2nd.  What was he thinking testing B.J.’s arm on such a shallow fly ball?

Now we’re on to Game 2, and the first of Philadelphia’s “three stooges” – Brett Myers – will be pitching.  I predict an offensive explosion for the Rays.  And like I said yesterday, since Hamels won tonight, I’m now predicting a Rays series win, 4-2.  I just can’t see any other Phillies starters winning games.

And finally, don’t forget to get your free taco from Taco Bell next Tuesday, courtesy of Jason Bartlett!

Tonight’s MVP for the Rays:

2007 Upper Deck Ultimate "Future Signatures" #22/25



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  1. Victorino is fast. Really fast. BJ’s arm was a little better tonight, but watch out for Victorino, he made the Braves look like fools all season.

    I disagree on Brad Lidge. That slider was nasty. He can be hit though, Pujols almost destroyed his career with a bomb in the playoffs a few years ago.

  2. I love the Charlie Manuel-Admiral Stockdale reference! Manuel isn’t smooth at all and when you put him up against Joe Maddon, yikes, the poor guy. I think the Phillies have holes all over the place. The Rays can definitely exploit them if they can find them.

  3. They are good fellas and been a watcher of the series.

  4. You will see the Bruntlett PR move the whole series. To me the problem isn’t the future AB, the issue is that I am not sure that Bruntlett is any better a left fielder than Burrell. Unfortunately the Phillies don’t really have a better option in that situation. That was supposed to be So Taguchi’s job but it didn’t work out.

    And yes Charlie has always talked that way and yes he has taken a lot of heat locally.

  5. Your still good, if the Rays were going to drop 1 at home you need it would be against Hamels. No worries

  6. You really thought Lidge looked hittable? The way Pena and Longoria went down make me feel uneasy about the series. Then I sat back, and decided that the Phillies need the lead to make Lidge a viable option. I don’t expect them to have a lead in the 9th until Hamels pitches again.

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