Monday, October 13, 2008

Series Thoughts

Random thoughts on the NLCS....

The Phillies' offense has been missing in action the entire post-season with almost all of their scoring coming in bunches in just a few innings. This is not news to those of us who followed them throughout the season, but it is rotten timing. Jimmy Rollins has been having a particularly miserable time against the Dodgers, striking out four times in Game Two, something he had never done before including little league.

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The head-hunting and alleged head-hunting in Game Three is a reminder that these are not men playing a boy's game but boys who never grew up playing a boy's game. You can count on Manny Ramirez to have to be restrained from going after the entire Phillies squad as long as their are twenty-four other Dodgers and assorted coaches and trainers on the field to "restrain" him.

Myers' pitch behind Ramirez in Game Two was clearly a slip. No one, not even Brett Myers, is that stupid. Clay Condrey's buzzing of Russell Martin was an attempt to pitch inside, not high and tight. Hiroki Kuroda's pitch at Shane Victorino's head was deliberate and cheap.

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Listening to anyone hired by Fox Network is painful and unnecessary punishment. The pre-game trio that includes Mark Grace were openly rooting for the Dodgers, with Grace getting the best dig in when he said the Dodgers' players were glad to be home where no one would be yelling or throwing things at them. Way to go, Gracie. So far you get the cliche of the post-season award.

It's no secret the networks are rooting for LA to make the series.

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Watching Chase Utley last night it finally dawned on me why he is so beaten up by half way through the regular season. He dived for at least four balls that I can remember, landing hard on his body each time. That's a part of the game we tend to overlook when trying to assess how much of a beating his body is taking. We all admire how he plays the game; it's too bad the way he plays will probably shorten his career. He doesn't know about half speed.

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Other than Ramirez, no one in the Dodgers' lineup is scary. This is a team that can and should be beaten, but it's going to take a wake up call to the top half of the Phillies lineup.

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The Jamie Moyer saga is a wonderful storyline, but increasingly it looks as though the last chapter is being written right before our eyes. Moyer hasn't been fooling anyone at the plate lately. Interestingly, the theory about facing Moyer has always been to be patient, but last night the Dodgers were swinging at and connecting with first pitches.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Your point about the networks openly rooting for the Dodgers is well taken. I watch ESPN's First Take in the morning getting my kids ready for school (I live in Arizona) and on Friday, they talked very little about the Phillies' win in Game 1. Their top story was all about the upcoming football weekend, with the baseball buried 20 minutes in or so. I thought that was fine, because football rules the world. This morning, however, their top story was the Dodgers' win. When they brought in their newspaper reporters for commentary, all they talked about was how good the Dodgers played and what they needed to do to continue it (plus the brawl, of course). I don't mind that they're rooting for LA, but at least they could admit it. That's one of the reasons I like Colin Cowherd, even though he's a blowhard. He openly admits that he wants a LA-Boston World Series because it would be good for ratings. At least he's honest about being a ratings whore!