Posts Tagged ‘Game 1’

In the News (10/1)

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Today’s Game: Phillies 3, Brewers 1
Series: 0-1

 

Today’s Game

OK, so that’s playoff baseball…

It’s hard to feel too bad about the loss today, but it does make tomorrow’s game an absolute must win.

I actually took a lot of positives from the game.

First of all, I didn’t feel great about the matchup coming in. Cole Hamels is a nasty pitcher and the Brewers have not really been swinging the bats well. When you combine that with the nerves most of the Brewers had to be feeling as the young guys played in their first postseason game, it was a recipe for disaster. But this game wasn’t a disaster. The Brewers were within a ninth-inning single of tying the game. They fought back in the game and came up just short, but come out of it knowing they can play playoff baseball and that they can play with the Phillies. This isn’t the same team that left Philadelphia with a four-game sweep last month. Confidence should be pretty high tomorrow, especially with CC taking the mound.

Secondly, most of the Brewers line-up got a good look at Phillies closer Brad Lidge, who came into the game in the ninth despite Hamels dominating through eight innings and only throwing 101 pitches. The Brewers got two hits, a walk and an unearned run on Lidge. Now, they have a little bit better feel for him. He will also probably be pretty worn out for tomorrow’s game since he threw 35 high-pressure pitches today.

The pitching for the Brewers was outstanding. Yovani Gallardo struggled with command (five walks, one intentional), which is understandable in just his second game back from injury, but he looked very solid besides that and gave up zero earned runs in four innings. Mitch Stetter, Carlos Villanueva, Manny Parra and Guillermo Mota held the Phillies to zero runs and just one hit over the last four innings. In fact, the Phillies had just four hits the whole game and only one extra-base hit. Even the extra-base hit was in Mike Cameron’s glove before falling out. It was certainly an impressive pitching performance all around.

That’s not to say there weren’t negatives.

Dropped Opportunity

The third inning was obviously the killer. After a Carlos Ruiz single, Cole Hamels laid down a bunt to the third base side that could have easily been a double play with Ruiz’s slow feet. Hall fielded it cleanly, but bobbled the ball trying to get it out of his glove. After he got his grip, he decided to go to first for the sure out. The throw was perfect, but Weeks dropped it. Inexcusable. With those two defensive miscues, it went from two outs with no one on to no outs and two on.

Gallardo battled back to get the next two outs before allowing a deep fly ball to Chase Utley. Cameron took a bad angle to the ball, but got to it and had it in his glove before allowing it to fall out. It would have been a nice play, but one that needs to be made by a three-time gold glove outfielder in the playoffs. A catch would have ended the inning with no runs scored even after Hall and Weeks’ mishaps. The game would have been completely different.

With Utley on second, Gallardo then intentionally walked Ryan Howard and gave up a walk to Pat Burrell to push Utley to third and Howard to second. With the bases loaded, Gallardo walked Shane Victorino to push in the third Phillies’ run in the inning. A 2-0 deficit is much easier to make up than 3-0. Who knows what could have happened if Gallardo didn’t walk in that third run? You can’t give away runs in the playoffs.

The offense was pretty anemic too. Four hits and just one extra base hit is not going to get it done. Two of the four hits came from players who came off the bench in the game (Craig Counsell and Ray Durham). It was nice to see Hart get a hit, but it sure would have been a lot nicer to see it in that ninth inning. He struck out to end the game. He could have won back a lot of the fans he’s lost over the past few months with a base knock there.

The big spot in the game that won’t make the highlights was the sixth inning. Jason Kendall led off with a strikeout, but Craig Counsell followed him with a single and Cameron took a walk. With two on and just one out, Bill Hall had to do something, at least move the runners over. Instead, he (predictably) struck out and Ryan Braun ended the inning with a pop out. Hamels went on to pitch two more innings. If the Brewers score one or two runs in that inning, or even if they had just put a little more pressure on Hamels, he may have had to leave the game earlier, which would have only helped the Brewers’ chances.

So CC Sabathia takes the hill tomorrow and the Brewers have to have Game 2. They face Brett Myers, who has not pitched well since he faced the Brewers in September. Hopefully his slide continues. It’d be nice to win a laugher for the first time in a few weeks… but I’ll take any W of course.

Brewers News

- Here’s the Journal-Sentinel game story.

Sabathia says he’s going to stay calm during the game tomorrow. Just do whatever you’ve been doing, big fella. And that primal scream fist pump at the end of another dominating performance will be a good release. More HERE.

- Enough can’t be said about Sabathia, but Sveum sums it up pretty well:

“It’s probably the greatest 2 ½-month performance you’ve ever seen from a professional athlete, in any sport.”

- Pitchers have done pretty well on three days rest this season. Hopefully CC continues the trend.

- The Brewers remain confident.

- I think fans can expect more offense the rest of the series, except the Phillies tomorrow against CC. There were no earned runs in today’s game. More on the Brewers’ offense HERE.

- Michael Hunt takes the defense to task. More on the miscues HERE and HERE.

- Bob Wolfley takes a look at the broadcasters from Game 1.

- MLB has some “Short Hops” from Game 1 and break down several of the key moments and decisions in the game.

- Ryan Braun has a blog, and is awesome:

“Then we went home and got changed and went out downtown to this place called Martini Mike’s with the whole team. Mark Attanasio, our owner, came out and there were a bunch of fans in there. We just had a good time celebrating, drinking, dancing. It was cool that the fans were there because getting to the postseason is a big deal for us, but those people have been through 26 years. Now they can be proud of their hometown team, proud of Milwaukee. That means as much to us players as anything else. I had grown men coming up to me, crying, and telling me what it meant to them and their family. That put it in perspective a lot.”

He already has a post up from Game 1 and is still pretty confident and ready to get back out there for Game 2.

- Gallardo was the second pitcher in MLB history to ever start a game in the postseason without winning a game in the regular season.

- “Playoffs could kick start Hart” - Uh, not exactly… but one hit is better than none I guess.

- Baseball Prospectus gave the Brewers a 54.7744 percent chance of winning the series against Philadelphia before it began. I’d guess it’s considerably lower now… (H/T to BBKTUTH!)

- The Hardball Times odds don’t look as good.

- But, hey, Diamond Hoggers picks the Brewers over the Phillies in five. Make it happen, Brew Crew.

- And Jeff Sackmann of Brew Crew Ball details why the Brewers will beat the Phillies.

- What superstitious thing are you doing to help the Brewers win?

- Matt at Chuckie Hacks has an interesting theory about why karma is on the Brewers’ side. Mini-horses?

Playoffs

- Sure, losing Game 1 stunk…but at least we didn’t already assume a World Series trophy was locked up. Cubs fans might want to rethink that a bit… Dodgers 7, Cubs 2. And they have a good chance of going down 2-0 with Chad Billingsley facing Carlos Zambrano tomorrow.

- The Cubs have now lost their last seven games called by Dick Stockton. Those Cubs sure have a lot of superstitions.

- Oh yeah, there’s another little twist to that goat thing too…

Other News

- It’s hard to be a Pirates fan.


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