There’s been a lot of talk about the u30ws, a.k.a. the Under-30 World Series, because 24 players in this Fall Classic are under the age of 30 — and because a new breed of young fans who weren’t even alive when the Phillies last won the World Series (1980) are pumped up about the new team from Philadephia and the upstart Tampa Bay Rays.
Well, I’m here to tell you that the key players in Tampa Bay’s 4-2 win in Game 2 that knotted this World Series with the Phillies at a game apiece were all about u30ws, from Rays starter “Big Game” James Shields to 23-year-old reliever David Price to 20-something RBI men Evan Longoria, B.J. Upton and Jason Bartlett.
Shields put a stop to the momentum the Phillies gained in their road win in Game 1, killing rally after rally with big outs like this one:
Upton didn’t have to hit a homer on this night – he set up the big two-run first inning right here:
And Price bent a little but didn’t break, going more than two innings to close out the first World Series win in Tampa Bay history:
The u30ws hits the road tomorrow, so we can get a little bit of rest before Game 3 — American League Championship Series MVP Matt Garza takes the hill against crafty vet Jamie Moyer — at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday night.
Let’s get some serious conversation going before then.
The Phillies better thrive off their home field advantage. A revved up crowd could be just what Ryan Howard needs to get back into his 48-regular season home run self. I can’t deny that I get nervous whenever he steps up to the plate even though the Rays’ rotation has done a good job of shutting him down. Also Moyer can’t let what happened in his last two post-season starts haunt him. All in all it will be an interesting trip to Philly; my thought is that the Phillies better improve on their 1-28 with runners in scoring position instead of relying heavily on homers.
Will Moyer continue to be bad in the playoffs? We’ll see. I think the Rays better win the next one to insure they’ll go back home.
Thought you’d want to see this. http://www.battingstanceguy.com has become you tube sensation this summer. He just did a video – impressions of the batting stances of the NINE walk-off HRs in the World Series since 1975.
9. 1988 A’s/Dodgers Game 3 MARK MCGWIRE off Jay Howell
8. 1999 Yankees/Braves Game 3 10th inning CHAD CURTIS off Mike Remlinger
7. 2003 Marlins/Yankees Game 4 12th inning ALEX GONZALEZ off Jeff Weaver
6. 2005 White Sox/Astros Game 2 SCOTT PODSEDNIK off Brad Lidge
5. 2001 Yankees/Diamondbacks Game 4 10th inn DEREK JETER off Byung-Hyun Kim
4. 1991 Twins/Braves Game 6 11th inning KIRBY PUCKETT off Charlie Liebrandt
3. 1975 Red Sox/Reds Game 6 12th inning CARLTON FISK off Pat Darcy
2. 1993 Blue Jays/Phillies Game 6 JOE CARTER off Mitch Williams
1. 1988 Dodgers/A’s Game 1 KIRK GIBSON off Dennis Eckersley
The Phillies should SERIOUSLY consider moving to a 3 man rotation barring a rain delay. Well, maybe not a 3 man rotation, but they should start Hamels 3 times if the series goes 7. Hamels, Meyers, Moyer, Hamels, Blanton, Meyers, Hamels or Hamels, Meyers, Moyer, Hamels, Meyers, Moyer, Hamels: pick one. Is it better to start Meyers and Moyer on 3 days rest or start Blanton and give Blanton the call, start Moyer only once, and keep Meyers on regular rest? Either way, the Phillies need to realize that they put themselves in a good position to win with Hamels on the mound and they put themselves in a good position to lose with any of their other sub-par pitchers on the mound. Start Hamels 3 times and pray for a miracle when Meyers, Blanton, or Moyer starts for the other 3. Bottom line, if the Phillies don’t get 21+ innings from Hamels this series they have no legitimate shot at winning this series. They have a 1-man rotation (Hamels), an offense that is just as good as the Rays but less explosive (Rollins, Howard, etc..), and the only advantage they have is the bullpen. You’ve got to have a lead for a good bullpen to be effective and you won’t get that facing the Rays starting Meyers twice, Moyer twice, and Blanton once. You just won’t.