Tagged: Scott Kazmir
Wet and wild
I know we’ve all been saying all along that October never fails to bring things we don’t expect. Well, last night’s Game 5 was a new one for everyone involved.
For the first time in history, a World Series game was suspended, and you have to wonder how the Phillies and Rays feel about it considering where things stand.
Things were looking great for Philly early, with Cole Hamels dealing as usual and Shane Victorino’s first-inning single giving the home team a lead it didn’t look like it would give up:
But the Rays aren’t ready to give up and want to win a game away from home to extend the Series, even if it might take them two days to win that game. They clawed back against Hamels, got a gutsy start from Scott Kazmir, and tied the game up right here:
So now we’ve got at least three more innings of Game 5 at some point, and that’s about all we can figure out at this point.
What time will the game start?
Can the Rays win and take this Fall Classic back to Florida?
The fun part is watching to see what happens.
Finally … the World Series!
And this one was a perfect way to get it started. Nine tight, tense innings of October baseball, with pitching, key defensive plays and a few big hits giving the Phillies all they needed to take a 1-0 lead over the Rays. Here are some of my thoughts:
Cole Hamels keeps getting it done, and he didn’t only do it with his pitching, which was obviously spectacular. This pickoff of Carlos Pena stopped some Tampa Bay momentum, which is a big deal in Tropicana Field.
Chase Utley let Scott Kazmir and the baseball world know right away that the Phillies would not let a lot of rest between series cool them off. His huge two-run homer came on an impressive swing against a left-hander and took the crowd out of the game for a while.
What more can be said about Brad Lidge? The guy is looking positively Mariano Rivera-like in his quick ninth innings. Wednesday was no exception.
What do you expect Thursday night from James Shields and Brett Myers? Will the Phillies sweep? I want to hear your thoughts on Game 1 and beyond.
Heart still beating
Sometimes not much needs to be said to describe incredible, almost miraculous moments. Here’s one you might have seen, oh, early this morning:
Not since 1929 has a team been seven or more runs down in a postseason game and still rallied to win. But we shouldn’t be surprised by the Boston Red Sox anymore, should we? Many of these players were on the 2004 team that was down 3-0 to the Yankees in the American League Championship Series and won. Many of these players were on last year’s team that was down 3-1 to the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS and won. Terry Francona managed all three clubs. There’s history there. And heart, which is the most important thing of all.
I’m not sure what the day off does to the surging Red Sox, who have the momentum, or the dazed Rays, who have to be devastated that they couldn’t close out a game in which they had a 7-0 lead in the seventh inning with one of the best bullpens in the game all lined up. We’ll see what these young guys are made of.
Will Joe Maddon’s strategy of pitching Scott Kazmir on Thursday and having James Shields ready for a possible — and now definite — Game 6 back at Tropicana Field pay off?
Will the Red Sox defy the odds yet again and win two in a row on the road to make it to their second straight World Series?
Let’s hear your predictions.
Pitching and hitting
You always see something you’ve never seen when you watch an October baseball game, and Friday night was no different. Let’s recap Game 1 of the American League Championship Series and Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.
PHILLIES 8, DODGERS 5
Who would have thought that Brett Myers would beat the Dodgers — with his bat? Without his 3-for-3 night and three RBIs, he might have lost that game. Instead, the Phillies head out to Chavez Ravine with a 2-0 lead, only two more wins from the World Series. And they’re doing it without much help from Ryan Howard, who’s due to get hot at any moment now. The Dodgers got a three-run homer from Manny Ramirez. Maybe that’s a sign of things to come for the boys in blue.
RED SOX 2, RAYS 0
Another first took place Friday night — the first October baseball game at Tropicana Field in St. Pete. It was great to see that yard packed to the gills, and for the Red Sox Fans who flew south, it was great to see Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima, Justin Masterson and Jonathan Papelbon shut down the Rays in a 2-0 victory that gave their team the upper hand with a pivotal 1-0 victory on the road. Matsuzaka was the man, as he’s been all year, striking out nine in seven shutout frames and repeatedly getting out of trouble. Offensively, it was Kevin Youkilis’ night, with three hits and the insurance RBI late in the game.
The Rays will try to regroup tonight with Scott Kazmir. I’m looking forward to seeing how this lefty stacks up against one of the best postseason pitchers alive, Boston’s Josh Beckett.
Who do you like in this matchup tonight?
I want to hear all about it.