Friday, October 24, 2008
Rays Even Series with Phils
The Tampa Bay Rays held the Phillies offense in check last night en route to a 4 - 2 victory in Game 2 of the World Series. The Rays' victory evens the World Series at 1 game apiece as the Series heads to Philadelphia for the next 3 games.
The Rays jumped on the Phillies early in the first. Phils starter Brett Myers, in a continuing theme of having early game troubles, allowed the first two batters of the ballgame to reach base. Both of these batters ended up scoring on groundouts to give the Rays an early 2 - 0 advantage.
The Rays struck again in the 2nd inning, loading the bases with 2 outs for BJ Upton. Upton singled home Dioner Navarro, but fortunately for the Phils, RF Jayson Werth was able to gun down Rocco Baldelli at the plate to stop the bleeding and keep the score at 3 - 0.
The fourth Rays' run was scored on a safety squeeze whereby Jason Bartlett laid down a sacrifice and Cliff Floyd, on third after singling to lead off the inning, scored once determining the bunt was successful.
The Phils offense, meanwhile, continued to be stymied by a combination of bad luck and good pitching. Rays pitcher James Shields pitched well, but the Phils were able to run deep pitch counts on him. What the Phils were unable to do, however, was to get timely basehits to score runners. The Phils had leadoff baserunners in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th inning while Shields was in the ballgame, but like Game 1, they were unable to capitalize on their opportunities.
The Phils did not score until the 8th inning when Eric Bruntlett, pinch hitting for DH Greg Dobbs, hit the first pitch he saw from David Price over the left field wall to give the Phils some hope. The Phils threatened again in the 9th, with Carlos Ruiz stroking a double to lead off the inning and coming home after Evan Longoria booted a Jayson Werth shot, allowing Ruiz to score from 2nd base. The threat died, however, after Chase Utley struck out swinging and Ryan Howard grounded out meekly to 2nd, ending the ballgame.
The series continues (maybe) on Saturday, with Jamie Moyer facing Matt Garza at 8:20pm.
- The last time I was this frustrated as a fan watching my team play in a Championship game was when the Eagles were wasting time during Super Bowl 39 and not running a 2-minute offense. The Phillies were consistently getting men on base, but just could not break through. This game was there to be had; instead, the Phils now have a dog fight on their hands.
- I know the Phils wouldn't be in the World Series but for the pinch hitting skills of Greg Dobbs, but Dobbs embarrassed himself in his first two plate appearances last night. He struck out his first time up and never took the bat off of his shoulder. He struck out again in the 4th inning, taking feeble cuts all the while. Maybe a change of scenery to Citizen's Bank Ballpark will help Dobbs, but the fact is, the Phils' DHs in the first 2 games are a paltry 1 for 7 in the series.
- Phils batters left a combined 24 runners on base last night. Pedro Feliz left 6 runners on by himself last night.
- Chooch Ruiz was the only one who could seemingly find his bat last night, getting two doubles and walking twice. He also performed a text book block of home plate to enable the Phillies to get Rocco Baldelli at the plate in the 2nd inning.
- What in the hell was Jayson Werth doing in the 5th inning allowing himself to get doubled off of first base? Inexecusable.
- Jimmy Rollins is now 0 for 10 in the World Series. His reputation for coming up big in big spots is looking unearned in the first two games.