Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I'm A Loser, Baby, So Why Don't You Kill Me? Phillies 5, Dodgers 1
Top 6th: James McDonald gets the side in order, and why Torre didn't consider him to start the game, I'll never know. It's the second time he's posted relief outings better than the starter in this series. (Small sample size caveat.)
Bottom 6th: Manny, in his Dodgers swan song, makes it 5-1 Phillies on a solo homer. Sigh.
Bottom 7th: With two on and two out, Jeff Kent strikes out, thus proving he's utterly useless, or else Joe Torre is stuck in 2000 or so.
Bottom 9th: Matt Kemp hits a warning track fly with a man on first, but that's the most interesting thing that happens. The Phillies go to the World Series for the first time since 1993, there to be crushed by whoever gets out of the AL. Goodbye Manny, Nomar, Brad Penny, and everyone else that's on their way out.
- Don Newcombe Alert: We've been told how Chad Billingsley is one of the best young pitchers in the game, and in the regular season, and even up to this series, he showed that. That disappeared, twice, in this series; he is 0-2 with an 18 ERA in two starts and five innings. It is early yet, but the "big game choker" label waits 'round the corner.
- Offense: Lines for offensive players in the NLCS with 15 or more AB's:
Casey Blake: .263/.333/.421
Andre Ethier: .227/.261/.273
Matt Kemp: .333/.474/.400
James Loney: .438/.526/.563
Russell Martin: .118/.318/.118
Manny Ramirez: .533/.682/1.067
- What an embarrassment of a game. Rafael Furcal made three errors in the fifth that proved critical. The offense was, essentially, Manny, and everyone else sleepwalked through it. I missed this at the end — maybe because they were too busy shooting the Phillies piling on one another — but apparently the home team was mercilessly booed:
They booed sadly horrible Chad Billingsley, who couldn't survive three innings for the second time in a week, couldn't consistently throw inside again, his two worst performances in his two biggest games, and who knows when he'll recover?
"I tried to do everything I could," he said softly.
They booed the painfully awful Rafael Furcal, who tried to play with a sore neck and paid for it with three errors in one inning that led to two runs that finished them.
"To have this happen on the last game of the year, that is tough," he said, also softly.
They booed the just plain lousy Blake DeWitt, who hit into two double plays and ended the series hitting .077 before he was replaced by Jeff Kent.
- We may have seen Greg Maddux throw his last professional pitch. If so, congratulations and have a great retirement.
- Speaking of congratulations, such are in order to the Phillies, who played well and generally showed up. The Dodgers certainly didn't.
- The now-all-but-certain Phillies/Rays matchup looks to be Fox's worst ratings nightmare.
- Tim Brown: "As the Dodgers imploded, Hamels got outs."
- Ned Colletti will return, proving that one good deal can overcome a handful of bad ones.