A popular baseball adage opines that good pitching beats good hitting. In NLCS Game 2 Pedro Martinez pitched seven shutout innings, but the Phillies’ defense blinked and the offense came up small. The end result was a 2-1 loss. It was one of the most frustrating games I have ever watched.
Tonight in Game 3 the Phillies got another spectacular start. Clifton Phifer Lee threw eight shutout innings. But this time the defense was stellar and the offense was clicking. The Phillies scored early and often, which made the game a very enjoyable and low-stress contest.
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Here are a few observations from the game:
- In the first inning Ron Darling made a comment about Citizen’s Bank Park (CBP) on the TBS broadcast after Raul Ibanez made a catch. I wish I had the exact quote, but it was something very close to this: You could spend an entire summer here and never see a leftfielder come in. That is a stupid statement. I watched many, many games played at The Bank this season and a leftfielder coming in was a common sight. Darling was making a lazy comment about the ball carrying well at CBP. But this does not mean every ball hit to left is deep. I refuse to let this comment slide. It was stupid.
- Ryan Howard is seriously locked in right now. His trip-trip-triple in the 1st inning really set the tone for the game.
- Carlos Ruiz continues his postseason heroics. Against the Dodgers he becomes Carlos Bench-Campanella-Fisk-Munson-Berra Ruiz. In the 5th inning when he was at the plate with Pedro on third and two outs I looked at my television and said: Is there any doubt that Chooch will knock in Pedro? He is totally going to get a base hit to right. And so it was.
- The Eagles should be very grateful to the Phillies. After an epic stinkbomb in Oakland this afternoon the Eagles needed something to divert attention from their loss. And the Phillies provided just that. The largest margin of victory in franchise postseason history.
Hopefully the offense stays hot tomorrow. Go get ’em Joe B.