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THE GOOD: It was a perfect game for the Phillies. They had their best pitcher on the mound against the Rays #3 starter. They got a number of breaks during the game, including a safe-call on a pickoff attempt in the 2nd inning that showed the runner was out. In the 5th inning Pat Burrell was safe at first on an error when it appeared that he was clearly inside the base line. The Phillies had several excuse-me swings and bloop basehits. With the bases loaded and only 1 out in the 3rd, BJ Upton hit a ball about as hard as it could be hit, but the ball went right to Pedro Feliz at third base, who turned a double-play. And the biggest break may have been a non-balk call in which Cole Hammels picked Carlos Pena off first base with no outs in the 6th of a 1-run game. All of those breaks, with their ace on the mound and the Rays still only lost 3-2 and had several opportunities to win the game. If there is such a thing as a “good” loss in the World Series. This was it. With pitching matchup advantages in the next 3 games, the Rays are far from out of this…The DH is a big advantage for the Rays. Chris Coste was the Phillies DH and he didn’t even look like a major league hitter…The Rays “double” lead-off combination of Jason Bartlett and Akinori Iwamura reached base each of their first 5 plate appearances…Lefties in the lineup went 4 for their first 7 with a home run and 2 RBI against Cole Hamels.

THE BAD: Scott Kazmir once again couldn’t get out of his own way in the first inning giving up a 2-run home run. And even though Kazmir was a bit unlucky with some bloop hits after the first inning, he still allowed 11 base runners in the first 6 innings. If the Phillies didn’t go 0-9 with runners in scoring position in those 6 innings, the game wouldn’t have been so close…Phillies lead-off hitters were on base 4 times…With 2 outs in the 5th and a runner on second, BJ Upton fouled out to Ryan Howard who reached into the stands for the grab. Absolutely awful job by the crowd in that section. We have no idea how they can let an opposing player make that play…The Rays 2-4 batters went a combined 0-12 with 5 Ks….Why the hell is the “free taco” such a big story? Did people think there was a chance nobody would steal a base in the entire World Series? Taco Bell is giving away free Tacos. Good for them. We understand Fox TV making a big deal. It is a corporate sponsorship. But why are there so many news stories on the topic?

THE TELLING: Joe Maddon chose to start Ben Zobrist in right field with Gabe Gross struggling and preferring to keep Fernando Perez on the bench as a late-inning weapon. It was Zobrist’s second start in right field in his career…10 of the last 11 World Series winners won game 1. Then again 5 of those were sweeps and another 2 were 4-1. Anybody think the Rays are getting swept? Didn’t think so…There is about an 80% chance of rain in St. Pete tonight. Too bad the Rays don’t play in a dome. Oh. Wait. Never mind…According to CoolStandings.com the chances of the Rays winning the World Series is now only 36.1%.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • In a strange story, Daisuke Matsuzaka apparently accused (in the Japanese media) the Rays of moving the pitching rubber to benefit James Shields. MLB checked the mound and found nothing wrong. [St. Pete Times]
  • Big League Stew debates the non-balk call. [Big League Stew]
  • In a classic case of “hindsight is 20-20″, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports says the Rays were “too cool” in game 1 and didn’t play the game with urgency…Of course in game 1 of the ALCS everybody was saying the Rays played too uptight. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Gerry Fraley of Fox Sports says the game 1 win cannot hide the problems the Phillies have. [Fox Sports]
  • Jerry Crasnick of ESPN says Joe Maddon gives his players 30 minutes after every game to either celebrate the win or stew about the loss. After 30 minutes, that game is done and it is time to focus on the next game. [ESPN]
  • We always wonder what makes one team in a championship contest a “team of destiny” and the other is not. The Press of Atlantic City thinks the Phillies are destiny’s darlings this year. [Press of Atlantic City]
  • Philly, we’ll make you a deal. We’ll stop ringing the cowbells if you promise that the Phillies fans in games 3,4,5 will not yell any ignorant insults. Deal? Didn’t think so. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
  • Peter Mucha of the Philadelphia Inquirer says a rainout on Saturday would move Cole Hamels up from game 5 to game 4. This will not change Hamel’s availability for game 7. If game 4 is moved to Monday, game 7 will not change. There just won’t be an off-day between games 5 and 6. Which means game 7 will be next Thursday regardless of when game 4 is played. So unless Hamels comes back on 2 days rest, Hamels is not pitching game 7. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
  • Scott Kazmir just wishes he could get the one pitch back from the first inning. [MLB]
  • Mark Newman gives us “Ten things to love about The Trop.” [MLB]
  • Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald says that the emergence of the Rays changes the landscape in the AL East and the Yankees and Red Sox should get used to it. [Boston Herald]
  • BJ Upton’s bat from the ALDS and ALCS was sent to the Hall of Fame. [Baseball Prospectus]
  • Bud Selig sure doesn’t seem upset about the Rays in the World Series when he says, “I just can’t tell you how important this is…I’m really lucky I was able to see this.” [USA Today]
  • Troy Percival is still at home with his family in California…Joe Maddon says he would be with the team if he was on the roster. [Tampa Tribune]
  • The Tigers new pitching coach has ties to Matt Garza. [Detroit Free-Press]
  • Todd Kalas joined his dad in the radio booth during the 4th inning. [MLB]
  • While the Rays were celebrating after game 7 of the ALCS, Trever Miller’s 4-year old daughter nearly died in the stands. It does sound as if Miller’s wife had the situation under control, as this is a condition that is not new. [MLB]
 
 

26 Comments

  1. Clayton says:

    So very sleepy…

  2. Luis says:

    My Pessimism Meter Went Up BIG TIME After This Game 1 Loss

    Oh Well, People Keep Telling Me How It Was Close & The Rays Were One (As Usual W/ Him) Bad Kazmir 1st Inning Away From Winning 2-1, But Guess What; Coulda', Woulda', Shoulda' Gets You Nowhere.

    So Lets Win Tonight To At Least Go Into Philly W/ The Series Tied 1-1, This Hype That We Did Well Against Hamels Better Be Right Cause' So Far It Isn't Doing It For Me

    I'll Sleep Through This Game & Wake Up To Find Out What Happen, But I'm Sick Of This "Well They Did Well Against Hamels" Crap

    Go Rays!

    (A Part Of Me Bets I'll Pull An ALCS Game 7 And End Up Watching Any Way hehe)

  3. The Professor says:

    My bad for not including Upton’s throw from center under “The Good”. I never get tired of seeing him show off his arm.

  4. Charles says:

    Listen to this crapola from Jon Heyman of SI:

    “But for one night, in the biggest game of their lives, the 97-win Rays reverted to their previously sour history in their 3-2 Game 1 defeat to the Phillies.”

    A 3-2 lost to a tough lefty in the WORLD SERIES and suddenly we’re the 97 loss Devil Rays all over again? Nonsense.

  5. DirtbagFan says:

    This was the one and only favorable pitching match-up that favored Philly… Two 3-game series remain and the Rays should still be a heavy favorite.

    Last night’s game should’ve been predictbale- after the thrill and grandeur of the Boston series this was set to be a hang-over performance… relax, all is well in the Rays-i-verse!

  6. Anonymous says:

    ughhh stop the whining…it’s baseball…What the hell was Pena doing running in the first place??? And I’m not so sure it was a balk. Lefties get 45 degrees….obviously it was close, but fortunately for us phils fans, balkin bob davidson was not umping

    burrell clearly inside the baseline??? are you kidding me???? how about carlos pena catches a soft lob from 20 feet away…

    the play on vic was close…ill give ya that

    rays lost this game because the phils pitching was dominant….and if they could have gotten 1 clutch hit, the score would have been much worse

    long way to go…and i fully expect the rays best effort tonight…and myers can be shaky..but the rays have no idea what theyre in for in philly…

  7. Hazleton Jason says:

    I live in PA, and know exactly what the Rays are in for in Philly-
    I band box of a park that will have trouble holding in flyballs that Moyer and Blanton are about to deal…
    I am not worried in the least- as long as the umpiring isn’t as horrific as it was last night, we will be just fine

  8. Anonymous says:

    aww Boo Hoo Jason…its the umpires fault the rays were dominated for 9 innings, huh???

    look, i respect the rays and joe maddon, especially…im guessing from your handle, you guys are all psyched to have a hometown boy in the series…

    i actually think moyer will hold his own…im more concerned with blanton…but james “how the hell did i get the nickname big game” shields is hittable…garza will be tough and sonnanstine is nothing special…

    CBP is a small park but with the cold weather, the inexperience and the crowd noise…you know, actual fan noise, not a cow bell, the rays will lose 2 of 3…so you better hope your boy shields comes through

  9. Luis says:

    you know, actual fan noise, not a cow bell, the rays will lose 2 of 3…so you better hope your boy shields comes through

    don’t u mean ignorant stupid comments like the one you just made instead of cowbells?;-)

  10. Luis says:

    also i didn’t know a close 3-2 lead that the rays would have one if the 1st inning was scoreless is a dominating 9 innings

    hehe typical philly fan

  11. Anonymous says:

    typical philly fan?? whats that supposed to mean? someone who actually knows the sport and has been a die hard for 20 years??? calling you guys bandwagon fans is tired and cliched, so i wont…im sure you have a lot of great fans (and a lot of bandwagoners, which is fine..hey, it is the WS)

    but the BATS were dominated…the score, obviously, was close..but hamels, madson and lidge locked down the hitters…really, no argument can be made to the contrary

  12. DirtbagFan says:

    Philly fans can continue to beat the drum about how Hamels dominated the Rays, but it doesn’t change the fact that that’s all you’ve got to offer in the realm of starting pitchers…
    That was a must-win for the Phils, but nothing more than a “give it your best” for the Rays; that’s what happens when you’re pitching your number 3 pitcher versus someone else’s ace… just hold on and hope for the best.

    Philly didn’t get to the Classic by accident, but the arrogance of their fans to believe that they’re actually a better team than Tampa Bay shows pure ignorance- so my advice to Philly fans would be to tread carefully with your bragging/bashing because that may be the only game you get… the Rays didn’t get here by accident either- they dominated the best division in baseball.

  13. Anonymous says:

    not really sure i sound too arrogant and not bashing either…i gave props to the rays, the manager and even the fans (some)…why so sensitive???

    i just dont think this is your year…i could be wrong, obvi…upton/longo are so young…no way BJ keeps up that HR pace…phils bullpen is way, way better than the sox…dude was gettin meatballs the whole series…they can be pitched to…shields doesnt really scare me…the phils are built to hit righty power pitchers…see Sheets, Billingsley

    myers is a wild card…he’s looked dominant at times and completely lost other times…moyer has been dreadful, but see what he does vs the fish..a similar team in that theyre young and really aggressive…and you can talk ally ou want about not being fazed going on the road, but it will be cold and the sound deafening…but to get 0 hits from rollins/howard and burrell and still win is encouraging

  14. Luis says:

    typical philly fan?? whats that supposed to mean? someone who actually knows the sport and has been a die hard for 20 years??? calling you guys bandwagon fans is tired and cliched, so i wont…im sure you have a lot of great fans (and a lot of bandwagoners, which is fine..hey, it is the WS)

    but the BATS were dominated…the score, obviously, was close..but hamels, madson and lidge locked down the hitters…really, no argument can be made to the contrary

    sorry i cant be a fan of 20 years of AN ELEVEN YEAR OLD TEAM, also your always going to have bandwaggoners no matter what team you are when you go to a world series,please look up the attendance records when the phillies had a stretch as a team that stunk, after all wasn’t the sudden increase in the fanbase in the 93 nl team that was last the year before nothing but bandwaggoners too or must your team be 100 years plus old to even know anything about the game hugh?

    also nimrod tell me how bats are dominated and how only your pitcherswere good in a 3-2 game or must you slurp your team as the greatest evr no matter the circumstance

    so until youve been down here, with a crappy stadium, only 11 years in history, being the laughing stock of the league since day 1, have nothing but 90-100 loss seasons, and for most of the rays lifetime some of the worst ownership in sports history dont come to me telling me how it is down here in tampa bay w/ our baseball

    again…typical philly fan making stupid comments

    btw even if the phillies pull this off we’d still be up on you in championship games 2-1 ;-), Rememeber we shut the vet down in 03 and made you “shut your yap’” in 04

  15. Luis says:

    not really sure i sound too arrogant and not bashing either…i gave props to the rays, the manager and even the fans (some)…why so sensitive???

    cause down here in tampa bay we defend our team against punks like you who go on rays blogs behind the “anonymous” mask and bash a fanbase you have no clue about

    you see we support our guys through good and bad as we start to build the fanbase, if you guys pull this off we wont be shouting “f*ck you!” to the players for coming up short

    i guess you’re starting to realize we don’t take philly crap down here either hehe

  16. The Professor says:

    “CBP is a small park but with the cold weather, the inexperience and the crowd noise…you know, actual fan noise, not a cow bell, the rays will lose 2 of 3″

    Funny. Substitute “Fenway” for “CBP” and that is exactly the same thing Red Sox Nation was saying after winning game 1 in the Trop

  17. DirtbagFan says:

    Tell me exactly what you m,eant when you called Shields a “power-pitcher” because he’s a change-up pitcher- that’s the sort of uninformed comment that gets “fans” like you in trouble…dummy.

    The Rays ranked in the top of the league in walks, so to imply that they’ll be overly-aggressive is foolish…

    Game 2 of the ALCS was the 3rd loudest game in MLB history, so explain to me how the crowd noise in Philly is gonna phase the Rays…

    keep ‘em coming you uninformed puke…

  18. Hazleton Jason says:

    Also to Anon Philly fan-

    Yes, I am from Hazleton, and the fact that I like the Rays ha Snothing to do with Joe Maddon, I was born in Tampa, and have been on board since day 1 and the fact that he is from here is just blind (but really awseome) coincidence.

    Anyway, getting to my point. Yes, Hamels was good last night- The Rays had some poor at bats also to help the cause. But you cannot tell me the strikezone didn’t move for Hamels and Kazmir. A pitch or two before Utley homered was strike 3, he should not have even gotten the oppurtunity to homer… The pickoff of Victorino was an easy call that was failed and the balk was bad also…

    Cold weather? Weather man says its goin to be in the high 50′s and 60′s here in Hazleton which means it will be 5 degrees more down in Philly… It will prolly rain on Sat night tho…

    As for tonight, Myers had a road ERA over 6 and Shields was pretty dang good at home, if we lose tonight, we don’t deserve to win the series…

  19. steve-o1285 says:

    “Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald says that the emergence of the Rays changes the landscape in the AL East and the Yankees and Red Sox should get used to it.”

    Does this mean that the Rays are for real?

    And like the Sox jerks that were on here last week, I BEG this douche to come back here in…oh…about a week and talk some more.

  20. Anonymous says:

    ohhh sorry Luis…knowing my name is just crucial to this discussion..and you struck me as more of a LOL guy than a hehe

    pretty testy in here, huh?? two good teams goin at it and mines up 1-0..long way to go…

    uninformed puke, dirtbag???? ouch…that one hurt…well then maybe im dead wrong and shields changeup will just shut the phils down tonight

    and please, dont ya think cow bell noise skews the meter a little??

    none of those guys have seen moyer…his 80 mph slop will look reallll good coming in…its all about location with him

    can we actually talk about the game, instead of making stupid generalizations??

    i know you guys are super sensitive since people have been dumping on you left and right but come on…youre in the WS..at least act like youve been there

  21. DirtbagFan says:

    Anon: You’re right, in this case name-calling on my part was uncalled for, sorry (we’re used to dealing with Boston “fans”)

    Noise is noise it doesn’t matter what creates it.

  22. Luis says:

    i wonder why you keep coming back for more knowing your in enemy territory, you like abuse or something?

    “ohhh sorry Luis…knowing my name is just crucial to this discussion..and you struck me as more of a LOL guy than a hehe”

    that’s your comeback?

    L
    M
    A
    O

    nice try

    “and please, dont ya think cow bell noise skews the meter a little?? “

    thank you for proving it’s a great idea that’s helped the rays hehe :D

  23. steve-o1285 says:

    “phils bullpen is way, way better than the sox…dude was gettin meatballs the whole series”

    I seem to remember Upton hitting HRs off of Lester, Dice-K and Beckett…but what do I know, I’m just a Rays fan.

  24. Anonymous says:

    LYAO all ya want, Luis…the cowbell is ridiculous and sophomoric…if it helps, then good for you..and if it makes ya sleep at night luis, my names dan

    i mean…ive battled with Met fans all season…AND lived up there for two years prior to this one…im battle tested

    and yes, BJ hit bombs off good starters…but they were still meatballs…look at the location…unfortunately for my phils, myers is prone to the long ball…

    watch his fastball early…if hes not locating, hes in trouble…

  25. Luis says:

    this guy loves abuse hehe

    get a life bud

  26. DirtbagFan says:

    Baseball is cyclical, esp. when it comes to hitting. Until game 5 of the alcs the Rays where on an up cycle, during games 6-7, and game 1they were on a down cycle, guess what’s next…

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