Friday

World Series Games 1 & 2


Hello again everybody...

It's almost the weekend, though for some of us it'll be shorter than for others. I don't mean to grumble, but one of our guys went down with a knee injury and won't be back for a couple of weeks. And the wunderkinds that run this place have so understaffed us (thank you crappy economy) that those of us who are healthy enough to work, are being saddled with all kinds of overtime, including having vacation days rescinded. Joy.

But enough of my whining. We have a 1-1 World Series and it looks like this one might go the distance. That's nothing but good for baseball. So today I'll talk a little bit about what we've seen in Games 1 and 2 and what's on tap for this weekend.

Onward!

"The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat."
- Lilly Tomlin (1939- ), American actress, comedian, writer and producer


Yeah, not feeling real kindly towards the job at the moment. Can you tell?

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So we're two games into the 2008 World Series and it's tied at 1 game apiece.

First of all, I have to call out my father. Mind you, I love the man dearly and have nothing but the utmost respect for him.

But there's only so far I can be pushed before I have to push back.

You'll recall I laid out my reasons for rooting for the Phillies back on Wednesday. Well not long after that I got an email where my father stated that I ought to be rooting for the Rays since he was born in St. Petersburg. Seems like a reasonable request, doesn't it?

What my dad wouldn't tell you is that he's an army brat (that's not my term - I'd never refer to my father directly as a brat), and spent like 15 minutes in St. Pete before they moved off to the next army base. So it'd be like telling me I can't root for Maple Grove since I was technically born in Golden Valley. Even though the family moved to Maple Grove before I was old enough to have a clue about what a city even is!

What he also won't tell you is that prior to these playoffs, he'd seen exactly zero Tampa Bay Rays games. And even at this point, he couldn't tell you 5 players from the team without using the Internet to cheat.

So I'm rooting for the Phills and anybody who'd like to insinuate that I'm going against the family can kindly shove it!

Sorry Dad, I needed to get that off my chest.

So about the actual games...

Perhaps the most remarkable stat of the Series so far is that Philadelphia hitters are 1 for 28 with runners in scoring position (RISP).

1 for 28?!

I guess on the upside, that means that the Phills are getting plenty of guys into a position to score. But to have that level of failure at bringing them in is flat-out astounding.

The Rays on the other hand, proved last night that they don't have to hit home runs to win. With runners on 2nd and 3rd and nobody out in the bottom of the first, they executed two straight ground balls to the right side of the infield, bringing in 2 runs and jumping out to a 2-0 lead. It isn't flashy and chicks don't dig the "ground ball out rbi", but small-ball can win baseball games, and Game 2 was a huge win for the Rays.

The bottom line analysis for Games 1 and 2 is that even with their RISP failures, the Phillies managed a split in the first two games, which gives them a chance to close it out at home if they sweep the 3 games in Philadelphia.

I doubt that'll happen, but there's at least that opportunity.

Instead, I'm forecasting a 2-1 breakdown in favor of the Phills. I like Tampa's chances in Game 3 with Matt Garza on the mound, but I see the Phillies taking the next two behind Joe Blanton in Game 4 and Cole Hamels in Game 5.

The teams are off today as they travel back to Philly. Games 3-5 are Saturday through Monday at 7pm. There may be some weather on Saturday which could make things interesting. When was the last time we had a World Series double-header? Okay, I doubt they'd actually do that, but how much fun would that be?!

So tune in if you can, or check back Monday for my thoughts on Games 3 and 4!

That's all for this week folks. As I said, I'll be back on Monday. Until then, thanks for reading!

4 comments:

  1. I don't think there would be a double-header during the World Series.

    There was a FREAKING EARTHQUAKE during the 1989 World Series, and they just played the games later.

    I mean, it's not like they are holding any other games up, or there's a deadline to get them done by (wait, there might be a deadline, I'll get back to you on that).

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  2. I agree they won't do it.

    I was just pining for something different and traditional on a the biggest of stages.

    dan

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  3. I cannot find where there's a contractual end to the baseball season, ie, "The World Series must be concluded before Thanksgiving" or anything like that.

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  4. Response from Dan's Dad:

    OK, mister family facts, if you are going to put them in print, kindly get them correct. I was born in St. Petersburg, not because my father, your grandfather, was in the Army, but because that was where he was born and raised and helped his father, your great-grandfather, run his family owned a laundry business. He had served in WWII but was out of the army and raising a family in St. Pete ( as us locals refer to it). I lived there for 3 years, not just a few minutes, and if you look very closely at the sign in the stadium that states, "Welcome to St. Petersburg, home of the Rays", you'll likely see that it also says birthplace of Tom Cook, in very, very, small letters under the words, St. Petersburg. And yes, family loyalties are very important, it doesn't matter how many games I've seen or if I can recite the roster by heart, home is indeed where the heart is and right now my heart is with the Rays. Feel free to stamp on it as you see fit!. Any questions???

    (all written in jest of course)

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