Monday, October 13, 2008

My Generation

NLCS games 3 & 4 - Dodgers vs. Phillies

Phillies 8, Dodgers 5
Dodgers 7, Phillies 2
Series: 2 games to 1 - Phillies
So what's wrong with 45 year old Jamie Moyer?

In Game 3 against the Brewers, Moyer never got past the fourth inning. Yesterday in LA, he got shellacked for 6 runs and was unable to escape the second inning.

Did I mention he's 45? Actually, he's almost 46. His birthday is in 39 days.

Yesterday is one of those games where you wish the Phils would have gone for the jugular and put to rest any idea the good folks in Dodgerland may have entertained about making this a series. Obviously, that wasn't going to happen. Not to this Dodger club. Still, as Bill Parcels once (might have) said, when two teams are evenly matched, go with the club that needs it more. To the Dodgers credit, they came out quickly and took all the pressure off themselves. Bully for them. That's a fairly decent ball club over there and they aren't going to fold.

I am not concerned at all about Moyer. He's in great shape and has proven many times this season that he can follow up lousy efforts with sparkling gems. He's pitched 35 games including the two postseason starts and only 7 times did he pitch how I would characterize as "lousy." After each of those 7 lousy starts, he came back to win 5 games, lost one and had one no decision. In each game, he pitched well. At his age, I think his experiences in the big leagues, his guile and his mental toughness are pretty reliable. Jamie doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who will take this shelling to the mound with him to his next start.

Beyond Jamie, the team was due for a funk. They were brilliant in staring down Lowe in Game 1 and opportunistic in jumping all over Billingsly in Game 2. They were due to serve up a dud. They gathered only 7 hits and scored only twice. Five of the hits were singles. Each of the two doubles were plated by a follow up single. That was the extent of the Phillies' rallies last night. Even if Moyer was sharp, at best he would have probably logged a no decision given the lack of run support. Before anyone suggests the poor run support was a result of the Phillies' hitters pressing because of the huge early deficit, I would suggest you haven't been watching this club all year. If any club can survive a early 0-5 deficit, its these laid back dudes. They didn't because Dodger starter Hiroki Kuroda is pretty good. No need for analyzing this. This is Philly, not New York.

It’s on to Game 4. Let's see if spacious Chavez Ravine can erase the memories Derek Lowe has of his masterpiece gone awry in Citizens Bank last Wednesday. Let's see if Joe Blanton can match is NLDS clinching effort against Milwaukee. The pressure is still on LA. It will probably be that way in Game 5 even if LA evens this up tonight. I have to admit though, a win tonight would allow me to relax a bit.

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