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Friday, October 10, 2008

Myers at the Bat; Phils Up 2-0

He did it again.

Brett Myers starred at the plate for the second straight playoff game that he pitched. He went 3-for-3 with 3 RBI, kept a second inning, 4-run rally going with a 2-out RBI base hit, knocked in 2 runs in the third, and scored 2 runs in the game. He even went first to home and first to third, and legged out an infield hit. His time on the bases likely cut the less than svelte Myers’ time on the mound short, as he struggled in the innings after running the bases.

He was easily the best offensive player for the Phillies. This wasn’t just a nice effort for a pitcher, or even a great addition to the effort like when he forced C.C. Sabathia to throw him 19 pitches to force him out of the game early in the NLDS. Myers’ performance at the plate becomes part of baseball lore if this team gets where it’s aiming to go. It may already qualify, and almost certainly qualifies as future Philadelphia legend.

Myers made it through a laborious five innings, getting the win that puts the Phillies just six wins from ending the championship drought in Philadelphia. The Phillies took a commanding 2-0 lead against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS. As they head to la-la land, the 2-3-2 series format now benefits the Phillies, as the Dodgers would have to win 3 straight games just to hold serve at home.

The Phillies bullpen didn’t give up a run, securing the win, 8-5. Brad Lidge stayed perfect in save opportunities, making things a bit more exciting than fans would have liked.

The bullpen got some help from the Flyin’ Hawaiian. With two men on in the seventh, Shane Victorino made a great catch on the warning track for the third out. He continues to demonstrate what extraordinary speed can do in centerfield.

Chase Utley collected four walks, while Ryan Howard continued to struggle. Howard’s “Mr. September” performance is quickly becoming a faded memory.

Manny Ramirez hit a 3-run home run, and should not be pitched to again unless absolutely necessary. Sadly, Charlie Manuel may not be the one making the decision on Ramirez for a game or two as his mother passed away today. Hopefully everyone in Philly wishes him well.

I did think Manuel took Pat Burrell out too soon, as his defensive replacement, Eric Bruntlett, ended up batting in the eighth inning. But Bruntlett got a walk, so there’s not much to complain about.

The Dodgers were on fire coming into this series. The Phillies appear to have doused the flames.

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