Phillies need to get on board first.

Matt MatusekContributor IOctober 1, 2008

Last year, in Cole Hamels' first ever playoff start, he allowed the Rockies 3runs in over 6 innings pitched.  But he also allowed 3 runs in the 1st inning.  This time, as Hamels takes the mound almost 1 year later, he must make it a point to get out of the 1st inning withoutallowing any runs to the Milwaukee Brewers.  If the Brewers do get on the board in the top of the 1st, it will inevitable lead to some deja-vu moments for the Phillies and the 45,000 fans who will be in attendance.  I believe if the Phillies get out to an early lead in the 1st inning of today's game, there will be no stopping their explosive offense.  It all starts with Jimmy Rollings getting on base, and that usually leads to the Phillies getting on the board early--and often.  The Phillies are a home-run hitting team, but if all they do is hit solo-shots, the home-run is not very productive.  In contrast, if you are hitting home-runs with guys on base, it has a huge effect on the momentum and overall outcome of the game.  The Brewers are throwing Yovani Gallardo, a 22-year old second-year pitcher, against a line-up capable of putting up 20 runs (they've done it twice this year).  If the Phils get out to an early lead, I wouldn't be surprised if Gallardo gets rocked this afternoon.  On the flip-side, if the Brewers get out to an early lead, they could be en route to a big game as well, because Cole Hamels has been prone to the deep ball this year.  With guys like Ryan Braun, J.J. Hardy and Prince Fielder, the Brewers have several batters who can hit a fastball into the seats at Citizens Bank Park.