It's officially on the books. Philadelphia takes game one of the NLDS.
They beat the Brewers 3-1 to lead the series 1-0 and win their first postseason game in 15 years. I had the privilege of watching the pitchers duel and I just had a few thoughts.
First of all, Cole Hamels, Cole Hamels, Cole Hamels. This guy look liked a Cy Young candidate today, pitching 8.0 innings, two hits, one BB, and fanned nine. I mean, he never seemed to struggle and his pitches hit the mark. The Phillies are going to need him down the stretch, especially since the rotation has a few hiccups every now and then.
Shane Victorino needs to be at the top of the lineup. In the third inning with the bases loaded Victorino drew a walk. How many guys do you see swinging for the fences in that situation? Patience is key at the plate and he obviously has it. Hit him first, then Rollins. Also, he is fast. I mean FAST. He flies down the line. Blink and you miss it.
If Victorino and Rollins were on that same time, we would be in for some fun on the base paths.
I wish Howard could have had some offense. He drew three walks—yes, three. That doesn't seem like the Howard I've seen. I'm sure he'll make some noise in the next game.
Utley came through with the two-run double. That is the reason why Philadelphia will be a tough team to beat this October. Even when they aren't lighting up the guy on the mound, one clutch hit can be enough. I kind of wish they wouldn't rely so much on the big flies to score, but today their manufacturing was solid.
I hate these Frank TV commercials. He is not funny and the commercials are overplayed. It's incredibly annoying.
Lidge stumbled a bit in the ninth. I really don't think he should have gone to the closer, especially when facing the heart of the lineup. Now these guys know what Lidge has got and the team takes that much more of a risk the next time he takes the mound. He threw around 30 pitches which exposes him way, way too much.
All in all, the Phillies are taking this series. Hands down. With Sabathia getting the nod in game two, Milwaukee might take one, but don't expect more than that.