Phillies and Hamels Handcuff Rays in World Series Game One

Rodney SouthernCorrespondent IOctober 23, 2008

Cole Hamels took the mound as though he had been there before.  The Rays looked as though they were playing in the first World Series ever.  Both of these things were easily predictable.  The Rays love the drama anyway.

Hamels was sharp for the majority of the game, mixing a deceptive fastball with that devastating changeup.  Few pitchers have been as sharp as Hamels has been so far in the postseason.  What was truly impressive was the fact that he never seemed rattled, regardless of the Rays' new reputation as the comeback kids.

After giving up a home run to Carl Crawford, Hamels simply settled right back in to winning Game One.  Hamels is now 4-0 in the postseason, and it was not as close as the score indicated.  The Rays were simply over-matched in Game One.

Ironically, I still see the Rays winning the series.  The Rays are a team that can explode for long stretches of offense, and the back end of the Phillies' rotation still looms in the near future.  It is only a matter of time before the Rays' bats wake up.  When they do, the series should liven up considerably.

Speaking of sleeping bats, what the heck is going on with Ryan Howard?  The MLB leader in home runs and RBI has looked completely lost, which only underscores the fact that the Phillies are playing great baseball.

Between Utley, Victorino, and in particular Jayson Werth, the Phillies are more than making up for the sleeping bat of Ryan Howard.  What happens if Howard suddenly realizes what is wrong with his swing? 

All things considered, Game One of the World Series was exactly what was expected.

What will Game Two bring?