R.I.P. Hits With R.I.S.P.—Phils v. Rays

Seth GarberContributor IOctober 25, 2008

The 2008 fall classic between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays is underway.  And with a bang, I should add.

Although, not the kind of bang the Rays usually produce, or what Ryan Howard has not done.  Yes, I am talking about the home run.

The series is exciting at one game a piece.  Let's recap what has happened so far:

Cole Hamels squared off against Scott Kazmir (Kazmir, not Kashmir) in Game One.  Hamels got three runs to work with and that is all the three Phillies top pitchers, Hamels, Madson, and Lidge, would need.  The Phillies won that game 3-2.

Brett Myers squared off against James Shields.  Myers gave up four runs, three earned.  Shields gave up no runs in 5 2/3 innings of work.  The Phillies only two runs in the 4-2 loss came off future ace David Price.

These two games were enjoyable, however, not pleasant statistically for either team.  For the Rays Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford are still hitless in this World Series.  The Rays also only have one home run in two games.  For the Phillies, Jimmy Rollins is still hitless and Ryan Howard still doesn't have a home run.  Even worse, the Phillies are 1-for-28 with runners in scoring position.

The Phillies will not win the World Series unless these numbers improve.  Jimmy Rollins needs to get on base.  As Mitch Williams says again and again, Rollins is the drive of the team.  If he does well, they win.  He is the key to this team.

On a positive note, the Phillies are doing an outstanding job at keeping the ball in the park.  Even with the Rays low walls, the Rays only hit one home run.  They also held down Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena.  It should be smooth sailing from here.