October 30, 2008 at 8:00 PM
It's time for another round of Ten Question Thursday. This week we talked to senior Luke DeLorenzo.
(And if anyone has a better name for this segment, please let us know. We think "Ten Question Thursday" is as lame as you do.)
If not hockey, what sport would you be playing?
Good question. When I was younger I played baseball until I was 12. Through high school I played golf. Probably golf or baseball I'd say.
What is your favorite place to eat in town?
I would have to say Roxy's in East Halls. Swiss cheeseburger and macaroni and cheese. We eat there usually every Friday before our home games.
What is your favorite class taken at Penn State?
Probably KINES 202. It's a functional anatomy class. It's anatomy with a little bit of physiology and biomechanics mixed in.
Do you have any hidden talents most people don't know about?
I can do a split. I don't know if I have any other hidden talents -- that's pretty much it.
Who is your favorite hockey player?
My favorite hockey player ever is Mario Lemieux. He came to Pittsburgh the year before I was born. I'm a Pens fan, so Sidney Crosby, which is tough to say because I've played against him before, and Alexei Kovalev of the Montreal Canadiens. I played in the same tournament as (Crosby) when I was a senior in high school.
What is your favorite Coach Balboni quirk?
Oh my God. (Laughs). My recent favorite is probably whenever we need to know which power play is going up, he says "umbrella" then holds his hand like he's holding an umbrella. He also refers to our warm-up pants as "wooshy-wooshy" pants. And he has that Boston accent, so he says "r" when he means "w" and "w" when he means "r". Instead of saying "draw" he says "drar" and instead of "car" he says "caw". He has a lot. If you continue that question throughout the season you'll find a new Coach Balboni quirk every week.
What is your prediction on how Penn State's football team will do for the rest of the season?
I think that they're definitely going to be tested in the next three games. Having a bye week helps and my prediction is they'll finish undefeated. I think the only thing they can do is take care of their own business. I think they definitely have a good chance to play in the National Championship game. The strength of schedule in the last three or four games for Texas and Alabama is tough, so I think they definitely have a great chance of making the National Championship game.
In the movie of your life, who plays your girlfriend?
(Laughs). Who plays my girlfriend? I'm going to have to say Jessica Alba. No, Jessica Simpson. Can I have more than one girlfriend? (Laughs). We'll go with Jessica Simpson.
Who is the biggest ladies man on the team?
Oh man. I would have to say the biggest ladies man is John Jay. Maybe. He's just smooth, I don't know. He's got what it takes.
Who has the best nickname on the team?
The best nickname by far is Andrew Magulick, who's usually nicknamed "Magoo", but in the past year everybody's been calling him "MacGaff" because he works at the Shandygaff.
October 30, 2008 at 7:17 PM
It's clear assistant coach Lewis Preston is wasting no time in his first season with the Nittany Lions. The former Notre Dame and Florida assistant could be seen bumping players during layup lines, forcing them players to adjust their shots.
The tactic resulted in seven misses, and afterward, head coach Ed DeChellis made those who missed run full-court sprints seven times in less than 10 seconds.
Later on, in five-on-four drills, the 6-8 assistant could be heard barking mercilessly at many of the Lions' big men during each trip down the court.
It'll be interesting to see if the intensity of Preston -- who played four years of college ball at VMI before a four-year stint in Europe -- can lead to improved play down low for Penn State.
Before answering his question, Talor Battle stopped to pat Steve Jones on the back and tell him, "You're my man!" Jones got a crack out of the sequence.
I had the chance to interview the Lions' radio play-by-play man a few weeks ago, and I can tell you no one has struck me as a classier individual. Glad Battle seems to feel the same way.
It may be a few weeks until the Lions' first meaningful game, and he may have just been having a strong day (perhaps to impress yours truly?), but Chris Babb looks like the real deal.
The 6-5, 210 lb guard is certainly not built like a true freshman. Babb also has a beautiful stroke on his J, which was demonstrated during shootarounds when he casually drained a few shots from about 40 feet, just inside the the halfcourt line.
The Texan was aggressive throughout, attacking big men when taking it to the hole and not afraid of defending the post.
If given the chance to shine, look for Babb to make some noise this season. You heard it here first.
... I always wanted to say that.
Lastly, we leave you with an article on the beloved Calvin Booth from SI.com.
Writer Steve Aschburner throws out a variety of stats to show just how well-paid the only Lion currently in the NBA is. I guess when you make $106,145.25 per game despite producing career averages of just 3.3 ppg and 2.8 rpg, you're certainly not one of the many suffering through these dark days in our economy.
Here's hoping the rest of you Penn Staters have as much success (and as many incompetent bosses) in the real world.
October 30, 2008 at 11:00 AM
The first installment of the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll was released today. North Carolina, who returns its top six scorers off a Final Four team from a year ago, garnered all 31 first place votes.
Frankly, the Tar Heels are going to be dynamite this year. National player of the year Tyler Hansbrough returns for his senior season. Wayne Ellington, Danny Green and Ty Lawson all withdrew their names from the NBA draft at the last minute to come back. And, the Tar Heels have the second and third best prospects at power forward coming in as true freshmen with seven-footer Tyler Zeller and Ed Davis. Also joining Zeller and Davis is the third-best PG prospect, Larry Drew.
Other observations: Defending champ Kansas debuts at No. 23. Kentucky is unranked in the preseason for the first time ever. And just three schools from the Big Ten are ranked.
Complete ESPN/USA Today coaches' preseason poll:
1. North Carolina (31) 0-0 775
2. Connecticut 0-0 707
3. Louisville 0-0 694
4. UCLA 0-0 650
5. Duke 0-0 578
6. Pittsburgh 0-0 576
7. Michigan State 0-0 572
8. Texas 0-0 538
9. Notre Dame 0-0 525
10. Purdue 0-0 465
11. Gonzaga 0-0 437
12. Memphis 0-0 425
13. Tennessee 0-0 408
14. Oklahoma 0-0 387
15. Arizona State 0-0 304
16. Miami (FL) 0-0 233
17. Marquette 0-0 219
18. Georgetown 0-0 175
19. Florida 0-0 161
20. Davidson 0-0 158
21. USC 0-0 153
21. Wisconsin 0-0 153
23. Kansas 0-0 130
24. Wake Forest 0-0 129
25. Villanova 0-0 122
Others Receiving Votes
UNLV 60, Saint Mary's 59, Ohio State 54, Baylor 47, Xavier 27, Syracuse 23, Texas A&M 19, LSU 19, Arizona 18, Virginia Tech 15, Brigham Young 13, West Virginia 10, Washington 8, Siena 8, Kentucky 7, Vanderbilt 7, Oklahoma State 4, Clemson 2, Washington State 1.
October 29, 2008 at 8:12 PM
Eric Hinske, the former Red Sox, (Sock?) and Blue Jay is the only thing standing between the Phils and that trophy with flag poles on it.
0-2 to Hinske.
World Series out count: .1
Strike three! Ruiz rips off his mask, then runs to Lidge, embracing him. Rollins feels like $1 million bucks. Holy crap! Utley smiled.
Phils win their first World Series title since 1980. Hazleton sucks, sorry Joe Maddon.
Phillies 4, Rays 3
Phillies win series 4-1
Dang, man. Brad Lidge is 47-for-47 in save opportunities. If I was a betting man, I'd say the Phils have this in the bag.
Evan Longoria is a heckuva player. But he bloops out to Utley.
World Series out countdown: 2
Here's that Navarro guy, quickly falling behind 0-2. Single by Dioner.
The Rays hopes lie with a guy named Ben Zobrist. Yeah, the ump might as well click his out tally to two right now.
The pinch runner Perez steals second. Now, Zobrist can tie the game with a hit. Because Perez clearly has speed. Zobrist lines out.
World Series out countdown: 1
The Chase is on the move, stealing second. Howard whiffs.
Told you so.
Phillies 4, Rays 3
Willy Ayber in at first base. David Price, basically the of-age version of Danny Almonte is on the hill.
If I'm the Phillies hitters, I make this half inning go fast. Rollins agrees, and flies out to deep left. Jayson Werth was worthless there, striking out. Now FOX is showing landmarks in Philadelphia, like William Penn and Ben Franklin statues. David Price kind of resembles John Legend. No, no he doesn't. He does resemble someone who has no control, though walking Chase Utley.
Ryan Howard up next. Ten bucks says he strikes out to end the inning.
I don't believe in superstitions, so what the heck. The Phils are six outs away from a World Series title. Crawford is wearing some kind of fabric around his head so only his face is showing. Good thing he can see because it's now a full count. Towels are being waved and Crawford hates wavin' towels, so he gets a hit.
Double play, and the championship out count drops to 4.
Carlos Pena flies out. 3 outs away.
Phillies 4, Rays 3
Dobbs is on deck. He rocks. Ruiz laces one up the midde, but Iwamura makes like a cat and flips it to second for the second out.
Well, Romero is batting, not Dobbs. Surprisingly, one pitch later the inning ends.
Cue Rocky music
Phillies 4, Rays 3
Pinch runner for Burrell. Chad Bradford is the pitcher. He basically touches the dirt before he delivers the ball. The flyin' Hawaiian is looking to drive in the go-ahead run. He misses two bunts, then does his job and grounds out. Does his job, you ask? Yes, for Bruntlett is on third with one out. It's called baseball, people.
Pedro Feliz (Navidad) singles up the middle, scoring Bruntlett easily. 4-3 Phillies, and we're getting Ruiz up next.
Man, that Mastercard commercial with Joe Torre makes me wish I've been out West just once. The farthest west I've traveled is Ohio. Now back the action, and Pat "the Bat" Burrell takes some practice swings. Burrell hit it high off the wall for a double. Any other player would've been at third. But Burrell watches that baby almost clear the fence. I would've done the same Pat. If I'm inches from hitting a go-ahead dinger in the World Series, I freakin' watch that thing the whole time.
More commercials because of a pitching change.
Madson reverts back to his former self. He used to stink, sometimes. A base hit by Jason Bartlett puts the go-ahead run on base. Howell hits the ball like a girl and moves Bartlett to second.
Chase Utley, wow. Fields what would've been a seeing eye single and then looks off first, fires to Ruiz who makes the tag on Bartlett. Inning over.
Middle of the 7th
Phillies 3, Rays 3
Dioner Navarro is up first. His name backwards is Renoid. The pride of Vanderbilt this side of Buster Olney is warming up in the bullpen. David Price, former top pick is loosening up. Hide the children.
Rocco Baldelli encourages expletives by the Phillie fans in Pickles right about now. Solo dinger to knot the score at 3.
If I have to see Chevy Chase's shirtless body one more time, I'm never watching Christmas Vacation ever again. Now pitching for the Rays, number 39, J. P. Howell. (No relation to Charles Howell III). Chase Utley holds the stick you hit the ball with now, calls time for ladies to gander at his appearance, then steps back in the dish. Utley chases for out number two.
Werth not so sneakily stole second. Eh, whatever. Ryan "Ryno" Howard bloops out. Inning over.
End of sixth
Phillies 3, Rays 2
Balfour is throwing 54 mph faster than the temperature. That's heat, baby. Jenkins has never faced Balfour. He is now 1-1 with a double. Sly small ball by Rollins, sacrificing Jenkins to third. Phils might have the mentality that going ahead early will put the pressure on Tampa. Jenkins giddy-ups across the home plate as Tampa's Akinori Iwamura botches an over the head blooper. 3-2 Phils, Balfour heads for the dugout.
And the Rays take the field. Balfour (Number 50) is going sleeveless. What a man. Geoff Jenkins will pinch hit. I really don't like Geoffs who spell their name G-e-o-f-f, it looks dumb. Jeez, Balfour hasn't thrown a pinch and there's activity in the Ray's bullpen. This guy must be on a short leash.
43 degrees for tonight's game ... that's cold. Phils will need to pinch hit for Cole Hamels. My money's on Greg Dobbs.
I'm Nate Mink, and it's baseball time, baby. That elusive game 5 will be completed tonight ... we think. Let's recap for those of you who might've forgot. Score's tied 2-2 going into the bottom of the sixth inning. Ryan "Mad dog" Madson will take the hill for the Phils in the seventh. Rumor has it Grant Balfour will continue pitching for the Rays until manager Joe Maddon decides to go with someone else. About 15 minutes til the "first pitch."
October 29, 2008 at 2:08 PM
The preseason Big Ten preseason polls were released a couple of days ago, and the media and coaches don't agree with who should be considered the favorite.
The media selected last year's co-champion, Ohio State, as the favorite. The Buckeyes reached the NCAA tournament last year, losing to Florida State in the first round.
The coaches chose Purdue as No. 1 in the preseason poll. The Boilermakers recovered from a 5-7 start to earn a No. 9 seed in the NCAA tournament, where they lost to eventual champion Tennessee, 78-52.
As for the Lady Lions, they were picked 9th in both preseason polls, ahead of Wisconsin and Northwestern.
As for player of the year, Ohio State's Jantel Lavender was chosen by both the media and the coaches as the preseason player of the year. A sophomore, Lavender averaged 17.6 points per game and 9.9 rebound per game, both tops on the team.
Here's the rest of the preseason polls:
1. Ohio State/Purdue
2. Purdue/Ohio State
3. Michigan State
9. Penn State
October 29, 2008 at 1:41 PM
Well thats all from coach D. Time to hit the hardwood, (oh, now I get it) and see these players up close for the first time.
Free throw shooting was a bugaboo for the Nits last year. DeChellis has no idea whether or not this year's version will be more consistent from the charity stripe. Guys like Cornley and D.J. Jackson, who expect to be frequent visitors to the line via playing inside need to improve, he said.
It's looking as if the defense will be an old school, traditional, hard-nosed man to man. The team is not afraid to play zones, but a physical man defense can pressure the ball handler and force turnovers to create fast break scoring chances. DeChellis also hinted his team is working on more press packages than ever before.
This type of in-your-face defense is the favorite of yours-truly.
Strength and toughness has hampered the Lions on the glass a year ago. DeChellis said Jeff Brooks is now 210 lb, up from the 195 lb. he played at last year.
Brooks will be a key component for the Lions' interior offense and defense. Taking the pressure off Cornley in the paint will give the Lions not only another option on the low block, but also keep Cornley from bangin' hard underneath each time down the floor.
Cornley, Danny Morrissey and sophomore Battle are captains for this season.
Guys grew up on and off the floor over the course of the season with injuries to key players.
"It's important, they did make big shots, they gained some confidence toward the end of the year. We played some pretty solid basketball."
He begins by addressing the summer fling North of the Border, saying the extra practice helped the young guys develop and Cornley gain confidence coming off his injury. He said this team is by no means a finished product, yet believes the team can compete on every night no matter the opponent.
DeChellis singled out Cornley and guard Talor Battle as guys who have to put up consistent numbers for this team to shine.
Cornley got straight the point when it came to the big picture in terms of this season's goal.
"If we don't make the NCAA tournament, that's a failure on my part. I am the captain on this team. I've been here the longest. I know what it takes to win close games, I know what it takes to be successful in this league. The NCAA tournament is our biggest goal."
DeChellis up next.
Lion forward Jamelle Cornley on the mic first. He says he loves the athleticism this team, being able to run up tempo off the rebound.
Cornley was forced to miss the end of last season due to a nagging knee injury.
"Right now I'm fine, I'm 100 percent," Cornley said. "I've been out there doing every drill, every sprint, every activity that we've had. My knee is probably stronger than what it was before."
Hey all you Penn State basketball fans, this is Nate Mink coming to you live from inside the greenroom at the BJC to bring you coach Ed DeChellis' first press conference of the 2008-09 season. We should be about 20 minutes away from getting started. Be sure to check with Hardwood Hits for continuing coverage of DeChellis' thoughts on the upcoming season. Excuse me for a few minutes, there's this pastry tray over here that will not be ignored by me.
October 27, 2008 at 7:36 PM
Game suspended, and it will be at Bud Selig's discretion as to when it resumes, but it will most likely be tomorrow night.
Lots of questions. Who will start? When will they start? How will the managers treat their bullpens?
Phillies fans have waited 28 years, they will have to wait at least one more day.
In the words of the immortal Jack Buck: "We'll see you tomorrow night."
Hey, everyone. This is sports copy editor Dave Miniaci stepping in briefly during this rain induced intermission.
The Tennessee Titans are currently beating the Indianapolis Colts 17-14 in a crazy game. Kerry Collins is leading the Titans down the field to add points to the lead.
As fun as it is watching the game, we hope the World Series game, the actual reason for this blog post, continues shortly. As I have other matters to attend to, I hand the blog back to Mr Andrew J. Cassavell.
Inside information from my uncle currently stationed high above the third baseline in the Spanish Beisbol Network booth: "It doesn't look good". In other news... just ate Subway's new chicken Pizzeolla (if that's how you spell it). Great sandwich.
Going across the street to Subway to spend the last few dollars on my id card. Hopefully I'll be back with more analysis for the game tonight. If not, I'll be back tomorrow for more baseball. One thing for certain, looks like we'll be playing baseball into October 28th.
We're debating between a FOX 8 NEWS blog and a MNF blog. Stay posted, it could be a long night.
Matt is standing in the bathroom to keep warm. Must be a rough night because mens rooms at sporting events usually aren't pretty. Forecast for tomorrow? Rain all day.
Couldn't get in touch with Matt, but I was there for Saturday's delay. 45 thousand people packed into the main concourse from 8 to 10 p.m. It was like one giant crowded bar.
As I expected... Rain delay. Pena's hit may have just saved Bud Selig from -- if possible -- even more criticism.
MIDDLE SIXTH Tampa Bay 2, Philadelphia 2
F-8, and we head to the bottom of the sixth tied up.
On a passed ball, Pena goes to second. The infield looks more like a lake than any baseball field with today's drainage technology should.
Pena singles and the game is tied. Don't be surprised if it goes to a delay now with the score tied. This way, baseball can avoid the debacle of ending its season with a rainout, and finish the game tomorrow if they can't tonight.
Stolen base for Upton. With Pena up, the Rays may never get a better chance to tie the game.
Text from Matt: "I've been to a lot of sporting events, and this weather is as bad as I've ever experienced."
Tough play for Rollins, as he ranges to his right, but he can't get the speedy Upton. Definitely an infield hit, and Upton is on as a potential SB threat. Let the chess match begin.
Despite 30 minutes between pitches, Hamels appears unfazed, as he strikes out Iwamura.
To clarify, rules in the postseason are no different from those of the regular season, regarding rainouts. If the game ends now, the Phils win. Don't expect MLB to end its season this way though.
FOX is going to break while the grounds crew works on a very soggy Citizens Bank Park. Might as well get a lot of use out of it tonight, as it will be the last ballgame there until next spring. We'll see what else the weather can impact. The fans seem to roughing the weather and are all still in their seats.
Buck and McCarver are currently discussing one of the dumbest rules in baseball-- the infield fly rule. Sure I understand what's behind it: MLB doesn't want purposeful dropped flyouts turned into double plays. Seriously, if you want to avoid a double play... Don't hit a pop up!
END FIFTH Philadelphia 2, Tampa Bay 1
Balfour gets out of the inning with two pop ups.
After a failed bunt attempt, VIctorino fails to get the runners over with a flyout to shallow left. It may not seem like much, but the difference is huge. Without the sacrifice, the double play is still in tact, there is just one man in scoring position, and a flyball will not score a run.
The line on Kazmir: Four innings, four hits, two runs (with two men on still), and six walks. Six walks. Grant Balfour is in for the Rays, whose fairy tail season is in serious jeopardy. An extra basehit here, and we may never hear the cowbells again.
Another walk and here comes Joe Maddon.
"It's 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are?" Howard walks.
MIDDLE FIFTH Philadelphia 2, Tampa Bay 1
If the Rays can get through the bottom of the fifth, they will have a speedy top of the order facing Hamels in the sixth, which could spell trouble for the Phils. With Kazmir about to run out of pitches, and speedsters potentially reaching base, Game 5 could soon become the game I like to call "Athletic Chess". This is why I love the game of baseball.
Chase Utley makes one of the most underrated plays in baseball. The Phils' second baseman avoided the runner, Baldelli, to field the ball, before tagging him out, and throwing off-balance to get the double play. Unbelievable play, especially considering the weather. Kazmir strikes out again.
Just like tonight's blogger so wisely predicted, the weather indeed has had an impact. Rollins drops a routine pop up after running halfway across the diamond because of the wind.
END FOURTH Philadelphia 2, Tampa Bay 1
Following a walk to Werth, Utley grounds to Iwamura.
A nine pitch at bat culminates in a walk for Rollins. The Phils are working Kazmir, and with the day off tomorrow (and potentially the entire offseason), Rays' manager Joe Maddon has no rules with his bullpen tonight. 1st and 2nd, two outs, for Werth...
An innocent looking bunt attempt could have proven very costly to the Phils. After a Ruiz single, Hamels' bunt attempt went off the middle finger of his pitching hand. Hamels' ensuing bunt is terrible. It goes right back to Kazmir, and the Rays' pitcher gets the lead runner.
57 pitches through three innings for Kazmir. He's found his good stuff in the last couple of innings, but may not last very long.
MIDDLE FOURTH Philadelphia 2, Tampa Bay 1
Hamels works his way out of trouble with a double play ball on a 3-1 pitch to Navarro.
Longoria knocks in Pena with a basehit up the middle. Pena and Longoria, who were hitless coming into the fourth, have combined to give the Rays some life, and to make me look stupid with my 2-0 prediction. Hamels has gone to 2-0 on Navarro.
Pena doubles off the wall, a ball that was clearly stopped by the wind. The slump may be over for the Rays' first baseman, and now Longoria to the plate, looking to break a slide of his own.
Just spoke with Matt again. He says the fans have rarely sat down tonight, and it is difficult to see the game because of the rally towels. The atmosphere Saturday was unbelievable and that was following a two hour rain delay. I can only imagine Citizen's Bank Park during a possible series-clincher.
END THIRD Philadelphia 2, Tampa Bay 0
The Phils go down 1-2-3, but with Hamels pitching like John Smoltz of the 1990's, offense could mean very little the rest of the way for Philadelphia. Kazmir has settled into a groove, too, and I wouldn't be shocked at a 2-0 final score.
MIDDLE THIRD Philadelphia 2, Tampa Bay 0
Iwamura singles to break up the no-no, but Crawford grounds out. 18 to go for the Phils, and the Rays aren't even fighting back yet.
Scott Kazmir to the plate after Bartlett grounds out. It is odd seeing him some of these A.L. pitchers swing a bat, and the debate over the DH is one of the most controversial topics in sports. I say let it be. Both strategies are different, but interesting, and when they clash in the World Series it can give managers fits and is fun to watch. I just wish some A.L. pitchers weren't as un-athletic as Chien Ming Wang, and didn't have to be babied on the basebaths for fear of a season-ending injury... yes I'm bitter. Kazmir strikes out. He's definitely an A.L. pitcher.
END SECOND Philadelphia 2, Tampa Bay 0
Werth singles, but Utley flies out. Kazmir struggled little in the 2nd, but has thrown a lot of pitches early on.
Just saw the MLB Network's collage for the 2008 season. As a Yankee fan, but a baseball fan first, I don't want to see this season end and enter five months without the pastime. But there's nothing I can do. How many days til Pitchers and Catchers? It's a sad thought. Two easy outs for Kazmir in the 2nd. Werth is up.
MIDDLE SECOND Philadelphia 2, Tampa Bay 0
Easy inning for Hamels, but what else is new. The Phils' ace has been unbelievable this post season, and he may have saved his best stuff for tonight. The Rays are hitless through two innings.
Carlos Pena is struggling. Need evidence? The Rays cleanup hitter, who hit 31 dingers during the season just tried to bunt for a hit. He is now 0 for 14 this series. One away
END FIRST Philadelphia 2, Tampa Bay 0
They're waving their towels in Philly after Victorino knocks in two on a single to left. The Phils are now 24 outs away.
Following a Howard K, and a walk to Burrell, they're loaded for the Hawaiian Victorino. Big AB early in the game.
Utley takes one off the upper back. It'll hurt tomorrow, but some postgame champagne for the Phils' second baseman would probably ease the pain. Kazmir looks wild early as he usually does. Teams that can jump on him early before he settles into a groove are usually the successful ones.
Werth walks on a questionable pitch on the outside corner, after the umpire denies Rollins a walk on a pitch on the inside corner. Looks like an inside zone tonight. One on one out.
Fox just showed the graphic of the TB defense, which has made errors in each of its last eight postseason games. Bad luck? Nerves? Youth? It's hard to tell, but it could be a combination of the three for a usually solid, but very inexperienced defense.
Middle First Tampa Bay 0, Philadelphia 0
Rollins makes things interesting, by dropping a line drive, but throws the speedy Crawford out at first, anyway. The next ground ball is far easier for the all star shortstop. Three up three down.
First pitch time 8:31 for an 8 o'clock game. We could be in for an historic night of baseball, and with the late start maybe an historic early morning. Iwamura flies to left, one out.
Just noticed Crawford's batting second. With Pena and Longoria each moving down a spot. Iwamura, Crawford and Upton at the top of the order. Could be a fun night behind the plate for game 3 hero Carlos Ruiz
For you fans out there interested in another reason to watch tonight. Count the number of campaign ads. Seriously, with election day eight days away, and a large audience from mostly swing states of PA and FL, we could be in for an all-time high over the next three hours.
After watching John Oates' performance of the National Anthem we learned two things. First, the weather will play a factor. FOX showed the rain glistening in the lights of Citizen's Bank Park, the American flag almost stiff because of the wind, and fans bundled up. This is not midsummer baseball. In case you haven't heard-- there's only one October.
Second, the anthem at sporting events is now less about America, and more about who can hold the "Red Glaaaaaaare," the longest. What happened to the days when we honored America, all sang along, and could enjoy a crisp clean anthem. There should be one way to sing it, and no improvisation (I am referring to Patti LaBelle last night).
A few minutes until first pitch, and here are Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, ladies and gentlemen.
Hey folks, it's AJ Cassavell coming to you from the Daily Collegian Office, to live blog tonight's fifth game of the 2008 World Series. With an offense that has been on fire for the last two games, home fans that would likely donate limbs to see a championship come to their city, and the most dominating postseason by a pitcher this side of Josh Beckett's '03 campaign, the Phils seem poised to capture a second World Series title.
But it might not be that easy for the Fightin' Phils. With Tampa Bay ace Scott Kazmir on the hill, one good performance tonight could swing the momentum of the entire series. Not including Chase Utley's home run in the first inning of game one, the Phils bats were silent at the Trop, and another trip back to Florida could bring more of the same with James Shields and Matt Garza waiting in the wings.
It will be a difficult task for the Rays to win tonight, but if they find a way, all the pressure shifts to the shoulders of the team looking to bring a title to its city of Philadelphia for the first time in 100 combined years for all four professional teams.
Although the radar I'm currently watching shows a forecast for rain throughout the night, I hear the tarp is off the field and they are looking to play ball on schedule. I was at the game Saturday night, and if they weren't canceling that, I feel safe in saying they won't cancel anything-- although I'm sure FOX wouldn't mind a cancellation tonight, so they wouldn't have to compete with MNF's Titans-Colts game.
Here are the lineups
NO. TAMPA BAY
1. A. Iwamura, 2B
2. C. Crawford, LF
3. B. Upton, CF
4. C. Pena, 1B
5. E. Longoria, 3B
6. D. Navarro, C
7. R. Baldelli, RF
8. J. Bartlett, SS
9. S. Kazmir, P
1. J. Rollins, SS
2. J. Werth, RF
3. C. Utley, 2B
4. R. Howard
5. P. Burrell
6. S. Victorino, CF
7. P. Feliz, 3B
8. C. Ruiz, C
9. C. Hamels, P
Anyway, I just spoke with Matt Brown, my Collegian colleague who is currently at the game, and he says they should start on time-- which of course means 20 minutes late because FOX needs a ten minute national anthem, and ten minutes of extra advertisements, and previews for 24's Redemption. Seriously, I love 24 as much as the next guy, but i don't need to hear Joe Buck tell me again "The most addictive new drama is back".
One final thought before the game-- If Philadelphia wins it means Boston, New York and Philly own championships in America's three most popular sports. Good news for northeastern sports fans, but for the rest of the country, which detests these teams, it could be a bad night.
Enjoy game 5,
October 26, 2008 at 8:54 PM
Earlier today, Big Ten coaches gathered at the O'Hare Marriott in Chicago for the conference's media day.
Ed DeChellis stated his goals for the Nittany Lions this season, saying he hopes the team can contend for the Big Ten regular season and tournament crowns in hopes of making the NCAA tournament. DeChellis also addressed the obvious -- that his team needs to stay healthy.
"We want to be an upper level team in the Big Ten Conference. Whether we will be successful or not, I do not know, but once you get to a certain level of winning, you want more and you get greedy, so who knows what the end will bring."
A 22-member media panel (which unfortunately does not include us) voted on the conference's preseason awards, which include player of the year, all-Big Ten team and the conference's top three teams.
Purdue returns all five starters from its 15-3 Big Ten team a year ago. Likewise, they were picked as the preseason favorite, with forward Robbie Hummel tabbed as the preseason player of the year in the conference.
The rest of the favorites are as follows:
2008-09 Top Three Preseason Picks
2. Michigan State
2008-09 Big Ten Preseason All-Conference Team
Manny Harris, MICH, So., G
Raymar Morgan, MSU, Jr., F
Robbie Hummel, PUR, So., F
E'Twaun Moore, PUR, So., G
Marcus Landry, WIS, Sr., F
I was a little disappointed to see Harris on the team in place of Talor Battle. Sure, Harris put up better numbers last season, but he was the sole bright spot on a Wolverine team that struggled from start to finish. They should definitely improve this year as most of their players have had a year under their belts to adjust to coach John Beilein's offense, but with the way Battle came on strong towards the end of last season, I'm surprised he has yet to receive more recognition.
DeChellis said Battle put on a lot of weight in the offseason, while noting that his star guard holds the assets that "you cannot teach" to a player.
"He hates to lose and he wants to take the big shot. He wants to have the ball at crunch time and he wants to accept the challenge of having the ball when the game is on the line. That is something you cannot teach, someone who wants the ball at pivotal times and someone who accepts that challenge."
October 26, 2008 at 8:13 PM
The Phillies now have four home runs in this game -- one from Werth, one from Blanton and two from the suddenly hot Ryan Howard.
With a huge lead, Brad Lidge can take a night off. Lefty set-up man J.C. Romero has entered the game for Philadelphia.
My friend Cam just sent me a text message saying that we are going to the clincher tomorrow. I still can't comprehend that I will be in attendance at Citizens Bank Park tomorrow as the Phillies try to bring Philadelphia its first title since the 1983 Sixers.
Navarro reaches on an error as Romero fields and flips it wildly to Howard. One on, nobody out.
Zobrist hits into a fielder's choice as Navarro is thrown out at second for the first out of the inning.
The Phillies are one out from taking a 3-1 lead as Romero strikes out Bartlett. Two outs, man on first.
Rocco Baldelli is pinch hitting for Miller.
Romero strikes out Baldelli on a high fastball. Game over.
I still can't believe I'm saying this, but I will be in attendance tomorrow night as the Phillies attempt to win the World Series.
Final score: Philadelphia 10, Tampa Bay 2
The Phillies now hold a 3-1 edge in the series as Cole Hamels will take the mound tomorrow night against Scott Kazmir in Game 5.
Player of the Game: Phillies 1B Ryan Howard
Howard went 3-4 with two home runs and five RBI.
And Joe Blanton deserves some props for a brilliant performance. He gave up just two runs in six innings of work, striking out seven. Plus, he added a solo home run in the fifth.
Thanks a lot for following along with me tonight. You can join women's basketball and men's soccer writer A.J. Cassavell tomorrow, as he will be taking you through the action in Game 5. I will hopefully be providing periodic live updates to him from Citizens Bank Park and my standing-room only "seat."
Tampa Bay's No. 1-4 hitters are now a collective 0-15 with seven strikeouts. In contrast, Philadelphia's top four are 5-13 with three walks and five runs scored.
Matt Stairs enters the game as a pinch-hitter for Madson but goes down swinging to start the inning against Wheeler.
Rollins continues his big night with a towering fly ball that landed just short of the right field seats and just out of the reach of Zobrist as he jumped against the wall. Rollins rolls into second with a double -- his second of the night. One out, man on second.
And we have "The nail in the coffin" according to assistant sports night editor Steve Maslowsky. Jayson Werth drives a Wheeler pitch into the left field seats for a two-run homer to break the game open, 8-2.
Lefty Trever Miller enters the game for the Rays and walks Chase Utley to bring up Howard.
Howard absolutely hammers Miller's first pitch way out of the park into the right field stands for his second homer of the game. Trever Miller will want to forget this outing fast. A walk to Utley followed by a monster home run by Howard. Phillies now lead 10-2 and Miller is still out there to face Bruntlett.
Bruntlett grounds out and Victorino flies out to deep center to end the inning.
Phillies 10, Rays 2 heading into the ninth.
Madson gets off to a good start in the eighth by getting Pena to strikeout for the second time this game.
Madson picks up his third strikeout in a row as Longoria goes down for the third time and remains hitless in the series.
A quick inning for Madson as he retires Crawford on a ground ball to Utley at second.
Phillies 6, Rays 2 heading into the bottom of the eighth
Righty Dan Wheeler is entering the game for the Rays. He's given up four earned runs in 7.1 innings coming into tonight.
Shane Victorino will lead things off for the Phillies. He floats a fly ball to right field and Zobrist makes a great sliding catch for the first out.
Pedro Feliz reaches on an infield hit. One on, one out.
Carlos Ruiz at the plate with Ryan Madson holding a bat in the on-deck circle.
Iwamura's awful defensive night turns around with a great diving grab at second followed by a throw to first to barely double up Feliz.
Phillies 6, Rays 2 after seven
Eric Bruntlett, the infielder who has become Pat Burrell's defensive replacement, takes the field in left. Actual outfielder So Taguchi continues to pay for his awful performances as a defensive replacement early in the season.
Blanton walks Zobrist to start the inning. One on, nobody out.
With a pitch count of 99, Blanton leaves the field to a standing ovation from the Philly fans.
Right-hander Chad Durbin is entering the game for the Phillies. He's allowed one earned run in five postseason innings.
Lefty Scott Eyre is warming up in the bullpen for the Phils.
Durbin retires Jason Bartlett on a fly out to center.
Willy Aybar pinch hits for Edwin Jackson and singles to right. The Rays are now two-for-two with pinch hitters. First and second, one out.
Durbin leaves the game as Eyre comes in to face the left-handed Iwamura.
Eyre has allowed one earned run in 2.2 innings in the playoffs.
Iwamura just put a Jamie Moyer like swing on the ball, diving back nearly out of the box as he swung. With a 3-1 count, Iwamura lines one opposite field to Bruntlett, who makes a basket catch for out No. 2.
Just like that, Eyre's night is over. Charlie Manuel will turn the ball over to set-up man Ryan Madson as B.J. Upton steps to the plate.
Madson has allowed two earned runs in 10.2 innings of postseason work.
Madson misses away on two straight pitches, 3-1 count to Upton. Big pitch coming now with a full count. Madson slips a breaking ball past Upton for a huge strikeout to end the inning.
Stretch time with the Phillies up 6-2.
If you're wondering where the negative commentary is concerning Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, the volume on the TV here at the James Building is a bit low for me to hear much.
It's a real shame...
Jayson Werth gets the Phillies off to a strong start in the sixth as he rips a ball deep into left center, off the wall, for a double. Werth on second with no outs.
Utley strikes out looking for the first out.
Howard gets the intentional walk. First and second, one out.
And Pat the Bat grounds into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
Phillies 6, Rays 2 after six.
Joe Blanton is back on the hill and gets Upton to fly out to Werth down the right field line for the first out.
FOX cuts back to video of Blanton emerging from the dugout to a thunderous applause. It was a Matt Stairs-like swing that he put on that ball. A one-in-a-million swing.
Blanton walks Pena on a 3-2 pitch. One on, one out.
The 0-2 pitch to Longoria gets away from Ruiz but Pena remains at first. Longoria is still looking for his first hit of the series. But Blanton records his sixth strikeout as he catches Longoria looking on a fastball on the outside corner. One on, two outs.
In Crawford's first plate appearance since is home run, a Joe Blanton breaking ball lands on his back foot. Two on, two outs.
Blanton gets a nice call on a 1-0 pitch to Navarro. The ball was clearly outside but umpire Tom Hallion called it a strike. Navarro takes another strike looking as the count moves to 2-2. And Navarro takes his bat off his shoulders at the wrong time, swinging and missing at a high fastball.
Phillies 6, Rays 2
Right-hander Edwin Jackson enters the game for the Rays. He's given up no runs in 2.1 innings this postseason.
He gets Pedro Feliz to pop out to the catcher, Navarro to start the inning.
Carlos Ruiz hits a sharp grounder to Longoria at the third and Longoria throws to Pena for out No. 2... a good start for Jackson.
Now I have seen everything. JOE BLANTON just hit a home run to left field. Really. Joe Blanton.
The famous words "I don't believe what I just saw" come to mind.
Blanton's homer gives the Phillies a 6-2 advantage as he makes up for the Hinske shot in the top half of the inning.
Jimmy Rollins grounds out to Iwamura to end the inning.
Phillies 6, Rays 2 after five
Zobrist leads off the 5th by hitting a towering fly ball into left center. Victorino gets under it to make the play. One out.
Bartlett hits a sharp ground ball up the middle. It bounces off the leg of Blanton and over to Feliz. Feliz charges at 3rd and beats Bartlett with the throw to first for the second out.
Andy Sonnanstine's night is officially over as Eric Hinske steps up to the plate to pinch hit. The Phillies continue to chase starting pitchers out of games early in the postseason.
And Hinske blasts a ball to straight-away center and Victorino can only watch as it disappears into the bushes behind the ball. 5-2 Phillies.
Iwamura's miserable night continues as he grounds out to Blanton.
Blanton has been fantastic outside of the two home run balls to Crawford and Hinske.
4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO
The defense behind him certainly hasn't helped, but Sonnanstine's control was far from good tonight.
Phillies 5, Rays 2
Four innings, and Jimmy Rollins already has three hits. Iwamura is having a tough day in the field as the ball just slipped past his glove. One on, nobody out.
And the scorers take away the hit and give Iwamura an error... his second of the game.
Jayson Werth walks and the Rays bullpen begins to see some activity. First and second, nobody out.
Sonnanstine bounces back to work get Utley swinging on a three-pitch strikeout. Two on, one out.
With Howard at the plate, Navarro nearly gets Rollins at second with a snap throw. Next pitch, Howard launches a towering shot into opposite field. Home run Ryan Howard and the Phillies take a 5-1 lead.
Yes, the Phillies did in fact just get a hit with a runner in scoring position.
The replay shows a hanging curve ball over the outer half of the plate. Howard handled it perfectly by taking it the other way. When Ryan Howard is on, that's the kind of thing he does.
Burrell pops out to Navarro for out No. 2.
For the one millionth time this season, Shane Victorino slices a fly ball in the infield. This time, Longoria controls it to end the inning.
But the damage has been done, and Sonnanstine's night may be over. He's due up third in the 5th.
Phillies 5, Rays 1.
Pena strikes out swinging, Blanton's fifth of the game. One out, nobody on.
Longoria's hitless streak continues as he grounds out to shortstop. Two outs, nobody on.
And Carl Crawford gets the Rays on the board with a shot to right that just finds its way into the first row. Phillies 2, Rays 1.
Blanton promptly gets Navarro to ground out to Rollins to end the top half of the inning.
Phillies 2, Rays 0
Utley reaches on an error by Iwamura as the ball deflects off the top of his glove at 2nd. One on, nobody out.
Howard rips a mistake by Sonnanstine into right for a base hit, Utley advances to third. Howard is inconsistent, but you just can't throw a fastball down the middle of the plate. That's the only pitch Howard ever appears to be swinging at, regardless of location. First and third, nobody out.
Burrell flies out to Bartlett at shortstop for out No. 1.
The Phillies continue to struggle with timely hits, as Victorino also pops out to Bartlett. Two outs, first and third.
And the Phillies manage to keep the nearly-extinct phrase "timely hitting" alive by singling into left to score Utley. Phillies 2, Rays 0. Two outs, first and second.
Iwamura makes a nice stop up the middle on a Ruiz grounder, but he drops it and everyone is safe. Bases loaded, two outs.
Blanton pops out to Pena in foul territory to again bump up the Phillies LOB stat.
Phillies 2, Rays 0 after three.
Blanton gets Bartlett to strike out swinging to start the third. That's four strikeouts for Blanton already. One out, none on.
"If you give up a hit to an AL pitcher, you should just give up." - Collegian copy editor Dave Miniaci. Blanton does just that as Sonnanstine singles to left. One out, man on first.
Iwamura hits a chopper to Rollins at shortsop. Rollins gets Sonnanstine with the force at second but Iwamura reaches. Two outs, man on second.
Upton rips a ball to Rollins again. Rollins throws to Utley and second and just barely beats Iwamura for out No. 3.
Phillies 1, Rays 0
I don't know about everyone else, but watching the same commercials (i.e. DirecTV) has gotten very, very old. It's not at the level of Under Armour, "Click Clack" and the NFL Draft, but still annoying.
Game Three hero Carlos Ruiz leads off the second but flies out to deep left. One out, nobody on.
Joe Blanton steps to the plate with lifetime numbers of two hits in 31 at-bats. If Brett Myers can get hits, can't Blanton get one? Apparently not. Blanton goes down swinging. Two outs, nobody on.
Rollins rips a pitch just in front of Zobrist in right for a base hit. Two outs, man on first.
Werth stays with a bad pitch and flies out to Zobrist in right to end the inning.
Phillies 1, Rays 0 after two.
Evan Longoria leads off for the Rays, hoping to get his first hit of the World Series. And Longoria continues to do nothing as Joe Blanton gets a breaking ball by him for the strikeout. One out, nobody on.
Another strikeout for Blanton as he gets Carl Crawford to swing at breaking ball way out of the strike zone low and inside. Two outs, nobody on.
Navarro attempts a bunt on an 0-1 count but it goes foul down the third base line. Not often you see a catcher try for a bunt single. Navarro takes a 2-2 pitch that looked like a strike but was called a ball. With a full count, he rips a base hit to right field to become Tampa's first base runner of the game. One on, two outs.
Blanton quickly recovers as he gets Zobrist to pop out to shallow center to Victorino. It looked like Utley called for it but he jumped out of the way at the last second to let Victorino handle it.
Phillies 1, Rays 0
Rollins actually does the job of a lead-off man and rips a 3-1 pitch down the first base line for a double. No outs, man on second.
Werth nearly gets hit on the first pitch he sees and works the count to 3-0. After taking a pitch, Werth flies out to Zobrist in right. Rollins tags up and heads to 3rd. One out, man on third.
Can the Phillies get a hit with a runner in scoring position? I'd like to know the over-under on the number of graphics Fox shows related to that.
Utley works a four-pitch walk. Sonnanstine is off to a rough start to say the least. One out, first and third with Howard coming up.
Howard taps it up the middle to Sonnanstine, Rollins gets caught in a run-down between third and home but somehow makes it back to third "safely." Bases loaded, one out.
Pat the Bat works a 3-0 count and takes all the way for strike one. My co-worker Nate Mink is predicting a grand slam. Instead, Burrell walks to score Rollins. Bases loaded still, one out. Phils lead 1-0.
Victorino taps the ball to Sonnanstine, who tosses home to Navarro to get Utley on the force. Bases loaded, two outs.
Pedro Feliz trying to get the Phillies a hit with runners on base. Of course, he flies out to center. Definitely a wasted opportunity for the Phillies. But what else is new?
Phillies 1, Rays 0 after one
Is there anything more pointless than Fox's "Keys to the Game?" For the Phillies, they're supposed to continue their home perfection in the postseason. Really? The key to the game for the Phillies is to win? Wish I would've thought of that.
Iwamura almost gets the Rays off to a great start with a long fly ball to left field, but Pat Burrell catches it with his back against the wall. One out.
B.J. Upton goes down looking for out No. 2. Two outs.
After a tough at-bat by Iwamura, Blanton cruises through the next two hitters. Pena pops out behind the plate to Ruiz to end the inning.
Rays 0, Phillies coming to bat
It's almost game time and right now we're subject to listening to Patti Labelle butcher the National Anthem. I was going to say she was better than the Backstreet Boys, but then the ending of her rendition took about 3 hours.
I don't know why so many people feel the need to add to the National Anthem, but it's just getting really old. Can't anyone just sing it without trying to impress everyone with terrible additions to it?
On the opposite side of the spectrum, the uncharismatic Joe Buck and the often-inaccurate Tim McCarver are about ready to begin the call.
The most excited I've heard Joe Buck this postseason was when Manny Ramirez ran hard and cut off a ball in left field in the NLCS. We don't need Gus Johnson, but a little excitement couldn't hurt.
What's up everyone, this is Collegian men's basketball and women's soccer reporter Matt Brown here to take you through Game Four of the World Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies hold a 2-1 advantage in the series and have an opportunity to send Cole Hamels to the mound for the championship in tomorrow's Game Five with a win tonight.
As a side note, I'm lucky enough to hold a standing-room only ticket to tomorrow night's game. I don't want to get ahead of myself but yes, I have the chance to see the city of Philadelphia gets its first championship since 1983 in person. And no, the Philadelphia Soul don't count.
Tonight, the Phillies will send Joe Blanton to the mound against Tampa Bay's Andy Sonnanstine. Blaton is 1-0 in two playoff starts with a 3.27 ERA, 11 strikeouts and four walks in 11 inninings. Sonnanstine is 2-0 in two starts with a 3.46 ERA, six stikeouts and two walks in 13 innings.
It'll be hard to top last night's ugliness, so maybe tonight a run will actually score on a hit to the outfield.
Akinori Iwamura, 2B
Carlos Pena, 1B
Evan Longoria, 3B
Carl Crawford, LF
Dioner Navarro, C
Ben Zobrist, RF
Jason Bartlett, SS
Andy Sonnanstine, P
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Jayson Werth, RF
Chase Utley, 2B
Ryan Howard, 1B
Pat Burrell, LF
Shane Victorino, CF
Pedro Feliz, 3B
Carlos Ruiz, C
Joe Blanton, P
October 26, 2008 at 4:30 PM
Just to wrap this weekend's series up I thought I'd post some quotes I got from Navy's head coach Mike Fox. These quotes are from Wednesday, so they're a little dated, but Coach Fox gave me some interesting insight into what it's like to coach at a military academy.
Is it difficult to recruit players to come to the Naval Academy?
Absolutely it is. We have one rule for example where a student who wants to come in has to take a full year that would transfer into the school. We're geared to engineering. Kids that are pretty good hockey players go on and play some juniors. That would make them academically ineligible here. The regiment with the military aspect and the commitment after you have to want to be in the navy. We get some very good talent that wants to play and for some reasons we can't look at them.
Your team is known for its physical conditioning. Could you talk about how different hockey shape is from the physical conditioning the players do with the Academy?
They do a lot of extracurricular activities, but the reality is we have to get in hockey condition. There's a difference in having to put a backpack on and going on a ten mile run versus going on the ice and going full speed nonstop with quick movements. It seems to me they skated around us pretty well a couple times last year. We have a good group of guys. Some of my upper class might be in command of a group and have to balance hockey with that and the curriculum and everything else the want to do. In some cases it's good because they can come out and clear their heads and just skate. We're really proud of the guys and I don't think they'll ever give up. Our hope is we can stay in the game with a team as talented as Penn State and sneak a few through.
Could you talk about your relationship with Penn State coach Scott Balboni?
I got to know him a little bit better (at the World University Games tryouts). We've met and talked. Certainly more at the World's, which was great. I know him, I consider him a friend in the coaching industry. I like him, I think he knows his hockey - certainly knows his defense. He runs a tight ship.
Could you talk about your expectations for your team this year?
Our expectations are we've got a group of upper class men without a lot of experience. In a league with great talent in Penn State, Rhode Island, Delaware, Drexel. We've been trying to play most of the teams in the top twenty and hold our own to let people know we're on our way up. We certainly want to be in the playoffs in our league. We'd like to make a good run at the end to take that. Maybe we can squeak into the top sixteen. With the support we've gotten from the midshipmen I know they're trying to make that move.
Coach Fox is in his second year as head coach of Navy, and it's obvious from talking to him that he's a coach who commands the respect of his players. And maybe it's just me, but it's also interesting to note that the coach of Navy said Scott Balboni "runs a tight ship".
October 26, 2008 at 4:27 PM
While the Icers were busy beating the Navy Midshipmen this weekend, the No.1 Illinois Fightin' Illini were struggling with the No. 13 University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos. After rallying from a 3-1 deficit Friday night to win 4-3, the Illini ran out of gas Saturday, losing to the Bronchos 6-4.
The loss ends the Illini's 47 game winning streak. The streak included a perfect 38-0 season last year that resulted in a national championship and a 9-0 start this year.
It seemed to only be a matter of time before the Illini finally went down after they struggled in last Friday's game against Ohio State, falling behind 2-1 before rallying to win 4-2. OSU was in the game right until the end, though, but an empty-net goal by Illinois with 3 seconds left pushed the score to 4-2.
With the new rankings coming out just before the loss yesterday, Illinois will remain No. 1 for the time being. Lindenwood remained No. 2 and Penn State stayed at No. 3.
Although it may lose a little mystique with the Illini's winning streak coming to an end, Illinois still comes to Happy Valley for a highly anticipated two-game clash with the Icers Jan. 16-17.
The next set of rankings will be released Nov. 7. Should be interesting to see the first mix-up at the top of the rankings this season.
October 24, 2008 at 2:43 PM
As Pat mentioned in his preview of this weekend's games, there's something else happening in the Icers' family -- former goalie and fan favorite Chris Matteo is getting married.
I caught up with the ever-personable goalie this past weekend and chatted about his return to State College, this year's team and the goalie position battle.
Why are you in town? Homecoming?
Homecoming, yeah. I actually came into town to get my marriage license. We're getting married next week at the Nittany Lion Inn. The homecoming thing, it's nice to do also.
How are you enjoying yourself so far, being back?
I love being back. Just seeing the guys, it's great. Seeing everybody who's been involved with the program for so long. I see the same faces from when I was a freshman. The same smiling faces that greeted you when you were nervous and playing your first game here, these are the same people that are involved. You see them all the time and that's terrific. When you come back, they're still just as dedicated, just as crazed about Penn State hockey as they ever have been. That's what's great, knowing that the program's in great hands and there's a bunch of great guys that are on the bench that want to make sure it keeps getting better.
What are you doing nowadays?
Actually, I work for Merrill Lynch. They've certainly been challenging times, over there, but I'm learning a lot. I'm having a great time and it's certainly great to be back, that's for sure.
How do you think this year's team looks?
I think they look good. I think they have a lot of speed. I think they look like they move the puck real well. The really great Penn State teams that we've had in the past, they've been fantastic puck movers and they let the puck do the work for them. These guys seem to be doing that. I think they've got a lot of promise.
Your thoughts on the goalie battle?
Teddy's certainly come in here and played real well. He's certainly made a name for himself at goalie, but Nick Signet is a fantastic goalie and there's no accounting for experience. He's a senior and in the end, it's just going to come down to who's playing better, but with two goalies that play as well as these guys, the days of a small goalie here are over. These guys are both big guys. They play well. They take up a lot of space. The team is very lucky to have two goalies like that.
I speak for all of us here at Between The Pipes, congratulations and good luck Mr. Matteo.
October 23, 2008 at 6:47 PM
FINAL. Rays 4, Phillies 2
The Phils made a hard charge in the final innings, but tonight couldn't overcome stranding 11 runners on base as the Rays take Game 2 at home.
Phillies - 2 runs, 9 hits, 2 errors
Rays - 4 runs, 7 hits, 1 error
WP: Shields (1-0)
LP: Myers (0-1)
Time of Game: As Yankees TV voice Michael Kay would say, "a manageable" 3 hours, 5 minutes
Tampa Bay might have taken Game 2, but Philadelphia did what they needed to do by winning Game 1 and go home to Philly for Game 3 Saturday night with the series tied 1-1.
Probable Starters for Game 3 (Saturday, 8 p.m.)
TB: Matt Garza
PHI: Jamie Moyer
Due up: Ruiz, Rollins, Werth.
Feels like I've posted "due up: Ruiz, Rollins, Werth" four times tonight. Because I have.
Price stays in the game to start the 9th.
Ruiz leads off with yet another hit, a double down the left field line. Good night for Ruiz: 2-for-2 with 2 doubles and 2 walks. No out, Rollins up next.
Price came very close to hitting Rollins, the replay shows it might have nicked Jimmy's jersey but the umpire says no and the at bat continues. J-Roll is just struggling right now.
Rollins hits a floater that Bartlett catches in shallow left. One out, Ruiz still on second, Werth up next.
Werth hits a liner that bounces off the heel of Longoria's glove and over the head of Bartlett into left field. Ruiz is able to score from second but Werth stays on first. 4-2 Rays, one out, and Utley comes to the plate as the potential tying run. Werth's shot ruled an E5 on Longoria.
Utley goes down swinging. Two outs, Werth still on first.
And the game comes down to Howard as the tying run...
who goes after the first pitch and grounds out into the shift to Iwamura to end the inning and the game.
One run, one hit, one error, one left.
Due up: Pena, Longoria, Crawford
Myers finally exits the game for the Phils and Manuel brings in J.C. Romero to face at least the lefty Pena.
Pena strikes out looking. One out, Longoria up next.
Official final line on Myers: 7 Innings, 7 Hits, 4 Runs ( 3 Earned), 3 BB, 2 K
Longoria pops out to second. Two out, Crawford up next.
Crawford gets into one, but it's a loud out to Werth to end the inning.
Last Chance for the Phils
No runs, no hits, no errors, none left
End 8th. Phillies 1, Rays 4
Due up: Burrell, Victorino, Dobbs
Fox just aired the MasterCard commercial with Mr. Bill. One of my current favorites.
If nothing else tonight for the Phillies, Myers has stepped up and might have given the whole bullpen a night off, which could play a role in Game 3.
Burrell pops up in foul territory, Longoria goes to the edge of the track near the Philly dugout but makes the play. One out, Victorino up next.
Victorino hits a chopper that Longoria fields and throws to first to retire Victorino. Two outs.
With the lefty Price, Charlie Manuel pinch-hits Eric Bruntlett for Dobbs and promptly deposits a ball into the left field bleachers for a HOME RUN to finally put Philadelphia on the board. 4-1 Rays, two outs, Feliz up next.
Feliz grounds out to short to end the inning.
One run, one hit, no errors, none left.
Middle 8th. Phillies 1, Rays 4
Due up: Bartlett, Iwamura, Upton
Myers still in the game to start the seventh as Bartlett hits a leadoff single to center field. One on, Iwamura up next.
Hard to believe that Myers only has 75 pitches. He might go the whole game as pitch No. 76 is a line drive from Iwamura to Burrell for the first out with Upton up next.
Solid graphic by Fox there: the Rays' 2-3-4 hitters are 2-for-8 with 3 RBI, a huge difference from last night when they went a combined 0-for-12.
But of course, the very next pitch, Upton grounds into his third double play of the series and Myers gets out of the inning.
No runs, one hit, no errors, none left
End 7th. Phillies 0, Rays 4
Due up: Ruiz, Rollins, Werth
Wheeler stays in the game to start the 7th.
Price continues to warm up and one would think he would come in if it gets to Utley and/or Howard as Ruiz stays alive in his at bat.
Ruiz works the count full, he's been a tough out tonight, and he walks again to lead off the inning. He has reached all three times he's come to the plate tonight. No outs, Rollins up next.
Wheeler falls behind Rollins 2-0 before throwing a strike to make it 2-1. The Phillies can still come back in this game, but they are going to have to start soon and they have to come up with a big hit. Rollins just does check his swing on a 2-2 pitch in the dirt and takes the count to 3-2.
Ruiz takes off as Rollins strikes out but the throw from Navarro hits the bag and Ruiz is safe at second. One out, Werth up next in yet another at bat for Philadelphia with runners in scoring position.
Werth is 0-for-8 with RISP in the postseason. More good news for Phils fans.
Make it 0-for-9. Werth goes down looking on a 90 mph fastball low and away. 2 outs, Utley up next and out comes Maddon to the mound to bring in David Price to face Utley.
The rookie Price, the first overall pick in the 2007 MLB draft, was electric in his two appearances in the ALCS, getting the win in Game 2 and the save in Game 7 despite only appearing in five games during the regular season after he was called up in September. He did however have a 1.93 ERA in those five appearances. And he's only 22.
Utley is the first Phillie to face him and Price is a little wild, walking Utley on four pitches to bring up Howard with two on and two out. Last night, this might have cause some concern but Howard is 2-for-3 tonight with a double.
Howard battled back to 2-2 before Price gets him looking with a fastball on the outside corner to end the inning and turn Philadelphia away again.
No runs, no hits, no errors, two left.
Middle 7th. Phillies 0, Rays 4
Due up: Floyd, Navarro, Baldelli
Official final line on Shields: 6 2/3 innings. 0 runs, 7 hits, 2 BB, 5 K
Myers stays in the game and gets Floyd to chop one to second and Utley. One out, Navarro up next.
Action in both bullpens, Eyre and Chad Durbin throwing for Philadelphia, the Rays' dynamic rookie David Price warming up for Tampa as Navarro pops one up in foul territory that Feliz can get to. Two outs, Baldelli up next.
Myers strikes out Baldelli on three pitches to end the inning.
No runs, no hits, no errors, none left
End 6th. Phillies 0, Rays 4
Due up: Howard, Burrell, Victorino
Totals through 5:
Phillies - 0 runs, 5 hits, 2 errors
Rays - 4 runs, 6 hits, no errors
Howard hits a sharp liner that Iwamura easily fields in short right and retires Howard. One out, Burrell up next.
Shields has 93 pitches so far, he's been able to pitch out of a lot of jams as Burrell fouls off No. 94 to the left side.
No. 95 was a ball but No. 96 results in Shields' fifth strikeout as Burrell chases a high fastball. Two out, Victorino up next.
Victorino grounds one under the glove of a diving Pena for a single to keep the inning alive for Dobbs. One on, two out
Like Hamels last night, Shields hasn't had his best stuff. A lot of the pitches the Phils' are just missing, but it's been good enough as Tampa has action in their pen, looks like Dan Wheeler warming up. Makes sense, Shields is over 100 pitches now.
Dobbs hits a liner, Upton makes a dive at it and...it shorthops into Upton's glove for a single. Victorino easily goes to third on the hit. Two on, two out, Feliz up next.
Pedro Feliz will come up trying to break the 0-for-21 RISP slump for Philadelphia, but it won't be against Shields as Maddon comes out and will bring in a righthander.
Shields leaves after going 6 2/3 innings, allowing no runs on seven hits, with five strikeouts and two walks. This could change as he is responsible for Victorino on third and Dobbs on first.
It is Wheeler, Brad Lidge's former set-up man in Houston that enters the game to face Feliz.
Fox flashes up a graphic showing Feliz is 2-for-15 with RISP in the playoffs. Not good if you're a Philly fan.
The slump is now 0-for-22 in the series as Feliz grounds into the fielder's choice at second to end the inning.
No runs, two hits, no errors, two left.
Middle 6th. Phillies 0, Rays 4
Due up: Upton, Pena, Longoria
Upton flies out to Burrell. One out, Pena up next.
Pena walks. One out, Longoria up next.
Pena gets himself into scoring position by moving to second on a throwing error by Ruiz, but Myers recovers by striking out Longoria. Two outs, Floyd up next as Scott Eyre is throwing in the Philadelphia bullpen.
No need for him for now as Crawford grounds to second to end the inning and strand Pena at second.
No runs, no hits, one error, one left
End 5th. Phillies 0, Rays 4
Due up: Ruiz, Rollins, Werth
The Phillies have had the leadoff runner on for the last three innings and haven't been able to get a run in while the Rays are slowly pulling away. If they want to stay in this game, they need to start getting hits with runners in scoring position.
As I write, make that four innings in a row as Ruiz walks to lead off the inning. Rollins up next.
Just another reason to love Fox, as they aired the interview with the Rays coach they taped between innings, Ruiz is retired on a fielder's choice. Rollins reaches at first. One out, Werth up next.
Werth does a nice piece of hitting as he looked like he was jammed but he still was able to drive it up the middle for a hit. Rollins stops at second and once again, the Phils have a runner in scoring position. Two on, one out, Utley up next.
Utley hits a soft liner that Baldelli snabs in right and is able to double off Werth at first to end the inning and make it 0-for-21 in the series with RISP. Either the Bengals or Lions might win a game before the Phillies get a hit with runners in scoring position. Then again...
No runs, one hit, no errors, two left
Middle 5th. Phillies 0, Rays 4
Due up: Floyd, Navarro, Baldelli
Another promo for The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror XIX. It's just not the same.
Floyd gets a broken-bat single over the head of Rollins on the first pitch of the inning. One on, no outs. Navarro up next.
Navarro grounds one up the middle for a base hit, Floyd goes to second. No outs. Baldelli up next. With the way this game is going, how big was that play at the plate that got the Phillies out of the second with only the one run?
Baldelli hits a sharp grounder to third. Feliz goes to Utley for one, but Baldelli can still run and beats the throw at first. Floyd goes to third on the fielder's choice. One out. Bartlett up next.
Bartlett shows bunt and gets a good one down to first. Myers to Howard retires Bartlett at first but Floyd scores on the sacrifice. 4-0 Rays, two out, Baldelli on second. Iwamura up next.
Iwamura grounds out to end the inning, but Tampa is able to manufacture a run. This is why they went 54-27 at home this season.
One run, two hits, no errors, one left
End 4th. Phillies 0, Rays 4
Due Up: Howard, Burrell, Victorino
Howard looks much looser in this game. After he fouls one off down the left field line, he hits a sharp ball through the infield shift to right for a single and his second hit of the night. Third straight inning with the leadoff man on, the Phils have to drive at least one of these runs in, don't they? Burrell up next.
Burrell hits a slow roller to third that Longoria throws to first to retire Burrell. Howard moves to second. One out. Victorino up next.
Victorino hits a sharp grounder that bounced off Pena's glove, deflected to second behind Iwamura. He grabbed it and threw to first but Victorino is safe by over a step. Howard goes to third, one out. Dobbs up next. Give Victorino a hit.
Will Dobbs break the 0-for-18 RISP streak? No. Strikes out swinging for the second out. Feliz up next. Make it 0-for-19.
Feliz makes it 0-for-20 as he grounds out to Longoria at third to end the inning.
No runs, two hits, no errors, two left
Middle 4th. Phillies 0, Rays 3
Due Up: Pena, Longoria, Crawford
Fox comes back from commercial just before Myers' first pitch to Pena. Don't you just love TV?
Pena lines out to Rollins. One out. Longoria due up next.
Longoria pops up to Utley at second, who battles the roof and the cowbells to make the play. Two out. Crawford up next.
Crawford flies out to Burrell and Myers gets exactly what he needed. A quick inning.
No runs, no hits, no errors, none left
End 3rd. Phillies 0, Rays 3
Due Up: Ruiz, Rollins, Werth
Ruiz hits a double to right center and the Phillies have the leadoff man on for the second straight inning. No out. Rollins up next.
Rollins hits a liner to second that Iwamura needed to make a psuedo-slide on to grab and retire Rollins at first. Ruiz advances to third. One out. Werth up next. They need to get this run in. So far, Philly is 0-for-16 with Runners In Scoring Position in the series.
Make it 0-for-17. Werth goes down swinging. Utley up next.
0-for-18. Utley grounds out to second to end the inning.
No runs, one hit, no errors, one left.
Middle 3rd. Phillies 0, Rays 3
Due up: Floyd, Navarro, Baldelli
Floyd leads off against Myers and grounds one up the middle, but Rollins makes a nice play to his right and retires Floyd. One out. Navarro up next.
Navarro lines a base hit just underneath a diving Utley. One on, one out. Baldelli up next.
Baldelli check-swings at a 3-2 offering. First Base ump says no swing and Baldelli walks. Two on, one out. Bartlett up.
Bartlett hits a dribbler that Feliz can't handle, but it would have been a tough play. Ruled an infield single. Bases loaded, one out.
Which brings up the top of the order and Iwamura, and elicits a visit to the mound from Phils pitching coach Rich Dubee and the rest of the infield. Philadelphia couldn't add to their lead many times last night, let's see if the Rays can.
Myers catches a break when Iwamura pops out to short. Two out. Upton up next.
Upton delivers with a base hit to right that scores Navarro, but Werth delivers a frozen rope to Ruiz that retires Baldelli at home to end the inning.
One run, three hits, no errors, two left.
End 2nd. Phillies 0, Rays 3
Due Up: Howard, Burrell, Victorino
Howard leads off with a double for his first hit of the series. Big confidence boost for him and maybe the Phils as well. Runner on second, no outs. Burrell up next.
Burrell battles back and earns a walk. It would be huge for Philadelphia if they get at least one run back. Two on, Howard still at second, no out. Victorino up.
Victorino quickly popped out to Longoria at third. One out. Dobbs up next.
Shields bounces one to Dobbs, Howard and Burrell advance, but Dobbs strikes out. Two out. Feliz up next.
Feliz gets good contact and lines it to center, but it hangs in the air long enough for Upton to grab it to end the inning.
No runs, one hit, no errors, two left on
Mid 2nd. Phils 0, Rays 2
Iwamura, Upton, Pena due up.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden in a Rays visor reads off the Rays' lineup on Fox tonight.
Iwamura takes the count to 3-1 early against Myers. I mentioned the first inning has been his undoing at times this year. Iwamura walks on five pitches and reaches to lead off for the second straight game. Not a good start for Myers, but it's early. Upton up next.
Myers was very good in his 15 regular season starts since being brought back from the minors. 9-4 with a 3.32 ERA.
Upton gets a hit to right that rolls under Werth's glove, Iwamura goes to third and Upton goes to second, still no one out, Pena up next. E9 for Werth, no hit for Upton. This is a great start for the Rays and for their own confidence and the confidence of Shields, they need something here.
Myers is rattled. He falls behind Pena 3-0 before throwing a strike on an off-speed pitch.
Pena grounds out to second, Iwamura scores on the fielder's choice. 1-0 Rays, 1 out, Upton at third.
Longoria up next and he promptly grounds out to Rollins at short. Not pretty but it scores Upton from third. 2-0 Rays, 2 out, none on.
Crawford retired to end the inning, but the damage is done.
Two runs, one hit, one error, none left.
End 1st. Phils 0, Rays 2
Due up: Rollins, Werth, Utley
Rollins leads off against Shields to start the game, and actually didn't go after the first pitch. He does, however, pop up the full count offering to Iwamura at second for the first out.
Werth is up next, he hits a sharp grounder to third that Longoria bobbles momentarily but recovers in time to retire Werth at first, two out.
Utley up next, he doesn't bunt but instead takes ball one in the dirt.
Not surprisingly, after his homer in the first last night, Shields being very careful with Utley. But a good sign for the Phils so far is that Shields took the count full to Rollins and Werth, and Utley is battling at 2-2.
Utley finally lines out to Upton at center, three out.
No runs, hits, errors or men left.
Mid 1st. Phillies 0, Rays 0
Joe Buck and Tim McCarver make their first appearance of the evening after Los Lonely Boys did the National Anthem. For those of you wondering, Taylor Swift and Patti LaBelle will sing the Anthem at Games 3 and 4 at Citizens Bank Park, according to a post by St. Petersburg Times' pop music critic Sean Daly on the paper's Rays blog.
After Mike Schmidt presented the lineups on Fox last night, Dallas Green gets the honors for Game 2. Wonder if the Rays will come out in a line and introduce themselves on tv, only to cut off Bartlett again as they did in Game 1.
Less than one minute to first pitch.
Hey everybody, I'm women's tennis reporter Tom Copain here bring you Game 2 of the World Series between the Phillies and the Rays here on MAKE PLAYS. I am coming to you live from the basement here at the James Building in State College, so like the Phils and Rays, I am indoors. Although we do have a window here so we might actually have more natural light than Tropicana Field. Unfortunately, they do have us beat in the Aquarium Department.
After another strong start from Cole Hamels in the Phils 3-2 win in Game 1, Brett Myers gets the start in Game 2. Myers has been very good since being brought back after a short stint in the minors earlier this season. He is 2-0 in the postseason, albeit with a 5.25 ERA in two starts. The key for him will be getting out of the first inning, which has been his nemesis all year long. If he can get out of the first inning and have his devastating curveball hitting its spots, then Philly has a good chance tonight.
Tampa Bay answers with fellow righty James Shields, who was the Rays' No.1 starter for both the ALDS and ALCS before manager Joe Maddon decided to flip Shields and last night's starter Scott Kazmir before that infamous Game 5 against the Red Sox. Shields, nicknamed "Big Game James," has been just that, going 14-8 with a 3.56 ERA during the regular season. He's been pretty good during the postseason despite the record, going 1-2 with a 3.72 ERA in three postseason starts.
With the two righthanders on the mound, both teams have made at least one change to their lineups for Game 2. The Phillies will put pinch-hitter extrordinare Greg Dobbs into the starting lineup as the DH and batting seventh, replacing Chris Coste. With Myers on the mound, the Rays have inserted former Expo and Marlin great Cliff Floyd in the lineup as the DH replacing Willy Aybar. Maddon also gives inspirational story and Pride of Rhode Island Rocco Baldelli his first World Series start tonight, replacing Ben Zobrist in right field.
And so, here are the rest of the starting lineups:
1) Jimmy Rollins - SS
2) Jayson Werth - RF
3) Chase Utley - 2B
4) Ryan Howard - 1B
5) Pat Burrell - LF
6) Shane Victorino - CF
7) Greg Dobbs - DH
8) Pedro Feliz - 3B
9) Carlos Ruiz - C
Brett Myers - P
1) Akinori Iwamura - 2B
2) B.J. Upton - CF
3) Carlos Pena - 1B
4) Evan Longoria - 3B
5) Carl Crawford - LF
6) Cliff Floyd - DH
7) Dioner Navarro - C
8) Rocco Baldelli - RF
9) Jason Bartlett - SS
James Shields - P
October 23, 2008 at 5:46 PM
The Nittany Lions tabbed their first recruit to the class of 2009 when Strake Jesuit College Prep's Tim Frazier told coach Ed DeChellis he's leaving the heart of Texas for central Pennsylvania.
Frazier is rated as the country's 29th-best prospect at point guard according to fightonstate.com
Frazier's 6-foot-1, 160-pound frame is just smaller than current Lion court general, Stanley Pringle. Still, the Houston native will sure up a backcourt that sees Pringle and Danny Morrissey graduating after this season.
Garnering offers from Stanford, Penn and Colorado State, among others, Frazier is the latest example of DeChellis' ability to track down and snag proven talent across the country. And, if all goes according to plan, Frazier will get to run will fellow Texan Chris Babb in '09.
October 23, 2008 at 3:39 PM
NOTE: This is the first of a weekly series.
So I really hate this name. Any suggestions from the faithful "Between The Pipes" readers?
Anyways, in the interest of giving you, the readers, a better taste of what we reporters have to deal with when we're around the team, we've decided to do a 10-question Q&A with a member of the No. 3 Penn State Division I Icers each week.
First up: Senior Goalie Nick Signet.
If not hockey, what sport would you be playing?
Definitely golf. They do the least work and the get to hang around golf courses all day and kind of hang out and hope for the best.
What's your handicap?
Noooo. None of that. I just play. I didn't say I was good. I play.
Favorite place to eat in town?
Le Bistro. It's the best kept secret in State College, right there. Their paninis, they're really good. They've got the Monte Cristo, which is like French toast with like ham and turkey and cheese and you dunk it in syrup. It's great.
Favorite class you've taken at Penn State?
It would be a toss-up between my sports writing class, because in the first three weeks of class we had a conference about bowling, went bowling and then went to a Pirate game. So that, or my sports media and society class.
Any hidden talents? We know you play hockey, kind of how we know Graham Spanier is the president of Penn State but he likes to do magic.
I don't do magic. I saw his magic tricks first-hand. I don't really have any hidden talents. I don't have any double joints or anything. I don't know. Why am I so stumped by a hidden talent question? I can point my big toe up and all the rest of my toes down. There you go, because I was just doing it right now.
Favorite hockey player?
Roberto Luongo. He's kind of the face of the Vancouver Canucks. He's an integral part of turning that team around and now they've named him captain, which is kind of cool, too.
Favorite Coach Balboni quirk?
How he says "schwivel." He'll tell you to keep your head on a "schwivel." That's one of my favorite quirks of his. I guess it's like a Boston thing, but still, it's swivel. IT'S SWIVEL.
Pick in the World Series?
I'd like to see Tampa. Going from worst to best, that would be cool. So I'll say Tampa, and just because they beat the Red Sox and [Craig] Brooks loves the Red Sox.
In the movie of your life, who plays your girlfriend?
I think if I had to choose, it'd be Eva Mendes. She'd play my girlfriend.
Who is the biggest ladies man on the team?
The biggest ladies man on the team? (Laughs) The biggest ladies man on the team... (Laughs some more). Man. I'd say Matt Kirstein, he's got a girlfriend, though. He knows the most ladies FOR SURE. I'd say [Chris] Pronchik is the biggest ladies man WITHOUT a girlfriend, but with a girlfriend, Matt Kirstein.
The best nickname on the team?
People call Kirstein, "The Grey One," it kind of went along with Wayne Gretzky's "The Great One," because last year he wore grey EVERY single practice, no matter what it was. No matter what team we were playing, he was on the Grey Line and we still kind of call him "The Grey One."
October 22, 2008 at 7:47 PM
I predict whichever team that scores more runs will win the game. Call me crazy.
Just a heads up: this here entry starts at the bottom, so scroll down to get the preview/early innings.
Final: Phillies 3, Rays 2.
Brett Myers will take the hill in Game 2 for Philadelphia and be opposed by James Shields for the Tampa Bay Metropolitan Area. This match-up probably favors Shields, as Myers has struggled on the road this year.
Whew...I was afraid all those runners stranded would come back to bite the Phils, but Cole Hamels proved his ace-ly-ness again, and the Madson-Lidge combo gave the Rays nothing in the eigth and ninth. The Phils have now won the opening game of all three rounds this postseason thanks primarily to Hamels' sublime efforts.
Popped up. Happy Pete Feliz makes the grab in the bullpen in fair ground to end it.
Crawford, staying patient, runs the count full. The packed house at the Thunderdome is pretty quiet right now.
Crawford looks foolish on an outside slider, 1-2.
Lidge just needs to keep Crawford in the park here. 1-1.
Longoria suffers the same fate as Pena. One to go.
Pena is unable to hold up on Lidge's filthy 0-2 slider. He had to know it was coming, but goes down anyways. Two outs to go.
Lidge gets an early 0-2 edge on Pena, who has struggled tonight.
Brad Lidge, entering stage right. Pena, Longoria and Crawford due up for St. Petersburg.
Middle 9th, Phils 3, Rays 2.
And Bruntlett pops out, inning over. Big surprise.
Dan Wheeler facing the Bearded One, Eric Bruntlett, with two outs. My guess is that Wheeler will win this matchup. As mediocre as Wheeler is, Bruntlett is truly a replacement-level player, if not worse. In fact, Bruntlett had a negative VORP (value over replacement player) this year. I also had a negative VORP this year.
Howard goes down looking. Strike three was right down the middle, belt high. And another pitching change.
Lefty Trever Miller in to face Howard. RHow unable to check his swing at the first pitch he sees.
Utley will get an intentional walk, bringing up Howard.
Werth with the ground-rule double. On second thought, I'll take a run or two here.
Down goes Rollins to start the inning. At this point, I just want to get to Lidge as fast as possible.
End 8th, still Phils 3, Rays 2.
Great shut-down inning from the Mad-dog.
BJ's absurdly long swing pays off for the Phils, as Madson gets him to miss on a low change-up.
Upton fouls Madson's first pitch off of his left ankle, and misses Madson's second pitch that
went right down the middle. He could probably do with shortening up that swing, but as far as I'm concerned it can wait until after the Series.
Up comes BJ Upton, who has been atrocious tonight but was a revelation in the ALCS.
Iwamura flys out to Werth.
Ahead of Iwamura 1-2, Madson goes for a change-up that just tails off of the outside corner. Now a full count.
Bartlett pops out to Howard in foul territory. A good start.
Mad-dog has been throwing gas so far in October. Let's hope, for the sake of my mental health, he keeps it up.
Middle 8th, Phils 3, Rays 2.
It's Ryan Madson time. Something I never thought I'd say during the 2008 World Series.
Ruiz hits one hard to right field, but Zobrist is able to catch the fading line drive just below his waist.
Coste shatters his bat on the weak grounder. Two out.
Feliz flies out to lead off.
End 7, Phils 3, Rays 2.
Zobrist hits one right back at Hamels. Three up, three down. A phenomenal job by Cole Hamels tonight. If he asks for $8 million in arbitration, he should get it.
Navarro waves at Hamels' changeup. 5th K for young Colbert, and two down.
Hopefully, Cole can mow down the bottom of the order here, get Madson in for the eighth, and hand the rock off to Lidge to close this out.
Willy Aybar pops out to start the Rays' half of the 7th.
Middle 7th, Phils 3, Rays 2.
That makes 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position tonight for the Phightins.
Balfour is bringing the heat...that last fastball clocked in at 96 MPH. Now the count even at 2. And down goes Victorino, again swinging through some high cheese.
Victorino swings at two high fastballs to start the at-bat. Looked like he was trying to replicate his heroics off of Sabathia from the NLDS.
The Flyin' Hawaiian has been clutch so far this postseason. Grant Balfour will come in to face the holy hula hooper.
Burrell holds off on a second consecutive ball in the dirt to run the count to 3-2. Good plate discipline, as ball 4 is just a bit outside, and Burrell takes the walk to bring up Victorino.
Howell drops a curve just in the top of the zone to go 1-2 on Burrell. The Thunderdome is rockin' now.
Burrell could be the hero here if he brings Utley home.
Full count to Howard. The second ball was tantalizingly close to a strikeout. The Thunderdome crowd rises as Howell gets Ryno on a low curveball. Two out.
Howell is wearing an assortment of ugly necklaces. Hopefully, this comes back to haunt him.
Howell throws one in the dirt and gets Howard to swing, but the ball bounces away from Navarro and Utley moves up to third.
Apparently the Phils are 0-9 with runners in scoring position. A good number to blame if they drop this one.
Utley goes on first movement by Howell, and takes second easily.
The Fox guys are discussing whether the pickoff of Pena from the bottom half of the sixth was a balk. It could have been, but it was close. Could have gone either way.
Utley punches a grounder right back through the box. One on, one out.
As I say that, Howell makes Werth look downright clueless, striking him out on some hard breaking stuff.
JP Howell in for the Rays. Lefty specialist who struggles some against righties, which makes it a slightly odd move because Werth is up first here. Werth hits lefties hard.
End 6th, Phils 3, Rays 2.
Hamels at just 91 pitches now, so we should be seeing quite a bit more of the young man. If he keeps cruising, a complete game isn't out of the question, although it would be a little bit unnecessary with all the rest days in the schedule.
Crawford obliges young Colbert with a second pitch groundout to Utley, inning over.
Longoria with the backwards K, going down looking on an inside fastball for out number two.
Annnd Pena is caught stealing on the pickoff by Hamels, tag applied by J-Roll at second. Phenomenally dumb decision by whoever put that on, or terrible baserunning by Pena. I'll take it.
Howard bobbles the Pena grounder. Safe at first on the error, but not the easiest play for Howard to make. The ball took a sharp hop as it got to Howard.
Middle 6th, Phils 3, Rays 2.
J-Roll needs to deliver here. But a liner to Upton ends the inning, and Kazmir ought to be done after 110 pitches.
Ruiz lines out to Crawford, two out.
Coste pops up, one out. He's really fallen apart the second half this year, and I don't think he'll be back next year. King Lou Marson is ready and waiting to take the catching job.
Some activity in the 'pen for St. Petersburg... Chad Bradford and I don't know who else.
Coste with a foul pop that barely eludes Pena. Lucky break for the Phls.
Happy Pete, second pitch swinging, pokes a single into right center field. If the Phils get another guy on here, they could chase Kaz.
End 5th, Phils 3, Rays 2.
Upton doesn't disappoint, hitting a pop-up into the first row along the first-base side. Howard lumbers over and snags it to end the inning.
Upton at the dish here, hopefully he can reprise his earlier rally-killing roles and end the inning for the Phils.
Zitzman is getting me off my game here, rambling about getting comped for drinks in Atlantic City, parlays in Canada, and high-roller baccarat tables. Just a little flavor from sports copy desk, folks.
Double for Iwamura, and Barlett scores. That is why you don't walk the ninth hitter in the batting order. 3-2 Phils.
Bartlett swipes second easily...looks like he surprised Hamels there. He got a massive jump, and not even a good throw from Chooch could get him out.
2-0 count to Iwamura. Not a good place in the lineup to start missing the plate, but Cole rebounds with a strike for a 2-1 count.
Now Cole is running a full count to Bartlett, and walks him for the second time tonight. Again, not good.
Zobrist grounds the full count pitch to Feliz, who guns him down at first. Two out.
Hamels gets Navarro on the check swing with a ball in the dirt.
Middle 5, Phillies 3, Rays 1.
The upside of that inning is the 25 pitches Kazmir had to throw, leaving his tally at 96 for the evening.
Victorino gets excited, and slaps the first pitch to Iwamura, who flips to Bartlett to end the inning.
The Bat puts down a dying grounder just fair on the first-base line, and Pena can't handle Kazmir's weak toss, so two on and two out.
Burrell gets a hold of Kazmir's 1-2 pitch, but he pulls it foul. Same with the next pitch. Kaz just misses inside twice in a row for the full count, but both could have gone either way.
After Ryno fouls off a couple of 3-2 offerings, Kazmir misses high and inside for a walk. Kazmir is at 87 pitches.
Howard wayyyyy late on the 3-0 from Kazmir, and misses again on the 3-1 slider.
Utley gets under the 1-2 pitch from Kaz, and pops out weakly to Iwamura at second, two out.
Jayson Werth leading off the fifth here. Down 0-2 right away, and then lines out to Upton. One out.
End 4, Phillies 3, Rays 1.
Aybar with a soft flyball to Victorino to end the inning.
As I typed "easy" Hamels leaves a curveball up for Crawford, who tags one to about the same spot as Utley did. 3-1 Phils. I should have known this wasn't going to be easy.
Easy Longoria grounder for Feliz, two out.
Pena tops a bouncing ball to Howard. This time, he and Heidi Strobel's husband figure out the toss to the bag, one out. A good start for the Phils.
Middle 4th, Phils 3, Rays 0.
Rollins strikes out to end the inning.
Ruiz hits his usual double play ball in a clutch spot, but no runner on first means, of course, there is no double play, and Victorino scores on the fielders choice with Feliz going to third. Two out.
2nd and 3rd for Ruiz.
With two on and nobody out, Coste fists a soft grounder to Pena at first, and the runners advance.
Feliz reaches out and just gets enough of Kazmir's 1-2 slidepiece to get it into center field. The Phils really need to get to Kazmir here and give Cole same breathing room.
Victorino leads off the fourth with a pop-up to center that falls in front of Upton. Phils in business again.
End 3rd, still Phils 2, Rays 0.
Upton swings for the fences on the 1-0 pitch and misses. But Colbert gets him hit a grounder to Feliz on the 2-1 pitch, and the Phils take it around the horn for a double play, Upton's second in two at-bats. Ryno accentuates the play with a nice fist pump, good to see some emotion.
BJ Upton strides to the dish with the bases loaded. A strikeout would be good, a home run, not good.
Iwamura gets a 1-2 pitch and hits a soft line drive to right field. Werth gets to it fast to hold Zobrist at third. Looking a little unlucky right now.
Hamels runs a 3-1 count on Bartlett. It would be a really bad idea to let the weakest hitter in the Rays' lineup have a free pass, but Hamels throws ball four, so two on for Iwamura.
Zobrist, whose numbers from the end of the season look a lot better than 8th-in-the-order quality, smashes a grounder past the diving Feliz.
Navarro lifts a weaksauce pop-up to Howard, one out. I was careful to not spell his name Navorro, as in Navorro Bowman, heir to Lavar Arrington's throne.
Middle 3rd, Phils 2, Rays 0.
Maslowsky says the Phightins are "squandering chances." I agree.
The Bat waves at the 1-2 offering from Kaz (slider I think), as Kazmir escapes another dangerous Phillies chance.
Howard is punched out on a check swing. Nice slider there by Kazmir. Two outs for Bat Burrell.
Utley grounds out, but moves Werth up to third for the big bopper, Howard. How does this enormous teddy bear of a man not have a great nickname yet?
Utley just misses a 1-0 "meatball" from Kazmir, swinging under it. That meatball quote gets attributed to...me.
Werth pokes one down the right-field line for a double. A great piece of hitting to get a ball that was low and outside, and the Phils will look to add some more here.
Kazmir at 40 pitches through 2 innings...at this rate, he'll be done after 5.
End 2, Phils 2, Rays 0.
Hamels' tally so far: 3 groundballs, 1 flyball, 2 strikeouts. Lookin' sharp.
Hamels gets Willy Aybar to whiff on some high cheddar to end the frame.
Crawford flies out to deep center, two outs.
Big swing and a miss by Longoria, who looked like he was trying to win the whole series in one swing there.
Evan Longoria up, insert your own "Desperate Housewives" joke here.
Middle 2nd, Phils 2, Rays 0.
Phils let Kaz off the hook.
Rollins lifts a short pop to Upton, who guns down Victorino at home for the double play. Good call, Steve Smith ... NOT. Upton used to be a shortstop, and while he can't pick up a grounder, he does have a cannon, which he just showed there.
Walk to Ruiz on the full count, bases loaded with one out for J-Roll. Like I said, Kazmir is wild.
"Chooch" Ruiz being patient, 2-1 count. Looks like the Rays want to pick off Victorino here. He needs to be careful. As Joe Morgan doesn't know, outs are the most precious currency in baseball, not dirt and grass stains on the uniforms. Full count to Ruiz.
Coste flys out to right, one out.
Victorino jussst beat that throw to the bag. Good thing he did, or I would have burned my Flyin' Hawaiian figurine in effigy.
Annnd a five-pitch walk to Feliz, two runners on and no outs. Looks like a golden chance to rattle Kaz early and make a statement, as long as Ruiz doesn't hit into a double play.
Pedro Feliz lets the first three pitches of the at-bat go without swinging. I just lost a $500 prop bet because of him. Make that four. Who are you, and what have you done with "Happy Pete?"
Victorino with the weak grounder up the middle, but Iwamura didn't even attempt a throw as the Flyin' Hawaiian zoomed down the first-base line.
End 1st, Phils 2, Rays 0.
A shutdown inning from young Colbert, exactly what the Phightins needed after Utley's mammoth homer.
Nice play by Rollins on the overshift, ranging left and snaring Pena's grounder before throwing to first.
Upton bails out Howard/Hamels by hitting into a double play, Utley to Rollins to Howard. Two out.
Iwamura grounds to Howard, who fails to make the pitch to Hamels at the bag. Probably both should share that mistake there. Iwamura is safe at 1st.
Akinori Iwamura, most famous for his outrageously goofy celebration of the last out of the ALCS, runs a full count to lead off against Colbert.
Middle 1st inning, Phils 2, Rays 0.
Burrell down on strikes, inning over.
Howard grounds out on the first pitch,two outs.
HOME RUN!!! Young Chase Utley gives Kazmir's 2-2 offering a ride to right field. Kazmir put one in the low, inside lefty wheelhouse, and the best second baseman in the game didn't let him get away with it. 2-0 Phils.
Rays have the shift on for Utley, who tries to bunt for a hit on the first pitch and pushes it foul. Now an 0-2 count after a swing and miss and a foul back to the screen. Now 2-2 after a near-miss and Utley laying off a ball in the dirt.
Apparently the Trop used to be called "Thunderdome," I hate corporate sponsorships.
Werth looks at a couple of balls, a good sign. The Phillies need to look at lots of Kazmir's offerings so they can get to the 'pen as early as possible. Now a 3-1 count. Kaz paints the low outside corner for strike 2, but walks Werth on the full count.
J-Roll digs in and lofts one down the right-field line, caught for an out.
It's go time.
Apparently the Phils need to "line up behind Hamels," and the Rays need to pounce on home-field advantage." I kid you not, those are Fox's keys to the game. What that means, I have no idea. Please email me with ideas.
Fox just showed us some token Rays fans. That's cool and all, but what percent of the people at the game tonight had ever been to Tropicana field before August 15th? ten percent? five percent? four percent?
FrankTV commercial, again. While the commercial's are outrageously grating, the man is a genius. The show is garbage, but his stand-up is phenomenal. Search him on YouTube and see what I mean.
Annnnd, as Steve Maslowsky just said, "Backstreet's back." That would be the greatest boy band of alltime, Backstreet Boys, is delivering a stirring rendition of the national anthem. First pitch upcoming.
Hey everyone, I'm student government reporter Ben Skalina, and I'll be taking you readers through World Series Game 1 here on MAKE PLAYS. The sports staff threw me a bone on this one, so I'll try not to disappoint. I'm a lifelong Phillies phan from suburban Philadelphia (my house is 20 minutes from Citizens Bank Park), and I've been following our previously hopeless and hapless franchise since Doug Glanville was roaming the vast putting green of centerfield at the Vet and Curt Schilling and Scott Rolen whined their respective ways out of town. So I guess I've been waiting for this for a while.
The pitching matchup tonight is Cole Hamels for the Phillies and Scott Kazmir for the St. Petersburg Devil Rays of the Tampa Bay area. They were the 17th and 15th overall picks in the 2002 draft, respectively, and both strike out a lot of guys, but Hamels is probably slightly better because he induces more grounders and was much less wild:
Hamels walked 2.1 batters per nine innings and induced groundballs on 39.5% of balls in play.
Kazmir walked a whopping 4.1 batters per nine and only had a 30.8% groundball rate.
Because of his wildness,don't expect to see Kazmir past the 7th inning tonight,while Hamels will probably try for 8 tonight if he is in good form.
Kazmir is downright dominant against lefthanded hitters, though, meaning Ryan Howard will probably not be hitting his first playoff home run tonight. Pat Burrell and Jayson Werth will need big games to pick up the slack.
For more sweet sabermetrically inclined analysis on lineups, starting pitchers, and bullpens, check out The Good Phight, a verrrry good Phillies blog. It's the Black Shoe Diaries for Phillies fans.
Jimmy Rollins - SS
Jayson Werth - RF
Chase Utley - 2B
Ryan Howard - 1B
Pat Burrell - LF
Shane Victorino - CF
Pedro Feliz - 3B
Chris Coste - DH
Carlos "Chooch" Feliz - C
Akinori Iwarmura - 2B
B.J. Upton - CF
Carlos Pena - 1B
Evan Longoria - 3B
Carl Crawford - LF
Willy Aybar - DH
Dioner Navarro - C
Ben Zobrist - RF
Jason Bartlett - SS
October 22, 2008 at 12:49 PM
I have always gotten a lot of grief from family and friends for my devotion to the hapless Baltimore Orioles.
My father and I once sat down and made a rough estimate of the games we either attended in person, watched on TV or listened to on the radio and we guessed about 120 games a year. But we counted partial games in that total, not just games we watched for all nine innings.
Phillies fan Bob Bogart makes me and my dad look like fair-weather fans. He has kept score for every Phillies game since Aug. 8, 1986. That's right, he doesn't just catch the last four or five innings, he painstakingly records every out.
He's so adamant about watching the Phils that he would only visit his wife's family, who live in Chicago, when the Phils were playing the Cubs or Brewers. Now, with the internet he can safely travel any time however. Here's the whole article: http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-sp.philsfan22oct22,0,6659662.story?page=1
Enjoy Game 1 tonight.
October 21, 2008 at 9:08 PM
Practice began on Friday, and a Minnesota team with high expectations has already seen one of its key players go down with an injury.
Junior forward Damian Johnson, who averaged 7.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game last season, broke his left hand in Monday's practice. Johnson is expected to be out four-to-six weeks.
In the second year of the Tubby Smith era in Minneapolis, this is certainly not the start the Golden Gophers were looking for. With three starters gone, Johnson is in position to take over the spot vacated by Dan Coleman. It's unlikely he will be ready when Minnesota takes the floor in its opener against Concordia-St. Paul.
Of course, Concordia is a Division II squad, so the Gophers will likely survive.
October 21, 2008 at 7:16 PM
The heater finally went on in my room, students are starting to break out their winter jackets (and, unfortunately, their Uggs) and Happy Valley is abuzz with the football team in the BCS hunt.
For us, that can only mean one thing.....
Basketball season is right around the corner!
This is Matt Fortuna, who along with my colleagues, Matt Brown and Nate Mink, will be taking you every step of the way for the 2008-09 men's basketball season.
As Collegian alum Dana O'Neil writes on ESPN.com, a number of teams have been holding "Midnight Madness" at their respective campuses lately.
Just how big does it get? Look no further than a few hours east, as O'Neil says Villanova coach Jay Wright invited Lloyd Banks to make an appearance at "Hoops Mania," the Wildcats' version of the event in 2006. When the rapper couldn't make it because of a scheduling conflict, his G-Unit partners Tony Yayo and 50 Cent took his place, sending the crowd into such a hysteria that this year Wright has been forced to make the event ticketed and refuses to disclose the guest he'll have in store.
Penn State unfortunately has nothing like that with its basketball program. With a breakout season, however, that could all change. Just ask fellow Big Ten coach Matt Painter, whose Purdue squad is coming off a 15-win conference season and will now hold "Mackey Madness," its version of the event, on Friday night.
"I always said when we see improvements in our program, we'll bring it back," Painter said. "Last year we made a big step, so it's the perfect time. If fans come out and support us, if there's a packed house, we'll continue it."
What would it take for you to attend a similar event at the BJC? We love feedback.
October 19, 2008 at 9:00 PM
The Icers knocked off Pitt Friday night 10-3, but the mood in the locker room after the game wasn't as positive as you might expect. Coach Balboni and several players made it clear that despite the large margin of victory, Penn State still needs to fix some things. Here's how we graded the team's performance against the Panthers.
It's tough to say anything negative when a team scores 10 goals, especially against a team that was ranked No. 24 in the ACHA. Chris Cerutti had a coming-out party, notching a hat trick and throwing in an assist for good measure. Paul Daley (2 goals, assist) and Matt Kirstein (goal, 4 assists) also played extremely well. Kirstein's physical play throughout the game also played a key role in the Icers' offensive outburst. Penn State racked up 37 shots on goal in the game.
The Icers allowed Pitt several 1-on-1 opportunities throughout the game and seemed to take poor angles when trying to stop Pitt's advances into Penn State's zone. They also had trouble clearing the puck out at times. On a positive note, Penn State only allowed Pitt to register 19 shots in the contest.
Teddy Hume played all 60 minutes, allowing three goals on 19 shots. While Pitt didn't pepper him with a ton of shots, Hume did allow several rebound opportunities. To be fair, he did shut down the Panthers on a number of 1-on-1 chances.
Special Teams: A
The Icers killed each of Pitt's five power plays and scored on one of their two chances. Penn State did a good job of applying pressure while shorthanded and Ryan Paradis' power play goal late in the second period pushed the Icers' lead to 8-2.
October 18, 2008 at 12:13 AM
Sorry we weren't able to do the live blog of tonight's game against the No. 24 Pitt Panthers. We had a little trouble getting internet access and some other things worked out tonight, but it was the first home game of the season and the place was pretty crazy, so hopefully we can get that up and running for the rest of the season.
Some quick things of note before I go out and enjoy the Friday night life (which I hear is pretty good around here with the Michigan tomorrow and everything):
- First, and most important, the Icers won the game 10-3.
- Sophomore Taylor Cera (knee) and senior captain Frank Berry (back) were both scratched from tonight's roster due to injury.
- Teddy Hume got the start in goal, but the Panthers scored less than a minute into the game and Teddy wasn't as pleased with his performance as he would have liked to be. Balboni says the goalie competition is still open.
Look Who's In the Stands
Penn State President Graham Spanier was in attendance at tonight's game and I was able to catch up with him for a few seconds during the second intermission. He had people to go and places to see, or something along those lines...but anyways here's what he had to say about the Icers and Penn State fans:
"Hockey's a sport that I didn't play growing up, so I love to come because I learn something everytime I do. I try to sit next to knowledgable people."
"The thing I really like about hockey here at Penn State is the atmosphere. We have people that are just so dedicated, they love the sport and the fans here are great fans."
"A club sport and it's 11 at night and the place is full. I think it's great."
So there ya have it. Even though President Spanier might not be the most die-hard hockey fan, he's pretty sure he's surrounded by those who are.
Well that's all for tonight, all the yelling and loud music I hear outside is just calling my name. Make sure to check Monday's Collegian and back here on the blog for more coverage on Cera and Berry, the ongoing goalie competition and the contributions the Icers are getting from its younger players and, then again, just about everyone who puts on an Icers uniform this year.
October 15, 2008 at 8:20 PM
The Phillies are one win away from the World Series, and will hand the ball to Cole Hamels to try and get them there.
First pitch is a few minutes away. This is Steve bringing you live updates once again. It looks like a classic Dodgers' crowd right now, as the upper deck at Chavez Ravine is still pretty sparsely populated.
Here's the Phils' lineup:
1. J Rollins, SS
2. J Werth, RF .
3. C Utley, 2B .
4. R Howard, 1B
5. P Burrell, LF
6. S Victorino, CF
7. P Feliz, 3B .
8. C Ruiz, C
9. C Hamels, P
They'll face L.A.'s Chad BIllingsley.
Billingsley is a young guy with a lot of potential, but he still struggles with command pretty often, but he has the type of pitches that miss a lot of bats when he's on. Still, he's inexperienced, and this is and elimination game.
Leadoff home run for Jimmy Rollins. Crushed into the right field stands to give the Phils an early lead for a change.
BIllingsley follows up the homer with a walk to Werth and that will merit a visit from pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. I imagine Billingsley will be on a very short leash tonight, as this is do or die for the Dodgers.
Utley gives the Dodgers a gift, grounding into a double play. Howard's ground out allowed Billingsley to get out of the inning with minimal damage.
Middle of the 1st
Phillies 1 Dodgers 0
Bottom of 1st
Here's your Dodgers lineup, in case you missed the Fonz reading it out on the Fox telecast.
1. R Furcal, SS
2. A Ethier, RF
3. M Ramirez, LF
4. R Martin, C
5. J Loney, 1B
6. C Blake, 3B
7. M Kemp, CF
8. B DeWitt, 2B
9. C Billingsley, P
Phillies pitcher: Cole Hamels
Furcal leads it off with a ground out to Rollins. Ethier pops out harmlessly to Werth in right.
Ramirez comes up with no one on, so Hamels should pitch to him here. There's all kinds of buzz surrounding Manny, and he walks here, but building a lineup around a single masher is no way to win a World Series. The Giants could never do it with Barry Bonds, and unless the rest of the Dodgers' lineup wakes up the Dodgers won't either.
Russell Martin grounds out to third, and his slump continues.
End of the 1st
Phillies 1 Dodgers 0
Top of 2nd
The Bat goes down swinging against Billingsley.
And down goes Victorino swinging. Billingsley may have settled in here. Feliz singles to left to give the Phillies a base runner here.
Ruiz steps in and he's been hot lately. Ruiz pops out to center. Inning over.
Middle of 2nd
Phillies 1 Dodgers 0
Bottom of 3rd
Loney leads off. He's the hottest Dodger other than Manny, hitting .417 this series.
Loney lines one up the middle, but luckily for Hamels and the Phils the Dodgers' lineup gets thin here.
Casey Blake is up, with Matt Kemp on deck. Blake pops up harmlessly to right, bringing up Kemp.
I'm a big Matt Kemp fan, but he's a young player that hasn't developed much strike zone discipline, and as a result he's a streaky hitter. Somebody other than Ramirez needs to get hot for the Dodgers, and some pressure has got to be on Kemp to be that guy.
Kemp singles to right, giving DeWitt a chance. The second baseman grounds into a double-play, which is huge. Now, the pitcher's slot will lead off the next inning.
End of 2nd
Phillies 1 Dodgers 0
Top of 3rd
Hamels to lead off here. I'm feeling a strikeout.
Hamels waves at strike three and takes a seat. I've said it before -- the designated hitter should be brought to the NL. I know it's exciting when a pitcher gets hot at the plate like Brett Myers did, but that doesn't erase the mind-numbing exercise that is the pitcher slot on most days.
Rollins draws a walk from Billingsley.
It never fails. I get up for a minute and the action explodes. After Rollins' walk and a Werth strikeout, Utley walked, and then back-to-back RBI singles from Howard and Burrell put the Phils up 3-0.
Billingsley also gave way to Chan Ho Park.
Bottom of the 3rd
Phillies 3 Dodgers 0
The Phillies are now in the opposite position from what they have been in for two of their wins this series.
It really is a much different mentality for a team to protect a lead, as opposed to coming back as the Phillies have done lately. Momentum swang back in the Phils' favor on Monday night and last Thursday too.
Now the Phillies' offense has to keep scoring, or Hamels has to stay strong for the Phils to keep momentum.
So far, Hamels is holding up his end, retiring pinch hitter Pablo Ozuna, Furcal and Ethier in order.
We'll have a new pitcher for the Dodgers next inning.
End of the 3rd
Phillies 3 Dodgers 0
Greg Maddux in to try and prolong the Dodgers' season here and he gets Ruiz to fly out to right.
I'm not going to lie to you folks, I love baseball, but I kind of wish I was watching the debate right now.
Maddux fans Hamels. I know it's only the 8th and 9th hitters, but Maddux looks like he might be able to keep the Dodgers in this one.
As I said before, the Phillies need to keep scoring here to keep the momentum. Even if Hamels stays sharp, a 3-run lead can vanish quickly.
Rollins strikes out looking. If Maddux can neutralize the Phillies' lineup, then this game will come down to the end. Hamels, despite having an ultra efficient first three innings, likely won't throw a complete game in this one. The Dodgers will be battling down the stretch and will scratch out some runs. The Phils offense is key here, in my opinion.
Middle of 4th
Phillies 3 Dodgers 0
Manny Ramirez grounds the first pitch he sees here to third. Hamels is leading a charmed life tonight.
Russell Martin grounds out. Hamels strikes out Loney for an easy inning against the meat of the Dodgers' order.
I still think he's in for a gritty battle tonight though.
End of 4th
Phillies 3 Dodgers 0
Werth leads off with a single, Utley grounds into a fielder's choice, and Howard singles to right.
The Phils have a rally going, and a couple of runs here would change the complexion of this game in a big way
A 5 or 6 run lead is much much different from a 3 run advantage. It takes several sustained rallies to come back from a 5 run deficit, whereas a 3 run deficit can be overcome with one swing of the bat.
Sometimes it takes a little luck to get to the World Series, and the Phillies just got some. The bat hit a taylor-made double play ball to Furcal, who booted the ball, allowing the 4th run to score. An intentional walk to Victorino gives the Phils chance for a huge inning.
It's up to Pedro Feliz, who bats with the bases loaded and one down.
Feliz waves at strike three, and now the Phils need a base knock from Ruiz to avoid squandering this rally.
The Phils get another stroke of luck here as Furcal throws in the dirt on a routine groundout from Ruiz. Another run scores. I think this one was Loney's fault. Certainly not a perfect throw from Furcal, but Loney needs to scoop that one up.
Fortunately for the Dodgers, Hamels is up. Gotta love the National League.
Hamels grounds out, but the Dodgers face a long road to get back into this one. Clearly, there is something deflated about this team. The offense is looking listless, and the defense has betrayed them tonight too.
Middle of the 5th
Phillies 5 Dodgers 0
Hamels has cruised so far, much to the chagrin of Tommy Lasorda.
Blake with a leadoff single here. Time for the Dodgers to start chipping away.
Kemp doinks a single to left and the Dodgers are showing some signs of life. However, slumping Blake DeWitt and Greg Maddux are up next.
DeWitt hits into a double play, bringing up the pitcher with no one on. What a stinky series DeWitt has had. He left a bunch of guys on last night, and continues to be the plague to Dodgers' rallies.
Jeff Kent pinch hits for Maddux.
Kent strikes out. The Phillies are 12 outs away from a World Series appearance.
End of 5th
Phillies 5 Dodgers 0
Rollins grounds out against James McDonald. Double-play DeWitt has been yanked from the game, with Kent replacing him at second.
Interesting play here to put McDonald in. He is a rookie who debuted in the majors on Sept. 17. He has two quick outs here after getting a ground out from Werth. I still think it's pretty telling that Torre has had to go to McDonald already, maybe the lack of experience will help him here. The Phillies can't have much of a scouting report on the rookie.
Utley and McDonald went to the same high school though they are six years apart. There was an article about the two today in the NY Times, I'm looking for the link to it now.
Middle of 6th
Phillies 5 Dodgers 0
The previously promised link to the McDonald-Utley story: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/14/sports/baseball/14poly.html?ref=baseball
Hamels gets Furcal to ground out. And my previous prediction of this one coming down to the wire is looking a bit dumb right now. The Dodgers appear to be deflated. Fortunately for them, Blake DeWitt has hit the showers, so he can't kill any more rallies.
Ethier flies out to the Bat, and McCarver just referred to him as Pat the Glove, drawing a boo from the newsroom.
Hamels hasn't made many mistakes tonight, but he made one in pitching to Manny Ramirez. Manny just nailed an opposite field home run to give the Dodgers some life.
Ramirez is simply ridiculous. The way he crushed that ball opposite field is something only the special players can do. Even if you're a Phillies fan, you have to appreciate what Ramirez has done this series.
Fortunately for Hamels, Russell Martin has been ice cold lately.
I said earlier that Hamels is leading a charmed life tonight, and he just got a gift from home-plate umpire Mike Winters. Hamels threw an inside fastball on 3-2 to Martin and got the call, drawing Martin's ire. He and Winters exchanged words, and now Martin has to dig in right in front of Winters.
End of the 6th
Phillies 5 Dodgers 1
Howard walks to lead off the inning, and the Bat pops up for the first out.
Victorino singles to right, and the Phils could pile on here.
Feliz strikes out. Rough night for him.
Ruiz hits a screamer foul down the right field line that was dangerously close to putting the Phils up 7-1, but alas, it was foul and Ruiz grounds out to end the threat.
Middle of the 7th
Phillies 5 Dodgers 1
Loney flies out to start the inning. 8 outs away from the pennant.
Victorino hauls in a Casey Blake fly-ball at the warning track. Solid concentration with a lot on the line there. 7 outs left, but Kemp is up. I talked about how Kemp is streaky, and he's 2-for-2 tonight.
Hamels walks Kemp, and now the question is how long do you keep Hamels in here? Obviously he deserves a chance to finish this inning, but do you pinch hit for him? I think you do, but he's been on tonight and its risky to bring a guy in from the 'pen that has been sitting all game.
Hamels walks pinch hitter Garciaparra to bring up Kemp. It might be time to yank Hamels. A gapper would tighten this game up considerably.
Meeting at the mound is over. Old man Kent is up. Hamels is looking off with his pitches. He's nearing the end.
Thanks to new copy editor Dave Miniaci for helping with the blog for a sec while I read our men's soccer late story. PSU downed Cornell 3-1 in men's soccer for those interested.
Kent strikes out, and the Phils only need 6 more outs. I expect a pinch hitter to lead off the inning for Hamels.
End of 7th
Phillies 5 Dodgers 1
Joe Beimel in for the Dodgers. Taguchi pinch hits for Hamels and grounds out to second.
Hamels' final line:
7 ip 5 h 1 er 3 bb 5 k
Hamels for NLCS MVP? He would get my vote, but unfortunately no one is asking me.
Beimel gets pulled after facing one hitter.
Cory Wade comes in. He gave up the homer to Victorino the other night.
Rollins grounds out. Two away.
Werth grounds out. To the bottom of the eighth.
Middle of the 8th
Phillies 5 Dodgers 1
Madson in for the 8th. No reason for Manuel to hold back here. I expect Lidge to see some action tonight.
Furcal hit a broken bat liner to second, Utley makes a diving stab to get out number one.
Ethier flies out to Werth, and Manny bats with no one aboard again.
They just showed Alyssa Milano in the crowd. Boss.
Another great at-bat for Ramirez. He's fouling off pitches here, making Madson work for this out, just as he has all series.
Ramirez hits a squibber up the middle that squirts through for a base-hit. Even when he doesn't make solid contact you still can't get him out.
Martin grounds out to first. A fitting way for him to end his last at-bat in this series, which it will be unless the Dodgers get a miracle.
End of the 8th
Phillies 5 Dodgers 1
Hong-Chih Kuo in for the Dodgers. Utley leads off.
He strikes out. Fox has just named Hamels the player of the game. A little premature, hopefully it doesn't jinx the Phils.
Howard singles to right, the Phillies just keep coming on offense. There have been no easy innings for the Dodgers' pitchers tonight.
Double play for Bruntlett.
To the bottom of the ninth. Time for the Phillies to clinch.
Middle of 9th
Phillies 5 Dodgers 1
Lidge in for the ninth, although it is not a save situation. Loney, Blake and Kemp due up here.
We'll see if Lidge has truly overcome his postseason demons.
Loney drops a bloop into center, and the Dodgers have the leadoff man on. They are not going quietly into that good night.
Blake flies out to Victorino. 2 outs away.
Kemp to bat.
Kemp hits it about as far as you can to dead center. Victorino puts the squeeze on out number 2 with his back at the wall.
Nomahhhh is the Dodgers' last hope.
Garciaparra pops up and the Phillies win the pennant!
Final score: Phillies 5 Dodgers 1.
Lidge gave up some long flies in the ninth, but the park held them and the Phillies hang on for their first pennant since 1993. They haven't wont the World Series since 1980.
Player of the game: Cole Hamels. Hamels has been huge for the Phils, providing them with a legitimate stopper this postseason.
Series MVP: See above.
October 15, 2008 at 4:45 PM
Golf great Seve Ballesteros was a little before my time, but the news that he is stricken with a brain tumor still shook me when I heard it.
Seve had surgery today, and is conscious after the operation. Here's a link to a story about the operation. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/golf/2008-10-15-ballesteros-surgery_N.htm
Seve, who Ben Crenshaw refers to as "Europe's Arnold Palmer" was one of the most exciting players of his era. I've been following pro golf for most of my life, but I can honestly say I really have no recollection of watching Seve, I have heard stories though.
Ballesteros was known for his swashbuckling, river-boat gambler style of play. He had the ability to save holes from anywhere, evidenced by his birdie save from a parking lot at the 1979 British Open. His record in the majors further shows his erratic, yet sometimes brilliant style. He won the '79 British Open and the 1980 Masters, then didn't finish higher than 19th in the next seven majors.
He also is one of the greatest Ryder Cup players of all-time, as he and fellow Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal combined to form the "Spanish Armada", a pair that won 11 of 15 pairs matches all-time.
At first glance, Seve's career record doesn't seem to distinguish him as one of the greatest golfers of all time, but his personality and swagger, like Palmer, are what set him apart.
Knowing Seve's style, it makes me think if anyone can beat a brain tumor, it's Seve. You could never count him out on the golf course, and hopefully he can come up with another comeback here.
October 14, 2008 at 7:11 PM
Pretty exciting OT so far.. Tyler Kennedy looks really good. Scuderi flubs up again. Good chance by Letang. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
Pascal hammers it from the left wing side, beats Nittymaki. Pens win, Pens win, Pens win. 3-2.
Evgeni Malkin is a man. He dominated the last 45 seconds or so although he was unable to get a goal.
Headed into OT, 2-2.
Did we mention that this game is sloppy? We are getting increasingly frustrated and we're beginning to have conversations that can not be reprinted. Scuderi takes an awful penalty with under 5 minutes left. Patrick Kane is an awful actor.
The U.S.S. Hal Gill sinks Mike Richards, it was awesome.
Mike Zigomanis celebrates his first goal as a Pen by taking a penalty with less than 10 minutes left. As Mike Lange would say, Dupuis takes the heat out of a hot, hot kitchen.
We were doing our actual real work so we won't get fired so we missed out on another pathetic power play performance. Who knew how important Gonchar and Whitney are?
All right, back here for the third period, we're 50 seconds in and the Flyers have taken a penalty. On the power play, Goligoski refuses to shoot. I think he wants me to break a computer monitor.
Another Flyer scores.
Scuderi makes a mistake, there's a shock. Some Flyer scores. 2-1. On replay, the puck went off of Hal Gill and into the net. That's Gill's second "goal" in two games.
The Pens must have had some Igloo nachos because they've turned the play around in the last five minutes.
Rob Scuderi, Brooks Orpik and Mike Zigomanis have more goals than Sidney Crosby.
The offensive juggernaut that is Mike Zigomanis scores on a nice pass from Cooke. Assists from Cooke and Godard.
2-0 City of Champions.
FREE CANDY!!!!!!!!!! BROOKS ORPIK? Are you kidding me? Free Candy scores on the PP with a wrister, but Ian thinks ManBearPig deflected it. Letang and Kennedy with the assists.
This team frustrates the hell out of us. Nitty is allowing a ton of rebounds in front of the net, but no one is there.
The Pens kill the two-man advantage, but just miss on two great chances in front of the Flyers net. An empty net was missed by Satan after a one-time went just wide.
Rob Scuderi gets a free pass from criticism for four weeks from Make Plays after playing goalie after Fleury was out of position on the power play.
Fleury is standing out but the Pens are called for another penalty. We didn't see it. Free Candy gets called for slashing.
We've knocked Nittymaki but he's made some big saves. Matt Cooke takes a dumb penalty, cross-checking a guy behind the net, Pens to go on the PK.
It's coming, we can feel it. And the Pens are gonna go on a power play as Braydon Coburn gets a hooking call. Edzo gets it wrong, it's on Andrew Albers.
Letang knocks down Gagne, Gagne probably got concussed. Really good offensive shift by the Pens, especially Make Plays scapegoat Pascal Dupuis. We miss Sidney Crosby's white trash beard.
Just got back from a quick errand at my house. In my vehicle, I have XM radio and I was listening to the greatest voice in the world, Mike Lange. It's a shame FSN Pittsburgh took him off the TV and replaced him with Steiggy. But then again, it's the same channel that employs the worst "reporter" in the world, Dan Potash.
The announcer says something about it being an election year and relates it to penalty-killing. The Pens fans are booing Richards!!! I've never been so proud to be from the 412.
Period is over. 0-0. Time for Brian Englomb's mullet. 20 minutes down and the Outdoor Life Network is still awful.
Lots of sloppy play here. We'd like Edzo to explain why the game is sloppy, but instead he's probably talking about how he coached great players like Kelly Buchberger, Rico Fata and Lasse Pirjeta.
The Pens need Jesus Pesonen in the lineup badly. Another awful power play without any shots.
Geno creates a good chance with Eaton pinching low, good save by the AHL goalie playing for the Flyers. Hell breaks loose in front of the net. And the biggest whiner in the NHL, Mike Richards, takes an unsportsmanlike conduct and complains to the ref. I hope the Pens fans behind the penalty box pours hot coffee on his head.
The Outdoor Life Network is showing an ad for the NASCAR Technical Institute. I don't know about Ian, but I'm filing my papers to drop out of Penn State and enroll to the NASCAR Institute after this game.
Max Talbot had a breakaway but decided to go five-hole on the Finnish guy, the reaction here at headquarters was WTF?
Sidney Crosby gets penalized for some reason...stupid call.
We're watching this online and there's a chat going on next to the video. Here's a real line from the chat: "da3mon_the_pothead:IS THERE ANY FLYERS FANS HERE"
Eric Godard beat the hell out of Riley Cote, but of course Versus' feed freezes. I hope Comcast -- which owns Versus -- suffers the same fate as AIG and Lehman Brothers. Working for Comcast must be like be a black-tar heroin salesman.
If my wife made me name my son Joffrey, I'd leave her.
Free Candy with a nice shot block, Scott Hartnell, who we wish terrible, terrible things upon, rings it off the post.
Versus still sucks.
Dupuis -- Crosby -- Satan
Staal -- Malkin -- Sykora
Fedotenko -- Talbot -- Kennedy
Cooke -- Zigomanis -- Godard
Orpik -- Letang
Gill -- Scuderi
Eaton -- Goligoski
Antero Nittylongfinnishlastname is in goal for the Flyers, this should be ugly.
Allow us to introduce ourselves we are Web editor Ian Brown and sports copy editor Brendan Shorts. The awful commercials on the Outdoor Life Network have ended and the puck has dropped at the Civic Arena.
Kill us now. Pascal Dupuis is playing the left wing on Sid's line.
The much-ballyhooed NHL matchup between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins is set to get underway tonight at 7:30. For the Versus-impaired amongst us, the MAKE PLAYS blog will provide a running account of the game.
The Penguins will hope to get a much-needed offensive shot in the arm with the return of sniper Petr Sykora, while the Flyers will look to shore up an injury-riddled defensive corps with the addition of Andrew Alberts from the Boston Bruins.
October 13, 2008 at 8:53 PM
Sorry about my belated start to the live blog tonight. This is Steve bringing the updates. It's been a busy night here at the Collegian, and I'm just finding time to start watching the Phils.
Carlos Ruiz just grounded out to Derek Lowe, failing to move Greg Dobbs to third after Dobbs' leadoff double, and now Joe Blanton strides to the plate, so it looks like the Phils will need a base hit to plate Dobbs.
Blanton just fanned so it will be up to J-Roll to cash in Dobbs. Unfortunately for the Phils, Rollins strikes out and Dobbs' leadoff double is for naught.
To recap the action I missed: The Phillies scored two runs on a Chase Utley double and a Ryan Howard RBI groundout.
The Dodgers scored on a James Loney RBI single.
MIddle of the Second
Phillies 2 Dodgers 1
Bottom of the 2nd
Casey Blake leads off the second for the Dodgers, and he sends one deep but foul, and then watches strike three sail into Carlos Ruiz' mitt.
Juan Pierre singles up the middle, and I'm really psyched that the sound is turned off here in the newsroom, because I'm betting that Tim McCarver is blustering on right now about how speed changes the game so much. Yes, Juan Pierre is fast, but that doesn't make him good. He's a bad defender, he doesn't hit for power and he doesn't draw walks.
And he just got thrown out trying to steal second. See, speed doesn't kill. I'm sick of hearing how speed makes a difference in baseball.
Jimmy Rollins just dropped Derek Lowe's blooper to center, making the caught stealing loom large. I know I am probably sounding like BIlly Beane here, but I hate the idea of stealing a base. I know that it's not a bad play with the pitcher batting, but it seems like caught stealings kill innings a lot more than stolen bases help them.
Furcal flies out to end the inning.
End of the 2nd
Phillies 2 Dodgers 1
Top of the 3rd
Werth grounds out to lead off the top of the third.
Utley follows with a single, but Howard lines out to left, leaving it up to the Bat to extend to inning. He doesn't, grounding out to third baseman Blake.
Sorry for the lack of substance to my posts this inning. We're wrapping up tomorrow's agate page right now, I should be blogging at full speed soon.
Middle of the 3rd
Phillies 2 Dodgers 1
Bottom of the 3rd
Middle of the 4th
Phillies 2 Dodgers 1
Well I missed most of the bottom of the 3rd finishing up the agate page. It looks like Joe Blanton has finally figured out that pitching to Manny Ramirez is not the brightest idea though, and the strategy is working so far.
Blanton's allowed one run through three innings, allowing five hits and two walks, both to Ramirez.
Derek Lowe has looked a lot more hittable tonight than he did on Thursday, so maybe the Phillies will be able to break through again.
Blake leads off the bottom of the fourth for the Dodgers, and the former Oriole strikes out.
It might be my inner-Oriole fan talking here, but I don't understand why Blake had more trade value this past deadline than Oriole corner-infielder Aubrey Huff. I realize Blake is a superior fielder, but Huff's bat pummels Blake's. The Dodgers gave up premium catching prospect Carlos Santana for Blake, and Aubrey Huff passed through waivers without any takers. I like to think I understand baseball pretty well, but I'm still scratching my head over that one.
Juan Pierre lines out to Dobbs. I still maintain that Pierre is one of the most overrated players in the game, and the Phils should be thanking Joe Torre for playing Pierre over the multi-talented Matt Kemp.
Derek Lowe strikes out to end the inning, and Blanton has thrown four solid innings with a very respectable pitch count of 67.
End of the 4th
Phillies 2 Dodgers 1
Top of the 5th
Rollins grounds out to second to lead off the fifth.
Former Oriole farmhand Jayson Werth batting now. Werth's horrific soul patch makes me thankful that my Orioles have a facial hair ban. I really hope that Werth's rather attractive mother tells him how ridiculous that swarth of hair looks.
Werth and his soul patch line softly to second.
Bad inning for dudes with soul patches. Utley strikes out looking.
Middle of 5th
Phillies 2 Dodgers 1
Bottom of 5th
Got to take a quick break from blogging. I'll be back in a jiff with more on the game, and some stuff I found about Jayson Werth's mother.
Whew. I'm finally back. And I missed a lot. Blanton finally decided to pitch to Manny, and it was a bad call to say the least. Ramirez knotted this game up with an RBI single, and Russell Martin's RBI groundout put the Dodgers ahead. Blanton has made it through five innings, but with his pitch count sitting at 91 he won't be much longer for this game.
As I type, Chan Ho Park is throwing his warmup tosses for the Dodgers, as the Phillies have knocked Derek Lowe out of this one early again.
Pedro Feliz, pinch-hitting for Dobbs, just popped out to right, erasing any chance of a sacrifice fly in this inning. Burrell and Howard are still on second and third with 2 outs.
The Phillies have just tied this one back up, with some help from Dodgers catcher Russell Martin.
Analysts like McCarver love to rave about Martin's defensive skills, but he clearly just allowed a passed ball that allowed Howard to score from third. The ball was in the dirt, but it ricocheted off of Martin's shin guard, and should have been blocked.
Ruiz draws a walk and Geoff Jenkins will pinch hit for Blanton with runners on the corners and two out.
Joe Torre rises from the dugout and that'll be it for Park.
I promised some more on Jayson Werth's mother, and according to Wikipedia, she competed in the Olympic trials in both the 100 meters and the long jump. Pretty cool if it's true.
Joe Beimel comes on for the Dodgers and gets So Taguchi to fly out to right. Jenkins was supposed to pinch hit, but the Phils plugged Taguchi in when the Dodgers summoned Beimel. A beautiful sliding catch by Ethier saved this one from dropping in and giving the Phils the lead.
Middle of the 6th
Dodgers 3 Phillies 3
Bottom of the 6th
Casey Blake leads off again (it seems likes he's leading off every inning tonight) and he unbreaks the tie with a shot into the left field bleachers. I know I was clubbing Blake before for not being as big of a bat as my boy Aubrey Huff but he comes up big here.
The super speedy Juan Pierre just nailed a double to left, and his speed probably made the double possible, as it was cut off by Burrell. Chad Durbin is pitching for the Phils by the way.
Matt Kemp pinch hits for Beimel. Torre is really burning through his 'pen tonight. With an off-day forthcoming however, he might as well. The Dodgers have to play as if every game is an elimination game from here on out. No way do the Dodgers want to give the Phils a game at home.
Kemp walks. Manuel to the bullpen.
Scott Eyre in to face Rafael Furcal, who is showing bunt initially. This could be a big inning for the Dodgers.
Furcal drops a dandy of a bunt down the first base line, and Howard fires wide of the bag, forcing Utley, who was covering from second, off from the bag. Utley still couldn't handle the throw and it trickled into right field, allowing Pierre to score. Runners now on 2nd and 3rd with no one out for Ethier.
Once again, Howard shows what a poor defensive player he is. How long before he moves to the AL and becomes a DH?
Eyre can't afford to walk Ethier here with Manny on deck. No way do you want to face Ramirez with the bases loaded and no out.
Ethier lines out to first. Eyre to intentionally walk Ramirez. A smart move with the ice cold Russell Martin on deck.
Manuel will dip into the bullpen again. One thing to bear in mind about Russell Martin: he is probably the best running catcher in baseball. He came up through the minors as an infielder, and will not be easy to double up just because he's a catcher.
Ryan Madson in for the Phils. He takes a 1-2 lead on Martin.
Martin lines directly to Utley, who was playing close to the bag and was able to extend his glove and tag second before Furcal could get back. Huge break for the Phils. This could have been a lot worse.
End of the 6th
Dodgers 5 Phillies 3
Top of the 7th
Rollins to lead off against Dodgers' flamethrower Hong Chih Kuo. Rollins grounds out to shortstop Furcal.
Kuo then strikes out Jayson Werth. Kuo has closer-type stuff, but also has the endurance to go more than one inning here. He was tried as a starter last season, but found his place at the back end of the Dodgers' bullpen. He also was extremely helpful to my fantasy team this year, as he provided me the great ERA and WHIP of a reliever but qualified at the starting pitcher slot.
Utley waves at strike three and the Phillies go 3-up 3-down in the seventh.
Middle of the 7th
Dodgers 5 Phillies 3
Bottom of the 7th
This game has definitely had the feel of a playoff game. Both managers have used their bullpens liberally, and it is clear that neither wants to give in here. A 3-1 lead for the Phillies would be huge, while a 3-1 deficit might make the Dodgers as good as dead.
Madson stays on to face James Loney. Loney strikes out. One away for Blake DeWitt.
Madson walks DeWitt on a full count to bring up Blake. Blake raps a single to left, giving him two hits on the night. Kuo will bat here, as Torre clearly was planning to use him for more than one inning, and the way he pitched the seventh why not? I'm not going to question Torre.
Kuo lays down a gorgeous bunt to move the runners up. Kemp will bat with runners on second and third and 2 out. He can blow this one open with a base hit here.
Kemp flies out to Victorino, and the uprising is quelled. The Phillies still have a chance.
End of 7th
Dodgers 5 Phillies 3
Top of 8th
Kuo back out for another innning.
Howard leads off with a single up the middle. The Bat is now up, and Torre is out to the mound to chat with Kuo. It looked at first like he would leave Kuo in, but he's going back to the bullpen.
Former AL Rookie of the Year Angel Berroa is in at second as a defensive replacement for Blake DeWitt.
In my humble opinion, the Phils need to score here, against new pitcher Cory Wade. If the Phils don't get something going here, the bottom of the order will have to face Broxton, not a promising proposition.
Pat the Bat pops up to second. One away for Victorino, a player with sneaky power.
As I write that he has sneaky power, he literally sneaks a line drive over the right field fence to tie this baby up.
What a time for Victorino to come through. He doesn't hit a lot of home runs, but he sprays line drives like crazy, and some of them make it over the fence, just like his home run here.
After Feliz lines out to left, Ruiz rips a single, and Matt Stairs pinch hits for Madson.
Captain Hook ... er Joe Torre back to the 'pen. I said I wouldn't question Torre, but I am going to question him. He yanked Kuo after giving up the hit to Howard, which was a little quick in my estimation. Maybe I like Kuo too much, but I would have stuck with him against Burrell at least.
It looks like Jonathan Broxton is coming in to face Stairs.
After getting ahead of Broxton 3-1, Stairs just clubbed a moon shot into the right field stands here at Chavez Ravine to put the Phillies ahead. Another late-inning comeback for the Phils. I will take credit for predicting Victorino's shot, but I didn't see Ol' Man River Matt Stairs taking Broxton deep.
Rollins walks to give Jayson Werth a chance to pile on here. Rollins steals second but Werth strikes out to end the threat. But the damage is done. Phils lead this one and have a chance to get real close to locking up the pennant.
Middle of the 8th
Phillies 7 Dodgers 5
Bottom of 8th
If the Dodgers can't come back, it's not because they didn't have chances. They have left 19 runners on base, including 7 by Russell Martin and 6 by Blake DeWitt. They failed to put the Phillies away when they had the opportunity, and I think this shows the effect that having a lineup revolve around one player has. All the Phillies had to do was minimize the damage done by Manny, and despite the fact that Ramirez has reached base four times tonight, he has only driven in one run and hasn't hurt the Phils too much.
J.C. Romero on to pitch the eighth. The Phillies 'pen is now in the same spot as the Dodgers were in last inning, in need of 6 outs and protecting a 2 run lead.
Romero walks Furcal to start the inning off. And now the Dodgers' big bats are coming up. Ethier is up and Ramirez is on deck.
Ethier grounds to Rollins, who turns the double play easily. Time to pitch to Manny with no one on base and two out.
Looks like Manuel is going to bring in Lidge to face Manny.
I have to give the Phillies pitchers credit tonight. They haven't gotten Manny out, but they have minimized the damage he could do, and now he bats in the eighth and the most damage he can do is to pull the Dodgers within one.
Manny Ramirez is a baseball player. Plain and simple. He crushes a double to right center. He was hustling hard to get to second on that one, and his helmet flew off. Vintage Manny.
Luckily for the Phils. The Cooler a.k.a Russell Martin is up. He has 7 runners left on and goes for 8 here.
Russell Martin tried his best to screw this up, but Carlos Ruiz dropped strike three, which rolled away and allowed Martin to get to first, and Manny to move to third.
Runners on the corners for Loney.
Loney pops up to left, and the rally is over.
End of the 8th
Phillies 7 Dodgers 5
Top of the 9th
Utley leads this off with a single. I've just been informed that the Giants lost to the Browns, I hadn't even realized a football game was going on, I've been so engrossed by the Phils tonight.
Howard hits into a fielder's choice, can't say I've seen him lumber down the line that quickly very often. 1 away and a runner on first for the Bat.
The Bat hits into a fielder's choice of his own. That's got to be some kind of record, Howard and Burrell hitting into back-to-back fielder's choices.
Victorino up again with another chance to exact his revenge on the Dodgers.
Bruntlett, pinch-hitting for the Bat, gets thrown out on a pitch out by the Dodgers. Inning over. Time for Lidge to get three outs.
Middle of the 9th
Phillies 7 Dodgers 5
Bottom of the 9th
Nomahhh leads off pinch hitting for Berroa, and promptly flies out to center, which brings up Casey Blake, who falls behind 0-2.
Blake goes down swinging, and Lidge just needs to get pinch hitter Jeff Kent to put this one in the books.
Kent lines out to third. Ballgame.
Phillies 7 Dodgers 5
WP: Ryan Madson
LP: Cory Wade
SV: Brad Lidge
Player of the Game: Shane Victorino. A night after being at the center of a bench-clearing skirmish between the two teams, Victorino released his anger in the form of a game-tying 2-run homer over the right field fence. Matt Stairs then clubbed another 2-run shot that gave the Phillies the lead for good.
The Phillies now have a commanding 3-1 series lead, meaning they have three games to clinch the pennant. With two of those games scheduled for the cozy confines of Citizens' Bank Park, it would take an extremely improbable comeback from the Dodgers to prevent the Phillies from playing in the Fall Classic.
Game 5 is scheduled for Wednesday night at 8:22 EDT. Probable pitchers are Hamels for Philadelphia and Billingsley for L.A.
October 12, 2008 at 1:01 PM
Well, here we go. I've got a big bowl of Cap'n Crunch in front of me and the Icers are about to take the ice for a little Sunday morning hockey, what more could I ask for? (Other than a couple more hours of sleep, maybe).
Anyways, a few quick hits before the radio broadcast of the game gets underway:
- As expected, Nick Signet will start in goal today for the Icers, meaning they will use three different goalies in as many games this weekend as they continue to look for the one who gives them the best chance to win.
- Today's opponent, University of Michigan-Dearborn, is coming off a 6-5 loss yesterday to Penn State Berks. Berks actually took West Virginia University to a shootout at the showcase on Friday night, eventually losing to WVU in eight rounds.
The puck is about to drop in West Chester, check back throughout the game for updates as they happen.
An interesting thing of note: Apparently one of today's officials is an ex-Lady Icer. I would think that could be an advantage for Penn State, if anything, but then again maybe she'll favor UM-Dearborn a little bit, so she doesn't appear to be too biased toward the Icers.
The announcers seem surprised the first 1 minute, 30 seconds of this game have been "slow-moving." If only they could see me slouched over in this chair, with my eyes half-open right now. I know they're hockey players, but that much activitiy on a Sunday morning just doesn't sit very well with your average college student. Slow start is no surprise to me.
Powerplay for the Icers coming up, let's see if that can spark the team.
No go on that plan, UM-Dearborn kills off the penalty with little threat from the Icers. Doesn't seem as if either team is dominating play early on with teams exchanging shots.
GOAL! UM-Dearborn, perhaps skating with a little momentum from killing off the Icers power play, slipped one past Signet to give the Wolves a 1-0 lead. The Icers trail for the first time this weekend.
And penalties continue to plague the Icers today, as Brent Tranter just picked up an interference penalty. The Wolves have a big opportunity here, already with a 1-0 lead and now a chance to widen that lead on the powerplay.
Well, Tranter is out of the penalty box, and the score is still 1-0. UM-Dearborn's best scoring chance came on a shot right as Tranter was leaving the box, but Signet shut the door to keep it a one-goal game.
The Icers are finally putting together an offensive attack, but still have nothing to show for it. A big part of that may be UM-Dearborn's goalie, Stephen Yu, who is Dearborn's lone representative to Team USA for the World University Games. Forwards Luke DeLorenzo and Jaime Zimmel, along with defenseman Stephen Thursdton, will represent Penn State at the Games. So, let's see if the two forwards can upstage their future teammate in goal.
The game is tied. And you'll never guess who did it...Brent Tranter! What a story this has been this weekend. Tranter, a senior defenseman, who had not scored in his first three years at Penn State, finally scored a goal Friday night, but it turns out his shot that night was actually deflected in by Steve Peck. So, although Tranter was credited with his first goal, he still wanted to get another one that was "legit."
And now, less than two days later, he did.
Tranter scoring the Icers' first goal of the night is certainly a huge lift for the team. This is a guy whose teammates have been waiting more than three years for him to net a goal, so needless to say the bench was pretty excited as that play developed, swarming Tranter as he came back to the bench, according to the radio broadcast.
Well the spark from the Tranter goal was just negated by yet another Icer penalty. And, then not too long after, ANOTHER Icer penalty to give the Wolves a 5-on-3 powerplay. And there it is, sure enough, just seconds later, the Wolves score to regain the lead, 2-1. They still have another 40 seconds left on a regular 5-on-4 power play, as well.
And that's it for the first period of play. A different story today for the Icers, who have not only not trailed after the opening period of this showcase, but had at least a three-goal lead in both games so far.
Should be interesting to see how the Icers respond to playing from behind after back-to-back routs. We'll be back after the intermission, stay tuned.
The second period is underway. I don't know what was said in the locker room during that intermission, but I think it's safe to say I'm happy I wasn't in there when coach Balboni was addressing his team.
The 11 a.m. starting time is likely contributing to the slow start of this game for both teams. After all, most games are played on Friday and Saturday nights. Definitely a different situation presented by this showcase.
Tied again! Another unlikely suspect on this goal, sophomore Chris Pronchik, with his first of the season. Unassisted goal after he got a steal, skated right in on net and slipped one past Yu. 2-2.
And this time the tie doesn't even last a minute. UM-Dearborn scores almost immediately after the Pronchik goal, following an Icers miscue in their own zone. 3-2, Wolves.
Icers pnlty. Sorry, those keys are just getting a little worn out on my keyboard after these last two days. Hopefully, you get the general idea. Wolves power play.
Icers kill off the penalty. Even though they have given up a few power play goals over the last two days, for the amount of penalties they have had, these guys have done a reasonably decent job on the penalty kill.
Back to full strength, but certainly no benefit there for Penn State. Dearborn scores again. 4-2.
Leading the way for the Wolves right now is freshman Mike Macari, who just notched his third goal of the game. Along with the hat trick, he also had an assist on Dearborn's only other goal.
Yet another Wolves goal. 5-2.
And to add injury to insult, another Icer penalty. Wolves power play.
Wolves power play goal. 6-2.
There is a lot of time left in this game, and the Icers has shown it has the offensive ability to put a lot of goals on the board in a hurry, so I wouldn't say this game is over, but it certainly is unfamiliar territory for the Icers right now.
Goalie change. Signet is out, Teddy Hume is in. Although the six goals in less than two full periods doesn't look well for Signet, it should go on the stat sheet with an asterisk. Too many penalties on the Icers, not enough offensive pressure and just a lackluster effort so far didn't give Signet much of a chance today.
The Icers are finally putting some pressure on the Dearborn defense and starting to test Yu, who has made a couple save in the last minute. Still 6-2, Wolves, though.
Not anymore. 7-2, Wolves. The Icers appeared to be showing some signs of life finally, but that last Wolves goal has really got to demoralize the team.
A near goal for the Wolves slides just wide, and the Icers take the puck up to the other end and score! Matt Kirstein gets a big goal to close the gap to 7-3.
Penalty on Dearborn with 2:03 remaining in the second period. Macari, the Wolves' offensive star so far, goes off for elbowing. Icers go on the power play with a chance to get right back in this thing before the second intermission.
Another Dearborn penalty. A 5-on-3 situation now for the Icers. The Wolves are handing the Icers an opportunity to get back in this game.
No success on that power play yet, as the second period ends. The 5-on-3 is over, but the Icers will still have a regular 5-on-4 powerplay for about a minute to start the third.
Stay tuned, we'll be back after the intermission.
Well when I said I wouldn't have wanted to be in the locker room with the Icers after the first period, I never thought the second would go the way it did. If I had to pick one or the other, I'd gladly take a spot in there during the first intermission rather than this second intermission. After giving up five goals in the second, Balboni undoubtedly had some harsh words for his team during that intermission.
57 seconds left on that power play. And Signet is back in net for the Icers now.
Here we go. 20 minutes on the clock. Let's see which Icers team takes the ice: the 16-1 winners from friday night or the team that has given up seven goals in two periods today.
Wolves almost put this one away. They put the puck in the back of the net, but the goal was waved off, as the Wolves kicked it in with their skate. Can't do that. Still 7-3.
15 minutes left in regulation. Back-and-forth action right now, neither team putting a lot of shots on net so far this period.
Kirstein another one! His second of the day, and the score is a more manageable 7-4 now. It's by no means over, but the Icers can score goals in a hurry, especially when you consider none of the four goals today have come from Penn State's top goal scorers. So if those guys get it going, watch out, it could be an exciting finish.
Here come the Icers! And just as predicted, an offensive power is on the board for the Icers. DeLorenzo puts another one past Yu and the score is 7-5.
Two goals in 1:07. And even though Dearborn still has a two-goal lead, the Wolves got to be getting worried about their quickly disappearing lead here.
12:05 to go.
The Wolves just answered the Icers' recent rally with a goal of their own, pushing it back to a three-goal game, 8-5. Huge goal to end all the momentum the Icers gained with those two quick goals.
Not looking good right now for the Icers. Neither team on much of an attack, as the play has been relatively calm over the last few minutes with a lot of back-and-forth clearing action.
A few shots on goal now for Penn State, but Yu keeps turning them away. Five minutes left now.
A 4-on-1 break for the Icers, and the one Wolf stops the four Icers, deflecting a pass away. Not going to get a better chance than that.
3:45 left. Jaime Zimmel fires a shot wide. Signet leaves the ice, as the Icers pull its goalie for the extra skater.
Penn State has been able to keep the puck in Dearborn's zone right now, but goal No. 6 continues to elude this team. DeLorenzo denied by Yu right in front. Two minutes to go.
Thurston has the puck taken away from him and a Dearborn player skated alone into the Icer zone and buried it in the empty net. 9-5.
Signet back in the goal now with the game out of reach. Icers penalty. Wolves power play.
And that's it. UM-Dearborn beats up on the Icers this afternoon. The same UM-Dearborn team that lost to Penn State - Berks yesterday, 6-5. No doubt a tough loss for the Icers, and Balboni will certainly let his team know all about it in the time leading up to Friday night's game against Pitt.
Final score: Wolves 9, Icers 5.
Check tomorrow's Collegian for full coverage of this weekend's games. Hopefully I'll see some of you out at the Ice Pavilion Friday night for the Icers' season opener. Until then, be sure to check back here and keep an eye out in the Collegian for full Icers coverage.
October 11, 2008 at 5:09 PM
Well, the Icers are just underway on day two of the ACHA Showcase. The opponent tonight is the No. 17 Robert Morris Colonials. A few things of note here to get it started:
-Taylor Cera, injured in the closing minutes of last night's 16-1 rout, is not in the lineup. We'll see if we can get a more official report on him at some point today, but can't make any guarantees since the team is on the road until tomorrow night.
-After starting John Jay at goalie last night, Coach Balboni is going with the other sophomore tonight, Teddy Hume. I would assume that means we'll see Nick Signet tomorrow, with balboni giving each of his three goalies one start this weekend. Jay played well last night after giving up his only goal on Adrian's first shot of the game. He wasn't tested very often by the Bulldogs, but was successful when he was.
Stay tuned for updates throughout the game, which we will bring you based off the radio broadcast of the games.
Goal! The Icers are on the board first, the result of a Tim O'Brien goal just over eight minutes in. Should be interesting to see if this goal gets the ball (puck?) rolling for the Icer offense like that first goal did last night or if Robert Morris can answer and keep this one close. 1-0 , Icers.
Ryan Paradis. For pronunciaton, think "paradise." I don't know what they did to the 'e' at the end, but it's pronounced the same. Either way, get to know the name. This kid has looked great in the first two games of the weekend. He just notched his first goal of this game after scoring two last night. 2-0.
And the rout is on. Brandon Rubeo nets a power-play goal to push the lead to 3-0 in the first.
The first period ended with a flurry of action. Robert Morris showed some promise on a power play, testing Hume with a couple of quick shots, but the power play ended early after Robert Morris picked up a penalty for taking a dive. Then, just seconds later they picked up a high-sticking penalty, so in a matter of 30 seconds they went from attacking on the power play to going on the defensive short-handed.
End of one in West Chester, Icers lead 3-0.
Well, with the two late penalties on Robert Morris to end the first, the Icers are starting this period on a short 5-on-3 advantage.
One man is out of the box, no damage done. But the Icers will still have a normal power play for another 1:17.
The Colonials are taking themselves out of this game. As that power play ended, Robert Morris had a player come off the bench at the same time the player came out of the penalty box and nobody went off. So basically, they had six skaters on the ice and you can't do that. Back on the power play for the Icers.
Nevermind, Steve Peck picks up a penalty just seconds later, negating the power play. 4-on-4 now.
Penalties, penalties, penalties. So far that's been the story here in the second. Tripping on Carey Bell, another Icer penalty. 4-on-3 power play for Robert Morris for 43 seconds, then they will have a short 5-on-3 advantage.
Well Robert Morris dominated play during that power play, but came away with nothing to show for it. Both teams are back to full strength, still 3-0 Icers. 14:36 left.
Yet another penalty. This one on Robert Morris. The second period has been very slow-paced so far, with play constantly being stopped by whistles - usually to call a penalty.
Robert Morris kills off another penalty. 7:37 left in the period.
Icers penalty for interference. Robert Morris power play.
Goal! The Colonials finally cash in on one of these power play oppourtunities. Slap shot from the blue line got by Hume. 3-1.
Another Icer penalty. Robert Morris starts a power play, looking to make this a one-goal game.
And they do! Another power-play goal for Robert Morris and all the sudden, this is a 3-2 hockey game.
If I said the Icers got another penalty would you even believe me at this point? Interference call on the Icers as they were bringing the puck into the Robert Morris zone. Robert Morris power play with 1:47 left.
Icers penalty. Unbelievable. Holding called on the Icers, 5-on-3 for Robert Morris with just 8 seconds left in the period.
End of the second.
Robert Morris controls action in the second period. Scoring two goals to make it a 3-2 game. And, more importantly perhaps, Robert Morris will start the third period on a 5-on-3 advantage. Never would have guessed this game could go down to the wire when the Icers jumped out to that 3-0 lead in the first, but that's the way it's looking now. Stay tuned, we'll be back for the start of the third.
Robert Morris starts the period on a 5-on-3 power play. It will only last 19 seconds before the Icers get one of its men back, and then Robert Morris will still have a normal 5-on-4 power play for another 1 minute, 33 seconds.
With Robert Morris' only two goals tonight coming on the power play, the first two minutes of this third period could be a huge turning point in the game for either team, depending on what happens on the remainder of this power play.
Well the third period is underway.
Not much of a threat, despite that power play situation for Robert Morris. Icers handle it well, back to full strength on both sides, still 3-2, Icers.
Icers goal! Tim O'Brien scores his second of the night and the Icers offense awakes from its one period hiatus. Huge goal for the Icers, giving them a little breathing room and extending the lead to 4-2.
The third period is starting to look a lot like the first, with the Icers controlling the action offensively. They just rang a shot off the post. Still 4-2, though.
Robert Morris certainly isn't going away without a fight. Putting pressure on right now, had an opportunity in front, but Hume turns it away.
And moments after the Hume save, DeLorenzo nets a goal pushing the score to 5-2 and all but putting this one away.
What a series of events, Robert Morris was on the attack with a chance to make it a one-goal game again, but the Icers get it out of their zone and push it up the ice and register a quick goal, taking the wind right out of Robert Morris' sails.
5:32 left. Hume covers a loose puck in front and there will be a faceoff coming up in the Icer zone. Icers win it and clear it out.
The teams trade late goals, Icers now leading 6-3.
A couple shots fired on net here in the closing minute by Robert Morris, but Hume makes a couple of stops and covers up for the faceoff.
And that's it, Icers win again.
Final score: Icers 6, Colonials 3.
"I don't think we played well at all tonight, over the entire game. We came out thinking we were a great hockey team cause we won 16-1 last night, but forgot the score started over 0-0 tonight." (Coach Balboni, on the smaller margin of victory in tonight's game)
"The one bright spot was at least we came back out in the third and did the little things right to win the game. Sometimes good teams have to win ugly and that's definitely what we had to do tonight." (Coach Balboni)
Well that's all for tonight's coverage. Check back tomorrow for more live coverage when the Icers take on UM-Dearborn at 11 a.m. Hey, I'll be enjoying the football game tonight as much as the rest of you, and if I can roll out of bed that early (yes, 11 a.m. on a Sunday is early), and bring you live coverage then you could at least return the favor and tune in for awhile.
October 10, 2008 at 9:52 PM
The No. 3 Penn State ACHA Division I Icers have gotten off to a quick start in this weekend's 3-day ACHA showcase. Opening play against No. 25 Adrian, the Icers lead 7-1 after just one period of play, outshooting the Bulldogs 15-3.
The majority of the first period was spent deep in the Adrian zone with the Icers continuously on the offensive. The second period is just under way now, stay tuned for more updates throughout the night.
Oh wait, the Icers just scored again before I could even post this. 8-1.
The Icers just scored three goals in 46 seconds to make the score 11-1. Ryan Paradis scored his second goal of the night (after scoring his first career goal in the first), which was followed seconds later by Nick Seravalli's first career goal and then then Matt Kirstein capped off the scoring streak just moments later.
Not much reistance right now from the Bulldogs. The Icers won consecutive faceoffs after the Paradis and Seravalli goals, skated right into the Adrian zone and put the puck in the back of the net before the Adrian defenders even knew what hit them.
A sign of life for Adrian, however, they just killed off an Icer power play.
3 minutes left in the second.
The second period is over and the score is still 11-1. The Icers only managed to fire eight shots on goal in the second...but scored on four of those. When your shooting percentage in hockey is almost as high as Shaq's free-throw percentage, your really on to something. Given, Shaq's free-throw percentage isn't exactly great, but scoring on 50-percent of your shots over an entire period is exceptional.
With an 11-1 lead, it should be interesting to see if the Icers call off the dogs (no pun intended) in the third period or if they continue to let their younger guys get some work and build their confidence.
The Icers didn't waste much time in the third before registering goal No. 12. After picking up a penalty for too many men on the ice, having only four skaters on the ice to Adrian's five didn't seem to slow the Icers' attack. 12-1. 15 minutes left.
After a non-eventful opening 10 minutes to the third period, the Icers just got about as excited as you'll ever see a team get over a goal when they are already leading 12-1. Brent Tranter, a senior defenseman, just scored his first career goal with Penn State. The team has tried getting him a goal in the past, moving him up to forward in a couple blowout games last year, but that goal had always seemed to elude him.
Not anymore. Well, that goal made it 13-1, but in the one minute it took me to write that little piece about Tranter, the Icers reverted to their earlier form scoring twice in 1:19 to make it 15-1. Goal No. 15 was Luke DeLorenzo's third of the game for the hat trick.
As the page was loading the new update, Steve Peck added another one. 16-1 with four minutes left.
With all things going smoothly and the Icers coasting to an easy victory, it's hard to imagine the Icers could be worried about anything, but that's the case right now. Sophomore forward Taylor Cera just went down with a knee injury with just over 2 minutes left in the game.
Cera was helped off the ice by teammates DeLorenzo and Paul Daley. Obviously there's no word on the extent of his injury at this point, but it is certainly something we will monitor throughout the weekend.
Well, it's finally over.
Final score: Icers 16, Bulldogs 1.
This one was over shortly after it began. It would be crazy to say the score doesn't even represent how one-sided this contest was, but that might actually be the case here. I'll post a couple postgame quotes here as they become available.
From interviews with FightOnState radio broadcast:
"We're not sure what it is, right now. The doctor is going to look at it back at the hotel. It doesn't look as serious as it did at first, but we're going to look at it and see what we've got." (Coach Balboni, on Cera injury)
"We have a lot of guys with us and a lot of guys chomping at the bit to get in and play. Depth is a great luxury we have this year. If Taylor can go he'll be in the lineup and if he can't we'll plug someone else in and forge ahead." (Coach Balboni, on replacing Cera, if necessary)
"I don't think I actually got it. I think Peck helped me out with it, but hopefully I'll get another one." (Brent Tranter, on first career goal that appeared to be deflected in by Peck)
Friday Night Storylines
1. Cera injury.
2. Contribution from younger players.
3. Balanced team effort.
Well, that's it for our coverage tonight. The Icers second game of the showcase will be tomorrow at about 5 p.m. against Robert Morris, and we'll do our best to get you as much coverage of that game as possible. Although, we have heard something about another Penn State team playing a big game in Madison, Wisc. this weekend?
If you're going to be tuning into that one instead, at least check back Sunday for more coverage on the last day of the showcase as the Icers take on UM-Dearborn at 11 a.m.
October 9, 2008 at 8:12 PM
Well the wait is almost over for Phillies fans, as we're about 10 minutes from getting the 2008 NLCS underway.
This is Steve and I'll be bringing the live blog for tonight's game between the Dodgers and Phillies. Our pitching matchup pits a couple of 14 game winners against each other, with Derek Lowe going for the Dodgers and Cole Hamels on the bump for the Phils.
1. R Furcal, SS
2. A Ethier, RF
3. M Ramirez, LF
4. R Martin, C
5. J Loney, 1B
6. M Kemp, CF .
7. C Blake, 3B .
8. B DeWitt, 2B
9. D Lowe, P
1. J Rollins, SS
2. S Victorino, CF
3. C Utley, 2B
4. R Howard, 1B
5. P Burrell, LF
6. J Werth, RF
7. P Feliz, 3B
8. C Ruiz, C
9. C Hamels, P
I have a feeling this one will be a defensive battle. The players haven't faced live pitching in a while, and Lowe and Hamels both threw well in the NLDS. Back with more after first pitch.
With first pitch comes the voice of Tim McCarver, who despite his incoherent ramblings, is synonymous with playoff baseball. Thankfully the ambient noise in the newsroom will drown out most of McCarver's painfully obviously analysis.
Furcal grounds out for the first out of the game
Ethier doubles to left for the first hit, and now Manny Ramirez strides to the plate.
Ramirez is really incredible. That double was about as long of a shot that could possibly stay in the park at Citizen's Bank, and puts the Dodgers ahead 1-0. Definitely a questionable decision to pitch to Ramirez with first base open. I'm not saying that you intentionally walk Manny there, but you try to get him to chase out of the zone.
Either Charlie Manuel has a lot of confidence in Cole Hamels or he really respects Russell Martin. Hamels just fanned Martin, making the decision to pitch to Ramirez even more suspect.
Loney draws a walk from Hamels, which gives Matt Kemp a chance to hit. Kemp struck out 158 times this year, but he hit .290 with 18 homers, and has tons of potential. He is streaky though, and had only 2 hits in the NLDS. Hopefully for the Phillies his cold streak continues.
Kemp flies out harmlessly to right center, but this was not a good start for Hamels. He threw 23 pitches in the first inning, and gave up the run.
Middle of the First 1 run 2 hits 1 walk 2
Dodgers 1 Phillies 0
The Phillies now get the chance to respond to the Dodgers first inning.
Derek Lowe, the Dodgers' starter is known for inducing a lot of grounders with a hard sinker. He's a veteran that throws strikes , and will forever be known for winning all three series clinching games for the Red Sox in '04.
Utley just slapped a two-out single to center to give Howard a chance to hit in the first.
Howard grounded right into the defensive shift the Dodgers were employing, giving Lowe two ground ball outs to the start the game.
It appears as though Lowe's sinker will be on tonight. He gets through the inning with 14 pitches.
End of First
0 runs 1 hit 1 LOB
Dodgers 1 Phillies 0
Top of Second
It's still very early, but I think Hamels needs a quick inning here. He strikes out Casey Blake to start it off.
Blake DeWitt flies out to center, but seeing this kid, along with Matt Kemp and James Loney, reminds me of how ridiculous the Dodgers' farm system is at spitting out solid young players.
The Dodgers are the anti-moneyball team, as they value scouting and toolsy players like Kemp over sabermetric analysis. It doesn't get as much publicity as the moneyball philosophy, but its a tried and true method that works.
Hamels strikes out Lowe to get through a quick inning. Just what he needed. 12 pitches for Hamels in the 2nd, giving him 35 total.
Middle of 2nd
0 runs 0 hits 0 LOB
Dodgers 1 Phillies 0
Bottom of 2nd
Burrell slams a double to left, and Lowe falls behind Werth 3-0, but Werth grounds into a double play.
After Pedro Feliz draws a walk, Carlos Ruiz grounds out to the shortstop Furcal, who has an absolute cannon at short. How glad do you think a ground ball pitcher like Lowe is that Furcal is back from his injury?
End of the 2nd
0 runs 1 hit 1 walk 1 LOB
Dodgers 1 Phillies 0
Top of 3rd
Ethier reached on what I think should have been an error on Ryan Howard. I realize that Howard is one of the premier run producers in the league, but his fielding leaves a lot to be desired.
Hamels, however, won round 2 with Manny Ramirez, getting the left-fielder to pop out to Jimmy Rollins. He followed that up with a walk to Russell Martin, but struck out James Loney on a pitch in the dirt.
The southpaw's pitch count is now 55, so its doubtful that he will go eight innings like he did in the NLDS.
Middle of 3rd
1 hit 1 walk 2 LOB
Dodgers 1 Phillies 0
Bottom of the 3rd
I'm sorry but I hate the National League. Hamels grounded out to start the 3rd, which in my opinion was a waste of time. Give me the designated hitter anytime.
Victorino grounds out to first, and tackles Derek Lowe, who was covering the bag on the play. It appeared to be an innocent collision but it wouldn't be a bad idea for the Phils to try unorthodox methods to get Lowe out of this game (just kidding). Seriously though, Lowe can be dominant when he's on, and tonight he's on.
End of 3rd
0 runs 0 hits 0 LOB
Dodgers 1 Phillies 0
The Dodgers manufactured a run after Matt Kemp's leadoff double. Casey Blake ground out the right side, allowing Kemp to move to third, and Blake DeWitt's fly ball was deep enough to allow Kemp to tag for the second run of the game.
Solid fundamentals from the Dodgers, who are looking like they should have done much better than their 84-78 record in the regular season.
The Dodgers also got Derek Lowe's spot in the lineup out of the way. Furcal will lead off next inning.
Middle of the 4th
1 run 1 hit 0 LOB
Dodgers 2 Phillies 0
Bottom of 4th
Chase Utley looked lost leading off the inning, striking out swinging against Lowe.
Derek Lowe threw a no-hitter when he was with the Red Sox and was also a dominant closer for the Sox, saving 85 games from 1998-2001. This is a guy with potentially dominant stuff, and he's looking to be on his game tonight.
The Phils go down in order in the 4th, with Utley and Burrell striking out.
End of the 4th
0 runs 0 hits 0 LOB
Dodgers 2 Phillies 0
Top of 5th
Rafael Furcal leads off this inning. Furcal is a free agent-to-be, and as an Oriole fan myself, I'm hoping the O's make a push for this guy. I've already gushed over his throwing arm, but people forget he had an .OPS over 1.000 before getting hurt earlier this year. He grounds out to Rollins here, however.
Hamels fans Ethier, retiring him for the first time tonight. More imortantly, Manny Ramirez will bat with no one on base.
Ramirez singles to center for another base hit, but Hamels strikes out Martin again to end the inning. However, Hamels hasn't been able to keep his pitch count in check, as he has now thrown 84 pitches through five innings, meaning the Phillies will be lucky if he gets through seven frames tonight.
Middle of the fifth
0 runs 1 hit 1 LOB
Dodgers 2 Phillies 0
Bottom of the fifth
After two groundouts to start the inning, Carlos Ruiz pokes a groundball into right field for the Phillies third hit.
Cole Hamels just singled and the Phillies officially have a two-out rally brewing.
Rollins flied out to left to end the threat, but the Phillies finally made Lowe throw some pitches, as he needed 18 to get out of the inning. He has now thrown 75 pitches total.
End of fifth
0 runs 2 hits 2 LOB
Dodgers 2 Phillies 0
Top of sixth
Thanks to a double-play Hamels gets a quick inning despite allowing a leadoff single to James Loney.
Hamels should definitely get a chance to get through seven innings and maybe even eight. Even if the Phillies can't come back tonight, that would be huge to save the bullpen for the rest of the series.
Middle of sixth
0 runs 1 hit 0 LOB
Dodgers 2 Phillies 0
Bottom of sixth
The momentum is shifting quickly. Remember Rafael Furcal's strong throwing arm? Well he just airmailed a throw to first, allowing Shane Victorino to move to second on what should have been a ground out. Now the Phillies have a man in scoring position with Utley and Howard up next.
Utley just knotted this one up with a blast into the right-center field seats. You could feel it coming. First, the bottom of the Phillies' order gets Lowe into a jam in the fifth, then Hamels gets through an inning with only eight pitches, and Victorino reaches on a costly error.
This game is still tied, but the Phils have all the momentum.
After Howard grounded out, Pat the Bat provided some instant offense, slamming one into the left field seats, and that will be it for Derek Lowe. Lowe dominated through the first four innings, but the Phillies adjusted and have knocked Lowe out after just 5 1/3 innings.
The entire complexion of this game has changed. It is now Hamels' to win, and the Dodgers are looking at having to tax their bullpen early on.
Chan Ho Park will come on to pitch, and he'll face Jayson Werth
Park gets Werth and Feliz out, but the damage was done. The Phils now have to protect the lead.
End of the sixth
3 runs 2 hits 0 LOB
Phillies 3 Dodgers 2
Top of the seventh
Hamels continues to keep the momentum in the Phillies' corner, striking out Blake DeWitt and pinch hitter Jeff Kent to start the seventh, and getting Furcal to ground out for a three-up, three-down inning. His pitch count is 105, but he doesn't appear to be tiring, and if Charlie Manuel wanted, he could send Hamels out for the eighth. Doubt that will happen though.
I was hard on Hamels earlier, but he has responded to adversity tonight in a big way. He threw 24 pitches in the first inning and 20 in the third, and wasn't looking to be long for this game. But he has settled down beautifully, and is really looking like an ace. He didn't allow falling behind early break him, he waited patiently for his offense to wake up, and now he has the lead.
Middle of the seventh
0 runs 0 hits 0 LOB
Phillies 3 Dodgers 2
Bottom of seventh
The Phillies continue to come on strong. Ruiz just singled off of Greg Maddux and now So Taguchi will pinch hit for Hamels, meaning his night is done.
Hamels' final line: 7 ip 6 h 2 er 2 bb. It's his game to win if the bullpen holds.
Taguchi popped out trying to bunt, and Rollins hit into a double play to end the inning.
End of the seventh
0 runs 1 hit 0 LOB
Phillies 3 Dodgers 2
Top of eighth
My colleagues that blogged the NLDS games bemoaned the lack of excitement in the Phillies-Brewers series, but I have been blessed tonight.
What looked like it might turn into a dominating night by Derek Lowe has turned into a pretty exciting game.
I'm still a little surprised at how quickly Derek Lowe lost his mojo tonight. He was cruising along, inducing groundballs, sweating profusely as he usually does and generally having his way with the Phils, but it all fell apart quickly. Giving up the single to Hamels was the beginning of the end. I still hate the pitcher batting in the NL, but seeing a pitcher get a hit is usually a sign that the opposing pitcher may be self-destructing.
Ethier struck out to lead off the inning, meaning Manny will bat with the bases empty.
Charlie Manuel is out to have a pep talk with Ryan Madson before Manny's at-bat. No way I would pitch to Ramirez here with no one on base. It's still a one run game, one swing of the bat ties this up.
Manny lines out sharply and Madson gets out of the inning.
The Phillies then go in order in the bottom of the eighth.
Sorry about the lack of posts in the past few minutes I'm back for the top of the ninth as Brad Lidge is in to slam the door.
Kemp flies out for the first out.
Lidge has had a remarkable year, and he reinforces the notion of the importance of the back end of a bullpen being the key to success.
Blake flies out to the warning track in center and Lidge is an out away from ending this thing. Blake DeWitt is the only thing standing between the Philies and a 1-0 series lead.
DeWitt strikes out, and the Phillies win. 3-2
Final Score Phillies 3, Dodgers 2
The player of the game has to be Hamels, who recovered after a rocky start to toss a solid seven innings and give the Phillies the win.
A huge advantage to get the win at home as well. Having the 1-0 series is not so big, but avoiding dropping a game at home definitely is.
The Phils will be back in action tomorrow afternoon at 4:35 p.m. Chad Billingsley pitches for L.A. and Brett Myers throws for the Phils.
October 8, 2008 at 7:53 PM
I wrote a feature on Penn State goalie Teddy Hume that will run in Thursday's edition of the Daily Collegian, but I had some great quotes left over. Teddy's a very funny guy, so I figured I'd let you guys read the quotes that didn't make it into the paper. Enjoy.
Where did you play before coming to Penn State?
I went to prep school for three years at Phillips-Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H., which was certainly an interesting experience - I got to experience Texas summers and New Hampshire winters. It was a great experience, both academically, socially, athletically - it was something completely different and it really was unique.
Could you talk about last season?
Freshman year, I really wasn't sure what to expect. First of all, I was just happy to make the team - thankfully I got my stuff together to put together a pretty good tryout. For the first part of the season I sat the bench, which was fine because I was just a freshman. I remember it was Ohio weekend, and Ohio's our biggest rival, and we lost the first game on Friday in a shootout. I remember I went out to see the lineup (on Saturday) and I saw that I was starting - I felt like I had been kicked in the testicles by a mule. This wasn't my first rodeo - I'd played big games in prep school - so I just came back, got relaxed and got a shutout in my first start, which was great. I got to play a lot my freshman year, which is more than anyone could ask.
Was it your decision to lose weight?
Coach was always prodding me to do it, but it was a vanity decision. I'm trying to get into some modeling and the market for overweight models isn't too good these days. I'm just trying to be the best-looking goalie in the league. You know, the secret is portion size. I had to cut down on my portion size, that's the first secret, always eating healthy, lots of Ramen - they're very low in calories. That's pretty much the Teddy Hume Diet right there.
Were you considering any other schools?
A lot of guys from Exeter look at the small D-three schools in New England, like Colby, Bowdoin, Tufts. I remember I went on a visit to one of those schools and I just told myself 'this would be four more years of prep school, I want something different'. I remember when I came here, you come over the hill and you see campus - it was awesome. From the instant I came over the hill, I knew I wanted to come here.
Teddy and the Icers (2-0-0) will take on Adrian Friday night in the ACHA Showcase in West Chester. Check out Dean's preview in Friday's paper and, as always, we'll keep you up-to-date here on Between the Pipes.
October 6, 2008 at 9:37 AM
The Icers had a successful season-opening weekend, taking both games from No. 4 Delaware (5-4 and 3-2) in shootouts.
These are just some leftover notes and tidbits from this weekend's play:
Blueline Bruises: Senior defender Scott Dakan didn't play this weekend after picking up a nagging injury in practice. Coach Balboni said it was nothing more than a blocked shot that went off Scott's foot, and that he'll be back for this weekend's ACHA Showcase.
"If it was the league playoffs, he probably could have gone," Balboni said. "But his foot was a little tender. So we told him to take the weekend off and just get ready for the showcase next weekend."
Who's in Net?: This weekend's play gave us the first glimpse into how the race for the starting goalie position is shaping up.
In Game 1 (the 5-4 victory) against Delaware, sophomore Teddy Hume got the nod and described the experience as such: "At first when Coach told me I was starting, I felt like I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off out there."
He added that it was only a matter of time until he calmed down. Interesting take on a way to say "early game jitters."
On getting the win in what was a back and forth game, Hume said, "I was happier than a hound dog that we were able to come away with the shootout in their barn."
Headless chickens. Hound dogs. How evident is it that this man is a southern gentleman? Never enough Teddy Hume quotes. Never.
As for Game 2 (the 3-2 win), senior Nick Signet was back in net and didn't allow a goal during the game-deciding shootout.
So to summarize the goalie situation: Hume played the first game, Signet played the second and after Signet turned in the better performance, we still know zilch as to who the No. 1 goaltender will be this year.
Keep an eye on...:Steve Peck. The senior forward came through big time this weekend, contributing two goals from his spot on the checking line. If the 3rd line (which this weekend was Peck, senior Brandon Rubeo and freshman Ryan Paradis) keeps scoring like this, the Icers could be better than usual - and that's saying something.
October 4, 2008 at 1:49 PM
So Kennedy with the steal off Spezza for the game-winner as the Pens take home the victory in their first game of the season.
Penguins 4 - Senators 3
Kennedy buries one from the right circle to win it! He stole it at the blue line, skated it down himself and fired it home.
Back and forth action so far this OT, but no real good chances yet. Darth Gerber just made a save on a Staal shot from the top of the right circle.
Malkin and Staal out there to open it up for the Pens in OT, along with Gill and new goal-scoring threat Scuderi.
Aaaaaand we're headed to overtime.
As could be expected, Crosby's line is out there to finish up regulation.
Malkin's line out there with two minutes left.
Tyler Kennedy looks good on a line with Malkin and Staal. Of course, it's kind of hard to look bad when you're out with that kind of talent.
Anyone who read our blog from the last preseason game knows that we'd prefer to see Pesonen in that role, though.
Fleury actually maintains a rebound. Of course, the shot came from the neutral zone.
Zitzman calls a late-game Matt Cooke goal for the win. I'm hoping for a shootout with a Kris Letang winner.
The Pens have killed off another Ottawa powerplay. Let's hope they can get some momentum out of it, because they've looked pretty flat this period so far.
Letang takes a penalty on what looks like to us was an innocent play. Oh well, Pens go on the PK again.
Senators are getting some pressure here against the Pens' third line, with Gill and Scuderi on D. Probably because the net speed of Gill and Scuderi is effectively nil.
Malkin looks more like the Malkin we saw in the first half of the playoffs than the practically-invisible one that was present in the Stanley Cup Finals.
He just deked around two guys coming down the wing (though a third prevented him from getting to the net) followed up by being the first forward back on the rush to deliver a check on a Senator behind the net.
Dupuis misses a wide-open Cooke on the back door for the tying goal off the rush. Classic Dupuis, and yet another example of why he is not on the top line.
Fleury almost scores on his own net there. His puck-handling has not looked particularly strong this game, but the short curves in the boards may be to blame. That, or the lack of Conklin's presence has ruined him.
Rob Scuderi ROB SCUDERI ROB SCUDERI ROB SCUDERI scores on a wrister from the left circle; Crosby passed it over to him. Scuderi, obviously not a great goalscorer, immediately picks up the puck as a souvenir.
The Pens have killed out the 5-on-3 powerplay here to start the period, as well as the 30 seconds of normal powerplay time after that.
With the score 3-2 after two periods, the Pens need to mount a small comeback to take home the victory here. Luckily, that's their specialty against the Senators.
Third period, getting underway now.
My e-mail, if you feel so inclined, is firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, that period was brutal. The Pens miss Gonchar and Whitney badly. I'm going to hand it over to Web editor Ian Brown who will hopefully be blogging about a good third period.
Another penalty, this time Mark Eaton, wearing the Michel Ouellet memorial No. 7, is the guilty party.
I don't think we've seen more than like two minutes of five-on-five play, Chris Phillips takes a penalty. Senators score short-handed. It's probably Jeff Taffe's fault.
Heatley scores on a power play after Godard was called for hooking. 2-2. Steiggy offers a "Swedish shoutout" to those watching at the Civic Arena.
Dany Heatley goes to the box, another Pens PP. Crosby just knocked someone down, big hit from the little guy. Ruutu tries to start stuff with Max Talbot....Talbot is gloveless.
Pens kill off Free Candy's penalty. Malkin is on a line with Godard and Bissonnette right now. Good glove save by Fleury.
Free Candy gets to "go to the box, presented by Columbia Gas", the consensus here was that it was an [expletive] call. GENNNNOOOOO scores shorthanded. 2-1 Pens
This game isn't the only NHL game today. The Rangers and the Lightning played earlier, with the Rags winning 2-1. Mark Recchi had a huge impact for Tampa, garnering one shot on goal in 16 minutes of ice time. Ryan Malone had two penalties while Gary Roberts had one penalty.
Thoughts from the first period:
-Both teams look very sloppy, it could be attributed to the ice, which is four feet shorter than a regulation NHL rink.
-I would rather listen to Pam Ward than Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey.
-Swedish people are weird. Everyone is in suits and they play the worst, cheesiest music between whistles.
This is Brendan and to my right is a pitiful report from bobbleheaded Dan Potash. Ooooo, an appearance by the always charismatic Sidney Crosby.
By the way, if you have the need to e-mail me, it's email@example.com
With the end of the first period, we will be making a shift in bloggers to Sports Copy Editor Brendan Shorts. Mr. Shorts is a Pittsburgher through and through, and may be Dan Potash's biggest fan.
The Penguins get a chance to show-off their penalty-kill unit and they do a good job of preventing any good looks at goaltender Fleury. The team's are back to even-strength, with 30 seconds left.
Fleury gives the puck away and makes a huge save to keep the score tied at 1 at the end of the first period. After a furious start by Pittsburgh, the Pens had to hold on and keep Ottawa from taking the lead. The Senators have to be happy with the first period after starting slow and taking five penalties.
Jeff Taffe shows why he shouldn't be on the power-play as he takes a holding penalty to even the teams up. They will play 4-on-4 for 50 seconds.
Chris Neil just took a run at Kris Letang in the corner and hit him from behind. A sure dirty hit, Neil will be sent to the box for at least two minutes for boarding, if not more. The Pens need to score on the power-play to make the Senators pay for all the dumb penalties.
Another sloppy power-play leads to no good chances for the Pens. Fleury had to make another clutch save to prevent a short-handed goal.
Penguins power-play gives former Penguin Ruutu a great chance on a 2-on-1 break, but Fleury makes a big save to preserve the tie.
Pittsburgh's man-advantage didn't look nearly as good this time on the ice, but another penalty on the Senators will give the Penguins another opportunity with just over 6 minutes left in the first.
The ice crew has been called out to repair some damage and has slowed play down. For some reason they all have helmets on. Maybe in case a fight breaks out during the time they are fixing the ice. You never know.
Despite some great opportunities, the Pens come up empty on their first power-plays of the year. The Senators have stemmed momentum a little behind the penalty-kill and a couple big hits. The physical game from last year's playoffs has broken out again.
After a long shift by the Penguins fourth line, the Senators break through and score to even the game at 1. Shea Donovan deflected a shot over Marc-Andre Fleury's shoulder.
Shortly after Daniel Alfredson has two great looks at the net, but missed once and was denied on the other to keep the game even.
An interesting note on the 5-on-3: The Penguins put both Malkin and Crosby at the points. With Gonchar out for an extended amount of time this combination could see a lot of time back there. Michel Therrien is already mixing things up.
And the low boards in Stockholm has resulted in a delay of game penalty, giving the Penguins a 5-on-3 advantage.
Penguin newcomer Eric Goddard has drawn a penalty, and the Pens go on the power-play.
The Pens have come out on fire, relentlessly attacking the net. Gerber has made some strong saves to keep it a one goal game early.
The Senators look lackadaisical on the ice, and are just hanging on in the first three minutes of the game.
Tyler Kennedy flies down the boards and beats the Senators to the puck and makes his patented turnaround shot under Gerber's arm for the season's first goal. The Penguins take the lead only 40 seconds into the game. Jordan Staal gets an assist on the goal.
Ottawa goalie Martin Gerber is sporting a Darth Vader mask for this season, and despite not being Ottawa fans, we can respect how sweet his mask looks.
The game is underway, as the Penguins win the opening faceoff.
This is Sports Night Editor Kevin Zitzman blogging for the first period, and if you have any emails they can be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mats Sundin is dropping the first puck, and the game is set to begin.
Bill Thomas is not dressed for today's game, as Bissonette will be getting the nod for the opener.
As we watch three national anthems, one can only wonder if we will see Pittsburgh great Jeff Jimerson make a special appearance. Although highly unlikely, we will be holding our breath.
In a shocking turn of events, FSN has reported that #44 Brooks Brooks will be paired with Letang for this afternoon's game. Just ten minutes into the season, and FSN has one graphical error.
Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey have the enthusiasm of O.J. Simpson at a search and rescue mission.
To steal a line from everyone's favorite announcer, Mike Lange, "It's a hockey night in Stockholm!" The Penguins begin their quest back to return to the Stanley Cup Finals and avenge their six-game loss to the Detroit Red Wings. The Ottawa Senators are trying to rebound from a first-round defeat to the Penguins last season, and also return to the Cup Finals after losing two years ago to the Anaheim Ducks.
The game is only moments away, as the Penguins and Senators are on the ice.
Good afternoon, this is sports copy editor Brendan Shorts along with Web editor Ian Brown and sports night editor Kevin Zitzman and we're ready for the beginning of the 2008-09 Pens season which begins today against the Ottawa Senators in Stockholm.
Anyway, some news. Right winger Petr Sykora will miss today's game with a groin-related problem. Tyler Kennedy (who looks like ManBearPig from South Park) will take Sykora's place on the second line with Geno Malkin and Jordan Staal.
Alex Goligoski, the rookie defenseman from the University of Minnesota, will be scratched in place of Darryl Sydor.
Here are the likely lines, we haven't been able to confirm this, but these seem likely.\
Fedotenko -- Crosby -- Satan
Staal -- Malkin -- Kennedy
Dupuis -- Talbot -- Cooke
Thomas -- Taffe -- Godard
Orpik -- Letang
Eaton -- Sydor
Scuderi -- Gill
Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start in goal. We'll be back shortly, or whenever the beautiful Danny Potash graces the screen on FSN Pittsburgh.
October 2, 2008 at 4:10 PM
Sully Torres is in but J-Roll spoils it with a single.
I thought John Smoltz would suck in the booth, but he is damn good as an analyst. He makes Joe Morgan look like a non-English speaker.
J-Roll decides to run but Kendall throws him out.
Well, we may have to end the live blog because the TV has been switched from the game to the vice-president debate.
Two runners on for the Brewers, we might have a ballgame. Charlie Manuel out to pull Ryan Madson.
JC Romero comes and gets Prince Fielder to break his bat and roll out to second.
7.5 done 5-2.
Eric Gagne comes in, we were trying to come up with something in French, but screw it.
Nice play by Hardy, from his knees, to get Pete Happy.
Hey! A hit! Hardy doubles and advances to third on a Hart flyout.
Now is Craig Counsell. Boo. Counsell slowly grounds to second, Hardy scores. 5-2 Phils.
What a boring game.
End 6.5 5-2 PHI
Victorino is on fire, this time Mike Cameron lets another ball hit off his glove.
More trouble for the Brewers, runners on first and second, one out with Pat the Bat up but Burrell whiffs on a Seth McClung fastball.
McClung gets out of it by getting Werth to pop out to center.
Done with six, 5-1 again.
Back from Panera where it must have been teen center night for the townies. Shockingly, the score remains 5-1. Brett Myers, still dominating.
Retires the side in order
We've seen commercials for anti-flaccidity pills, 401k, and we just saw a commercial for the Volcano Taco ad (laxative). It's clear that the target audience of the NLDS is over 65 years old.
Myers having another extended at-bat against Sabathia, pushing the count to 2-2. Sabathia looks frustrated, he should just drill Myers in the dome. Another foul ball. Holy hell, this is painful. Those towels are still stupid.
C.C. Sabathia sucks in the playoffs. He sucked with Cleveland last year and now he is making playoff baseball less interesting than an exhibition NBA game.
J-Roll doesn't hustle on the bases, Wible thought he should have had a triple. Billy Joe Manuel should pull him.
Former Pirate great Dale Sveum comes out to talk to Sabathia. C.C. stays in to face Utley, I'm sure this won't backfire.
"C.C. you later," the ever-clever Brian Eller says.
Sabathia exits with the bases drunk.
I wish that Viagra would have collapsed like AIG and Lehman Brothers. Hopefully all Viagra users are former executives of said companies and lost all their money so that Viagra will no longer make money.
Ryan Howard up with the bases loaded. $20 he'll strike out.
I'm going to run and grab dinner so if you're looking for fifth inning play-by-play, I'm sure the Brewers will go 1-2-3.
Prince Fielder looks like his jersey isn't tucked in at all as he waddles down the first base line. Needless to say, he's out.
You know what are riveting? Pop-ups. Hardy pops out to Howard in foul territory. Like Prince said, this games bores me.
Sunglasses at night gets hit in the arm by Myers. Too bad Counsell is up.
Craig Counsell is awful at baseball.
Victorino's grand slam was the first of his career.
Sabathia falls behind the youngest vice president in Dunder Mifflin history, 2-0, and of course Howard strikes out.
Jayson Werth hits his second straight double off of Sabathia but C.C. is able to get out of the jam by striking out Victorino on a 2-2 count.
More FrankTV ads. I think I'd rather have erectile dysfunction than see another FrankTV ad.
After three, it's still 5-1 Philadelphia.
Cameron pops up to Utley on a 3-1 count, I wonder if the Brewers are giving up on the series.
Myers falls behind 3-1 before getting a generous high strike called on Durham. If you would have told me that Brett Myers would be out-pitching Sabathia, I'd laugh in your face and push you into oncoming traffic. Clearly, I am a moron as Myers whiffs Durham.
1-2-3 inning for Myers.
2.5 PHI 5 MIL 1
First Viagra commercial of the night. How desperate of an actor do you have to be to be in a Viagra commercial. If I saw this whoring tool on the street, I'd point and laugh and yell "THIS GUY HAS ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!"
The preseason hockey game that Ian and I watched on a Finnish TV pirate feed earlier today was more riveting than this baseball game so far.
Pat the Bat flies out to another fellow Thug U member -- TGJBAP Braun.
Jayson Werth looks like he enjoys Jager Bombs and hair gel, just sayin'.
Peter Happy drives in Werth with a double that was just fair. Phillies fans wave white towels around. Hmmm, very creative. 1-1.
Werth doubles and they cut to a shot of Charlie Manuel, who looks like he'd rather be at a NASCAR race. Perhaps Talladega.
Someone had to be a buzzkill in the office and turn down the sound. If I decided to complain, I'm sure the response would be something about working. But when they turn on the debate later, I'm going to turn the sound down. Take that.
Sabathia just walked Brett Myers. Pathetic. Here comes Mike Maddux and his porn stache.
C.C. Sabathia walked the bases loaded, I don't believe what I just saw.
Sorry for the delay, I had to get batteries so I could secretly turn up the TV. Hard to live-blog if you can't hear the TV.
He hit a grand slam. 5-1 Phillies.
Virginia Harrison, our sports editor, said that Chase Utley is the most attractive Philie. Funny, I thought it was Matt Stairs.
5-1 Phils after dos
Senior citizen Craig Counsell leads off against Myers. Counsell hit .228 this year and has an incredibly stupid batting stance, so naturally he should be playing over Bill Hall. He strikes out swinging. When Counsell debuted in 1911 for the St. Louis Browns, check swings mustn't have counted for strikes.
Another offensive hole will likely make an out against Myers. Jason Kendall, whose biggest claim to fame is breaking his ankle on the Three Rivers Stadium turf. He hits it several steps in front of the warning track, where the announcer said "he hit it well." That is partially true, Nicole Richie has more power than Kendall.
Sabathia flies out. He still hit it better than Kendall.
1.5 done. Wisconsin 1, West New Jersey 0.
Frank Caliendo sucks. That's all.
Cy Young takes the hill for the Brewers, we expect him to strike out 27 hitters and hit 6 home runs.
J-Roll grounds out to Hardy. Although this game is on TBS, hearing Harry Kalas call Rollins "J-Roll" is the dumbest and funniest thing I've ever heard.
Victorino up. Not only does he look like a child because he is about 4-foot-6, he wears a double-flapped batting helmet. You can be a big boy Shane and wear just one flap now. Is Larry David one of the color guys? It sounds just like him.
The Flying Hawaiian gets lucky that Brewers' manger Dale Sveum decided to place 38 year-old trash Craig Counsell at third as Victorino hits one off the third base bag. Billy Hall would have made that play. Victorino steals third. Did I mention that Jason Kendall is the Brewers' catcher. The same Jason Kendall who was traded by the Pirates. The same Jason Kendall who has hit nine home runs from 2004-present.
Jesus Sabathia gets Utley swinging, here comes Fire Guy.
C.C. Sabathia makes Walter Johnson look like a Mets reliever as he gets The Temp swinging on a sexy offspeed pitch.
Done with one, still 1-0 Miller Lites.
All right, we're underway. We don't have the sound here in the office, so we can't make fun of John Smoltz and the other two anonymous blokes doing the game.
Lehigh Valley IronPig great Brett Myers starts out with a three-pitch strikeout to "tainted supplement" enthusiast Mike Cameron.
Consistency has always been Myers strongest point -- he follows Cameron by walking Ray Durham, to bring up Ryan Braun.
Now the cussing begins in the office, Brauns hits a ball halfway up the left field wall. Myers will walk the fattest vegetarian in the world, Prince Fielder.
Crowd looks packed again. Do Philadelphians have jobs? Or can you just take off work for mid and late afternoon baseball?
Look at Phillies beat reporters, Brett Myers is imploding. Going 3-0 on Hardy. Ball four. Durham scores. Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee is making a visit in the first inning, I'm surprised Myers hasn't punched him out.
Myers gets lucky. Grounder back to him, goes to Ruiz, who completes the double play by throwing to the Temp.
1-0 Milwaukee after .5 innings.
You are looking live at, uh, my bedroom.
Hello, this is Collegian sports copy editor Brendan Shorts and I'll be handling this baby tonight.
You did read right, I am in my bedroom in my West College Ave. estate. But we'll be switching locations shortly after I take my pre-game nap.
Anyway, philly.com has the lineups for this evening's matchup.
1. Mike Cameron 8
2. Ray Durham 4
3. Ryan Braun 7
4. Prince Fielder 3
5. J.J. Hardy 6
6. Corey Hart 9
7. Craig Counsell 5
8. Jason Kendall 2
9. Cy Young Sabathia 1
1. Jimmy Rollins 6
2. Shane Victorino 8
3. Chase Utley 4
4. The Temp 3
5. Pat Burrell 7
6. Jayson Werth 9
7. Pedro Feliz 5
8. Carlos Ruiz 2
9. Brett Myers 1
Watching the Rays-White Sox game right now makes me want to poke my eyes out. There's a water tank in right center field. Perhaps it contains devil rays. Despite the Rays leading, the former hockey arena that they play in is pretty silent, because the fans are bandwagoners.
The White Sox have A.J. Pierzynski has dyed his hair platinum blonde. Apparently it's 2000 again. Also, Juan Uribe has a blond goatee. It looks as though he acquired his facial hair in the same manner that Cartman acquired some, uh, hair in the Scott Tenorman Must Die episode.
We'll be back when the game starts.
October 2, 2008 at 12:14 PM
Hahaha, Jokerit pulled the goalie with multiple seconds left in the game. Pascal Dupuis manages to not lose control of the puck and pound it into the empty net. 4-1 Pens.
Game over: 4-1 Pens
We'll be back on Saturday for the season opener against Ottawa. Hopefully we'll get to see some hot Dan Potash action.
Janne Pesonen, our favorite player, has shined in place of Petr Sykora. We wish he wore the gold helmet that he donned when he was pillaging the Finnish Elite League.
In the background, the arena was playing The Final Countdown by Europe, which is played in the States ironically because the song sucks and Europe is the ultimate cheesy Swedish rock group. There, it must be considered the greatest rock song of all time.
Fedotenko nearly scored on a nice pass from Crosby, but all he seems to have accomplished is debilitating the Jokerit goalie.
Some weird sounds coming from this feed. In case we didn't tell you, this feed is basically some dude in Finland pointing a web cam at his TV. His TV appears to be nice, though. But there is background noise, which kind of sound like they're coming from monsters.
Kennedy puts a one-timer from the slot off the rush past the Jokerit netkeeper. Pesonen floated the pass into the slot for TK.
Goligoski just made a nice play on a Jokerit player coming down the wing trying to cut to the center. Very reminiscent of the type of play that Scuderi allows the guy to come through on a breakaway on a regular basis.
Another Pens power play: Satan, Malkin, Crosby, Staal and maybe Goligoski out there.
Thanks to the posters at HFBoards.com, we were able to find an alternate feed, albeit very choppy and distorted but it's still a feed.
Well, the Internet stream is currently down. But we have received word from Finland that Janne Lahti scored for Jokerit on a penalty shot to make it 2-1. Supposedly, Brooks Orpik hooked Lahti, preventing him from having a breakaway.
The Pens don't score on the power play and the second period ends shortly thereafter. It's time for more creepy Finnish TV ads and hopefully another interview conducted in broken English. 2-0 Pens.
Power play: Letang, Malkin, Crosby, Satan and Staal after Jeff Taffe was tripped up, I believe. Malkin replaces Gonchar at the top of the umbrella.
Feel free to shoot either Shorts or myself any questions you've got about the game, and we can try to answer them on here.
Tyler Kennedy, skating between Matt Cooke and Pascal Dupuis, looks comfortable at center and seems to be one of the fastest players on the ice.
Jokerit's uniform is littered with ads. It makes us think -- if the Pens had to have ads on their jerseys, what ads would they have? For starters, King's Family Restaurants, Iron City Beer, Tony's Got It, #1 Cochran and 262-Ninety Tweeeeennnnnnttttyyyyy.
Apparently this is the Jatkuu TV Network, that's what the screen had plastered all over it going to commercial break.
Staal, Malkin, Gill and Scuderi are the first penalty-killing unit for the second time this game. We heard about Malkin's penalty-killing ability a lot before he came over, but this is the first time he's done it regularly for the Pens. Him and Staal make life very difficult for opposing defensemen with all that reach.
Sidney takes a tripping penalty behind his own net. Looks like his stick just got caught under the Jokerit player's skate.
It's Brooks with the "A". Well-deserved, we say.
A couple of things to note: Malkin is wearing an "A" and the other one, we think, is being worn by Brooks Orpik or Rob Scuderi. Also, the station has this black and white ad with this creepy bald dude just standing there, eyes open. It's like we're watching Headbanger's Ball on MTV or something.
Fourth line of Godard and Bissonette centered by Taffe out there now. Take that as you will, but it's likely an indication that scratched Bill Thomas will be the last cut after today's game.
So far, Janne Pesonen has been playing on a line with Malkin and Staal, and looking more at home there than he did on the fourth line. I wouldn't put him above Sykora on the depth chart just yet, but it's good to know that he could probably step in for the consistently inconsistent sniper.
I think they said Olli Jokinen.
The second period is underway and we're not sure what language we're listening to. It's either Swedish or Finnish but the channel did do an interview with Sidney Crosby in English. It's good to know that Sid is as boring in interviews overseas as he is in Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Penguins finish up their preseason today with a game against Finnish Elite League team Jokerit in Helsinki, Finland. Collegian sports copy editor Brendan Shorts and Web editor Ian Brown here to take you through second and third periods.
The score after one is 2-0, Pens. Malkin buried a one-timer from Goligoski on the powerplay, hopefully something that happens a lot with Gonchar and Whitney both out. Fedotenko also potted a short-side one timer from the right circle after a nifty behind-the-back between-the-legs Crosby pass.
October 1, 2008 at 2:38 PM
Final Phillies 3 Brewers 1
WP: Cole Hamels (1-0)
LP: Yovani Gallardo (0-1)
SV: Brad Lidge (1)
2-2 to Hart. 2 out. Struck him out. First postseason victory since 1993.
Cory Hart up. Ball gets away from Ruiz, runners move up to second and third.
J.J. Hardy up, we'll see if the 7 on his jersey is lucky. The way he's swinging, it doesn't look like it.
3-1 to Hardy, lots of folks rubbin palms together... BB for Hardy.
Prince waddles in, looks at two pitches. 1-1 count. Shawinnnng and a miss! 1-2, crowd coming alive.
And, here's the second mound visit to Lidge.
Full count. It's gettin tense in here. Chain dangling, Prince goes down swinging. One out left, tying run still on second.
Top of the Ninth Phillies 3 Brewers 1 1 out
WIth the Prince waiting on deck, Ryan Braun steps in. Philadelphia breathes in a collective sigh of relief as Braun goes deep in foul territory.
2-2 to Braun, Lidge throws some chin music.
Ok, full count. Braun rips it down the first base line. One run scores.
And, here's the Prince.
"Ryan Braun, the greatest Jewish baseball player playing currently" - Brendan Shorts
Ray Durham steps in. Lidge has him 1-2, rally-towels waving fast then......... smack!
base hit to right-center field.
Lidge, Mr. 41-for-41, gets two quick strikes on Mike Cameron, make that three. one down, two to go.
Bottom of the Eighth Phillies 3 Brewers 0
Ryno dodging the foul ball from Pedro. Dude's agile. Broken bat pop up to shallow centerfield for Feliz. Inning over. Phils three outs from going up 1-0 in the best-of-five series.
"He's the antithesis of a top prospect" - Brendan Shorts on O's failed prospect Brandon Fahey.
The flyin' Hawaiian beats put a possible double play. Ryno to third.
Pitching change for the Brew Crew. Guillermo Mota. Mota used to take steroids.
Whooooosh! Victorina steals second uncontested. Two men in scoring position.
Bottom of the eighth, Chase Utley at the dish. Counsell swallows up the ground ball, one away.
In steps Ryno, and on four straight pitches trots 90 ft. to first. No small talk with Prince, this is the playoffs.
Next batter, Bruntlett hits a ball up the midde. J.J. Hardy can't field it cleanly, two on, one out.
Lidge is up and throwing.
3-2 the count to Kendall, with one out in the 8th...
and yet AGAIN as I type this Hamels strikes out another. Maybe I'm the good luck charm Phillies fans. Or maybe not.
K Count: 9
Counsell has grounded out to third to end the inning, and Hamels walked off the mound like it was nothing, with a backdrop of cheers from the Philly crowd.
Hamels is in the eighth, and hopefully the Phils will let him go for the complete game.
On another note, there seems to be an argument in here which is fuming. Who is the better looking Phillie?
Cole Hamels or Chase Utley? Send me your vote to email@example.com
End of the 7th, Phillies 3, Brewers 0
Cole Hamels at the plate to start the bottom of the seventh. As expected he strikes out, but unless you haven't been watching, I'd say he gets a pass for his performance on the mound. Hamels took a 1-2 curve ball in the dirt and swung rightttt through it.
Back around to the top for the Phils, with Rollins AKA the ugliest man on the Phillies up to bat. Rollins is 1-3 on the day, and currently has Villanueva at a 2-2 count. Rollins goes down swinging on yet another low curveball. It looks like the Phils are just trying to get through this game with the 3-0 lead. An OK strategy, but with the power this Brewers lineup has, despite the performance of Hamels, this game is not over.
Vilanueva struck out the side in the seventh, and now the Phils are just six outs away from their first playoff win in 15 years. Will we see Hamels in the eighth?
Middle of the 7th, Phillies 3, Brewers 0
Nicee snag by Ryan Howard along the first base line to get Prince Fielder for the first out of the seventh inning. I'll admit I was a little taken back to look up and see a close-up picture of Jimmy Rollins. Man, that's an ugly dude, but one hell of a ball player.
Hardy and Hart apparently were just so excited to get the seventh-inning stretch started they felt the need to swing at the first couple of pitches, Hardy grounding out to third, and Hart flying out to center.
Now get up and stretch, baseball fans. No seriously, get up. Now.
"What person watches this commerical and thinks that Viagra will prevent H.I.V.?" - Terry Casey on Viagra
End of the sixth, Phillies 3, Brewers 0
Two fly-outs and a groundout for the Phillies in the bottom of the fifth, and we head to the sixth. To be honest, I completely wasn't paying attention for this half of the inning, so this will be the shortest post. Sorry, I was distracted.
Middle of the 6th, Phillies 3, Brewers 0
That's No. 7 for Mr. Hamels, who by popular opinion, is the best looking player on the Phillies. Jason Kendall is the latest victim of Hamels' curveball, and the right-hander is goin strong.
K Count: 7
Craig Counsell comes in to bat for the Brewers in the ninth spot, and gets just the second hit for the Brewers on the night.
With Mike Cameron at the plate, it's just the second time a Milwaukee has a baserunner. Hamels is continuing to throw inside, but the home plate umpire seems to be giving the Phils a slight edge in the calls. Some of these pitches are way inside, yet he's giving them the benefit of the doubt. Ah, well. Despite some "questionable" calls, Cameron walks on a fastball gone a bit outside, to give the Brewers two baserunners. Congrats, Milwaukee!
It's scary to think, Phillies fans, but one swing of the bat from Bill Hall here, and the game could be tied...
And again as I type this Hall goes down swinging for victim No. 8.
K Count: 8
Phew. Hamels gets out of his biggest jam of the game, getting Ryan Braun to pop out to short to end the inning. Braun leaves Cameron and Counsell stranded on the bases, and as we head to the bottom of the sixth, the Phillies hold on to their three-run lead.
Just for the record, I'm taking the Phillies in four for this one. Call me a bandwagoner, but C.C. Sabathia is the real deal. As long as his arm doesn't literally fall off when he pitches, I think the Brewers will be able to steal that one.
End of the 5th, Phillies 3, Brewers 0
Annnd points for this blogger again. Starter Yovani Gallardo has been pulled, and now reliever Mitch Stetter will step in and try to turn this game around for the Brew Crew.
Gallardo's final stats: 4.0 IP, 75 pitches, 3 hits, 5 walks, 3 K's
Chase Utley leads things off for Philadelphia in the bottom half of the fifth, and after six pitches has grounded out to third.
Slugger Ryan Howard comes up to bat, and I'd bet theres a good chance he'll either strikeout or hit a dinger. Any takers on a K? That's what I'm going with...
Ahh, sometimes I'm so good. Howard goes down swinging for the second out, and that's all for pitcher Stetter. Now Carlos Villanueva comes in to try and end the inning.
"Gone!!!!" - Nate Mink, writer for the Collegian after Burrell's dismal hit to left field. Way to go, Mink. Way to go.
Burrell's "potentially gone" blast falls right into the glove of Ryan Braun, and the Brewers are out of the inning.
Awesome Score: Me, 1, Mink, 0.
Middle of the 5th, Phillies 3, Brewers 0
Prince Fielder steps to the plate to start the 5th. Fielder is 0-1 today, and appears to have consumed 12 hotdogs since his last at-bat. After taking Hamels to a full count, Prince went down swinging on a B-E-A-Utiful curve ball by Hamels. Go eat some more hotdogs, Prince. You know you want to.
K Count: 5
J.J. Hardy comes to the plate now, and is personally my favorite Brewer. He helped carry my fantasy baseball team to the championship round, where sadly I lost because Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano is as inconsistent as the weather here in State College. Hardy grounded out to shortstop for the second out, and nearing the halfway point in this game, it's clear who the MVP of the game has been.
And of course as I say that, Hamels' perfect game bid ends with a single to right field by Corey Hart. I'll bite my tounge.
Now with Hart at first, Rickie Weeks steps up to try and get his team on the scoreboard. Weeks has dug himself into a 0-2 count, and nearly chased after a breaking ball to end the inning.
Anddd strikeout number six for Hamels, as Weeks goes down looking. So, despite allowing the first runner of the game for the Brewers, Hamels keeps the heat on the visitors, and heads to the sixth with very good chances at getting the win.
K Count: 6
End of the 4th, Phillies 3, Brewers 0
A not-so-exciting half of the inning for the Phils to close out the fourth. Ruiz popped out on a bunt to the pitcher, and Hamels struck out swinging for two quick outs. Rollins did single to left, and mustache-man Mike Maddox made his way back to the mound, most likely to tell Gallardo that he needs to grow a cool 'stache like his boss.
Let's head to the 5th
Bottom of the 4th, Phillies 3, Brewers 0
Easy as pie for Hamels in the top of the 4th. Mmmm, pie. Hamels is on fire right now. He's thrown 44 pitches through four innings, and his command is undeniable right now if you're a Brewers fan.
My bet is Gallardo does not last more than two more innings. Let's see if I get the chance to gloat.
Top of the 4th, Phillies 3, Brewers 0
It looks like Gallardo has started to come undone. A bases loaded walk to Victorino gave the Phils a 3-0 lead, but Pedro Feliz flied out to center to end the threat.
The Brewers have action in the bullpen, and rightfully so. Gallardo has thrown 61 pitches through three innings, and his five walks have the Phils thinking big.
The office is now beginning to get crowded, and people keep watching me type. It's a bit creepy.
Bottom of the 3rd, Phillies 2, Brewers 0
And leave it to catcher Carlos Ruiz to break Gallardo's effort for a no-hitter. My money was on the next guy, Cole Hamels, who as I am typing laid down a bunt to advance Ruiz. But a sloppy throw to first base has Hamels safe at first and Ruiz safe at second.
Once around the lineup for the Phillies and Rollins steps back up to the plate. Rollins is 0-1 on the day. After just a few pitches, the shortstop flied out to left. Ruiz and Hamels are still at second and first, respectively.
Jayson Werth needs to be yelled at for that swing. A high fastball wayy out of the strike zone still fooled Werth as he chased it for Gallardo's second strikeout.
Chase Utley steps up to the plate, and will try to send at least Ruiz around to grab the lead.
TBS just showed the stats for Howard, Utley, and Rollins in the NLDS against the Rockies last season. Let's just say, it wasn't pretty. They were as bad as I was against Tom Owens' kids during a summer softball game (this blogger just realized that noone knows who Tom Owens is, but for those who do, you know what's up).
Double to centerfield! Chase Utley delivers with a shot to center, and with the help of centerfielder Mike Cameron, brings home both Ruiz and Hamels for a two-run lead.
Good eye by Pat Burrell there, and with Gallardo's fourth walk of the game, the Phils have the bases loaded. Victorino steps to the plate to try and add on to the tally.
"That's a good mustache" -Terry Casey, on Brewers manager Mike Maddox' mustache
Bottom of the 3rd, Phillies 0, Brewers 0
Rickie Weeks kicks things off for the Brewers. The second baseman took a curve ball that fell into the dirt for Hamels' fourth strikeout of the game.
K count: 4
Just to prove the point that I'm not as smart as I look, fans at the ballpark are now beginning to use those Rally Towels to keep from the rain. I guess it would be weird to try and do the same with a thunderstick.
Back-to-back flyouts from catcher Jason Kendall and pitcher Gallardo, and the Phillies and Brewers head to the bottom of the third with a scoreless tie.
Another beef I have with Phillies fans. What's the the 27 different styles of hat? I realize the "P" can only be designed so many ways, but come on! You're flirting dangerously close with the number of Yankees and Red Sox hats. That's a crime.
Top of the 3rd, Phillies 0, Brewers 0
Well Gallardo's perfect game bid is gone now, after slugger Ryan Howard walked. That's a nice change from his go-to stirkeout or homerun.
But the first sign of life from either team was ended quickly when Pat "the bat" Burrell grounded into a double play.
Shane Victorino has walked to extend the inning. Man, two walks by Gallardo?? Man, get him out of there.
On a weather note, it appears to be raining at Citizens Bank Park. That means both teams will have to keep the ball on the ground to try and get some points. No wait, sorry, wrong sport.
Bottom of the 2nd, Phillies 0, Brewers 0
Swinggg and a miss! That's a direct quote from my editor in chief behind me, who is an avid Phillies fan. Although he drinks way too much coffee, I think.
Prince Fielder led things off for the Brew Crew, and went down swinging for out number one.
K count: 3
David Aldridge as an on-the-field reporter? Man, that's sad they couldn't actually get an MLB expert to cover this game.
Both J.J Hardy and Corey Hart fell to end the top of the second.
Top of the 2nd, Phillies 0, Brewers 0
Jimmy Rollins led things off for the home team. Rollins chops a grounder to second, and Rickie Weeks makes a diving stop to get the speedster out at first. As expected, Gallardo has been tossing his fastball, which is hovering around 95 mph.
Jayson Werth is victim number one for the Phils. Werth made contact, but struck out on a foul tip.
Chase Utley couldn't quite get the magic going, as he shot a liner to first base, which was scooped up by Prince Fielder. As we head to the second, I don't wanna jinx anything, but both teams have no-hitters going. Shhhh.
Bottom of the first, Phillies 0, Brewers, 0
Mike Cameron led things off for the Brewers, and though he ended up going down on a breaking ball, did do his job of getting Philly starter Cole Hamels to begin to reveal his arsenal. Cameron took Hamels to a 3-2 count, then went down swinging for out one.
K count: 1
Bill Hall made contact off of Hamels, but the ball popped up into the out field where shortstop Jimmy Rollins brought it in.
And another one goes down swinging! Left fielder Ryan Braun swung at a 1-2 pitch to Hamels, as the left-hander retires the side.
K count: 2
A few pre-game notes:
Pitcher John Smoltz is in the booth today. He's got a nice beard going, but as far his analysis, I'm just glad I can still see that mug with the T.V. muted.
Also, let me just state for the record that these so-called "Rally Towels" are stupid. I much prefer the thundersticks the Angels used to guide them to the 2002 crown. After all, it's a lot more fun to hit the drunk guy who's working on his sixth Michelob Ultra of the game with a thunderstick rather than a towel. But that's just me.
As far as updates readers, we'll be providing you with updates every half-inning, as well as any scoring plays, and of course, other things of interest. I'm glad you've decided to pick my blog. Seriously, I'm honored.
Stating lineups, pitching matchup
Here's a look at the starting lineups for both teams...
Mike Cameron, CF
Bill Hall, 3B
Ryan Braun, LF
Prince Fielder, 1B
J.J. Hardy, SS
Corey Hart, RF
Rickie Weeks, 2B
Jason Kendall, C
Yovani Gallardo, P
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Jayson Werth, RF
Chase Utley, 2B
Ryan Howard, 1B
Pat Burrell, LF
Shane Victorino, CF
Pedro Feliz, 3B
Carlos Ruiz, C
Cole Hamels, P
Now to the pitching matchup....
For the Brewers, they'll send out the righthander Yovani Gallardo. This guy is so good, he's undefeated this year. But then again, so am I. Gallardo has a record of 0-0, and has only pitched in 24 innings this season. While he does sport a 1.88 ERA, the Phillies' bats will test his young arm. He hasn't thrown enough to know exactly what his "go-to pitch" is, but look for him to bring an array of fastballs and curveballs to start the game.
For those fightin' Phils, the left-handed Cole Hamels will get the start. Hamels is 14-10 this season, with 3.09 ERA, and finished with just less than 200 strikeouts (196). Most die-hard Phillies fans already know, but for those who don't, expect to see Hamels toss out his changeup frequently, but also bring the heat with his fastball.
As for who has the advantage, it's easy to say Hamels right now, seeing as how most of the baseball world hasn't seen this Gallardo fella. But, that could mean this young pitcher has something to prove. Will it be today???
I'll be back in a few with some pre-game observations.
It's a great day for baseball........LET'S PLAY TWO!
Well actually the 2008 Major League Baseball playoffs kicks off with three games today, but whatever. That expression is still awesome.
Welcome, readers to the Daily Collegian's live blog of the Philadelphia Phillies' game against the Milwaukee Brewers. I'm Brian Eller, coming at you from the basement of the James Building here in State College, and I'll be your guide, along with a few other C-list celebrities(essentially the avid Phillies fans that happen to be down here at the time) to keep you updated on today's matchup.
It's Game 1 of one of two National League Division Series', and the NL East Division Champion Phillies will kick it off as they host the NL wildcard winners, the Milwaukee Brewers. Back at ya in a few with starting lineups, and an inside look at today's pitching matchup...