World Series: Phillies Right on Schedule

The Phillies have started the World Series just like they started every non-Wild Card series with a split on the road, winning game 1 and losing game 2. The Phillies made the big comeback in game 1. They were able to do so because Dusty Baker left Justin Verlander in the game too long. This is not the regular season. If you have a 5 run lead and your starting pitcher is getting racked in the 4th inning, it’s time to make a move, even though he was dominant he was in the first 3 innings. The first 6 batters in the top of the 4th all hit the ball hard and the Astros were just lucky to get the second out. Verlander probably should not have come out for the 5th inning, but even if you want to give Baker the benefit of the doubt on that, the leadoff double should have been the knockout punch. Instead Verlander was left in the game to surrender the tying runs, and even finish the inning. For Houston, game 1 loss was due to poor managing. Game 2 was a typical Phillies loss where poor defense was a contributing factor. The Phillies made it interesting and if Kyle Schwarber hits a ball 6 inches to the left or about 3 feet farther, the Phillies would have been within 2 runs going into the 9th.

The Phillies will be at home for the next 3 games and in my view, it will be essential for them to win at least 2 of the games to have any chance of winning this series. I think their pitching staff is set up better than the Astros and that may make a difference. They have had bad games at the plate before and seem to be able to shake it off. It will be interesting to see if the Phillies can get right back on track with the home field advantage. It would seem very unlikely that they will sweep this Astro team, as they have in the previous two series. I think one of the key players for the Phillies will be Rhys Hoskins, not only with the bat but also on the field. He can be a real streaky hitter, but his defense leaves a lot to be desired. Another player who disappointed during the season but seems to be perking up a little bit in the post season is Nick Castellanos. He had one of hist worst seasons at the plate, but he has gotten a hit in 5 of the last 6 games and made the sliding catch in right field that kept the Astros from winning game 1, on 2 putrid bloops. Last, but certainly not least, the Phillies have to get better starting pitching. Nola and Wheeler both disappointed in the first 2 games. The good news is the Phillies won one of those games. That will be the game to remember, game 1, if the Phillies go on to win the series and beat the cheating Astholes, I mean Astros.

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