There’s an old sports saying that goes something like this:
The series doesn’t start until the home team loses for the first time.
If that’s true, this could be one of those series where the home team wins every game. Or, the series could truly begin on Sunday night if the Phillies take care of business at Dodger Stadium with the chance to go for the sweep on Monday.
A Phillies sweep to go to the World Series? Really? What world are we living in? Does gas still cost more than $3 per gallon?
Did I just jinx it?
Anyway, Brett Myers gave back a run on a two-out single by James Loney. As is the case with just about everything in baseball, it wasn’t the hit that hurt Myers the most, it was the two-out walk to Andre Ethier and the one-out walk to Russell Martin.
Oh, those bases on balls…
Myers nearly waded into the mess up to his knees after Greg Dobbs booted a grounder with two outs to load the bases. After that, the pitcher got out of the inning with a strikeout on Blake Dewitt in which Myers seemed to throw nothing but curves.
As we all remember all too well, Myers got into the most trouble when he got away from his fastball and leaned on the deuce too much.
For one reason or another, Billingsley just seems to be finding trouble for himself. Pat Burrell laced the first pitch of the inning to left for a single before Jayson Werth lined an 0-2 pitch into the corner in left for a double. An intentional walk to Greg Dobbs to load the bases set up a force at the plate on a soft grounder hit by Carlos Ruiz.
That made it look as if Billingsley could wiggle out of it or, at the very least, that manager Joe Torre was going to bring in a reliever after the intentional walk. With Myers heading to the plate with one out and the bases loaded, it looked like an easy second out as well as the light at the end of the tunnel.
After all, why would Myers go to the plate looking to swing the bat. He has six hits going back to the 2004 season and once was told to go to the plate and leave the bat on his shoulder. Certainly in this situation – bases loaded and one out in a playoff game – Myers would be told to stand there and take pitches simply to avoid hitting into a double play.
But that would be too easy. It also would make sense.
Myers swung at the first pitch and hit one that rolled with all of the alacrity in which Burrell or Myers run the bases. The hit was slow and sloppy, which means in some weird sense it was perfect.
It also opened up this game as if it was a 10-pound trout with its tanned belly glistening in the sun. Myers’ ugly single sent two more runs scurrying home and also provided the impetus for us to watch the big pitcher go from first to home on Shane Victorino’s two-out triple.
Billingsley struck out four of the first six hitters he faced, but wasn’t around it to get four more outs.
2 1/3 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 5 K – 59 pitches, 36 strikes.
I hope this game ends in time for me to catch my flight tomorrow morning.
End of 3: Phillies 8, Dodgers 2