The Chad Billingsley of the NLDS Game 2 fails to arrive in Philly for this second game
Ben, Brian, everyone-- Ah, baseball, it is a fickle mistress, fer sure. (Can an “it” be a mistress? Just asking that question kinda freaks me out.) And that's part of what's fun and fascinating about it, I think. (Not the freaking out part.) While I was prepping at the end of the school day on Friday, my supervising teacher and I turned on Game 2 in her room just in time to see the Dodgers go from two down (4-2) to six down (8-2). Oof. In the time it took my daughters and me to walk home, the Dodgers were back in it thanks to Manny's three-run blast. But despite two very close calls from Casey Blake and Nomar Garciaparra it was just not to be-- Blake's long center field out might have been a homer in Dodger Stadium, or if he'd it anywhere other than the deepest part of Citizen's Bank Park, and the score would have been tied; and Nomar could have tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with one of the patented dramatic knocks he comes up with every so often, but instead he whiffed. Final: 8-5 Phillies.
A three-run differential numerically accounted for, as you intimated, Ben, by Brett Myers' (I'll say it) unusual performance with the bat. On the mound he was as I expected-- solid, but vulnerable, and even Lidge allowed men on base that had Philly fans very nervous a couple of times down the stretch. But, geez, Myers gets one hit all year, and then suddenly turns into C.C. Sabbathia at the plate and gets three hits for three RBI? What the hell?! Now, that's a clutch performance. Nice job, Brett. I'll give Philadelphia all the credit in the world for making this an exciting series from a pure baseball standpoint-- two hard-fought and relatively close games so far, and though I'd prefer it were 1-1, there's little choice but to take the 2-0 disadvantage and expect better given that the teams are now on their way back to Los Angeles. The Dodgers don’t look weak-kneed, so there's no reason t think they will go quietly, if at all, on their home field. And yes, I will be there on Wednesday to cheer them on.
For the deep thinking about the series so far, it’s hard to beat Jon Weisman’s analysis—he’s a Dodger fan, but he’s not a wild-eyed homer. (I'm looking at you, Rex Hudler.) He’s willing to take the hard look while letting his passion for the team come through, and he always has excellent conversations with his readers too. No better place, I think, to stay in tune with what’s happening in the NLCS than Dodger Thoughts, if you’re a Dodger fan, that is. (Jon is taking a break after Game 2, but keep an eye on those comments—there’s only about 1,200 of them since Game 1.)
Huge game on Sunday. Hope it’s another great game of baseball, and a lot more fun than the first have been. Go, Blue!