This is not about stats or WAR or RISP or LSMFT or AEIOU or whatever alphabet soup is out there in the blogosphere. My tiny brain can’t fathom all these numbers and my instinct says that they don’t really play a part in my thought processes anyway.
Actually, it would hard to pinpoint what actually DOES play a part in any of my thought processes.
However, the lack of baseball math acumen does NOT preclude me from some deep observations. Here they come, get your wading boots on.
Last nights game is the kind I hate the most, a close score. Almost just isn’t good enough, not in the NLCS. I’d rather have lost 4-0, because that score means that one team was markedly better than the other.
4-3 means that the game was there for the taking, and we didn’t grab and stuff our pockets.
It has nothing to do with Raul misplaying Pat Burrell’s double (though I did flash back to Greg Luzinski misplaying the ball in the 8th Inning in the 1978 playoffs with the Dodgers) or with the ump seeming to squeeze the strike zone just before it. It has nothing to do with any one action, because the Phillies have the power to overcome any one action.
However, they need to overcome themselves.
I love Chooch. I think the way he has handled this pitching staff has been nothing short of spectacular. His drive and determination is wonderful. He is my team MVP, and I am not joking.
However, when your most consistent player comes out of the 8 hole right now, that is a problem. You will not win this series with an upside-down batting order.
This team is capable of producing terrorizing results at the plate. They’ve done that with the help of some very shoddy defense on the part of the opposing team recently (miss you, Jay Bruce)
However, this team is also capable of producing that terror through their own bats, not with the help of others. Freaky, aka Timmy Lincecum was not spectacular, not in the least. He was ripe for the taking last night. Most batters did not try to take him. Wasting men on base (how many man on 2nd, no out situations that score no runs can we live through?).
Halladay definitely had a bad game, and you could see the frustration in the trouble Chooch had with some of his pitches. That is passion, and while I hope it doesn’t get out of control, I’d rather see his passion than the looks on some Phillies faces right now as they walk back to the bench after striking out (again).
This team needs production from the top of the order. Chooch getting home runs is so sweet, but that should be the icing in the cake, not the primary source of run production (and solo run production at that, since no one is on base ahead of him). You listening, Jimmy Rollins?
I’m definitely not in panic mode. If Halladay is going to have a bad game (and he will) , I’d rather it be the first game than the 4th or 5th when you are in either “taking command” mode or on “survival” mode. That was not the story of last nights game.
Nor was it the crowd, who needs to be juiced all the way through, but seemed to ebb and flow too much. Whether it is true or just an old baseball wives’ tale, the adrenaline from a pumped up crowd really does play into on-field performance. It is atmosphere, and atmosphere affects not only the home team, but annoys and disorients the opposition.
Geoff, the kid who played that gorgeous rendition of GOD BLESS AMERICA, gets it. Get out there and do your best on your own. I hope the Phillies realize that these games need to be won by them, not lost by the other team.
You can read the game summaries elsewhere. This is my own psyche summary. You don’t write these things if you don’t believe in what you are writing about.
I believe in the Phillies and believe we still move onto the World Series. However, I base this belief on what this team can do, not what other teams may give them. Luck is for lotteries. Playoff ball is won by those who accomplish.