Oct 21, 2009

Closeout Wednesday

Tonight Cole Hamels will attempt to close out the NLCS for the Phillies and give them an opportunity to defend their 2008 World Series Championship.... Does this worry anyone else but me. Cole is a mental liability and has looked terrible in his last two outings. Luckily enough the Philadelphia bullpen has had some time to recoup but if the phillies are to win this game they need to do three things.

1. Play Small ball
If the Phillies can manufacture runs by getting men on base and working counts it will help. They are facing Vicente Padilla, who does not do well when he is stretched into counts and goes into the mid 90's overall when it comes to pitch count. Get to him fast and early, get foul balls and work "Flortilla" until he makes an early departure and then they can breeze.

2. Ryan Howard

In case you haven't noticed he is the most important man is baseball right now. He has the hottest bat and has really been the strongest rallying cry for this team and this series. If Ryan Howard can come out strong and get some early hits it will help. What has been really beneficial is how Ryan has altered his batting stance. Yes he still has the low crouch but he has lessened the swoop on his swing and has been swinging for doubles (or on occasion legging out triples). A-Rod who... this is Ryan Howards stage and its his time to shine.

3. Carlos Ruiz

I am not talking about his bad (which has been really important so far) I am talking about the way he is working towards an overall game manager. The pitchers trust him and he knows what he is doing. Let him work with Cole and take all the decision making out of his head. Chooch has been the strongest defensive player so far this season and doesn't get the credit he really deserves.

If the Phillies can do all of these things this game will be done early and we will be waiting in the wings to see if the Yankees can get some more calls so we can meet them in the World Series. Best of luck phills and Philadelphians please don't start a huge riot. We should save that for a few weeks.

post to come after the game.


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