Phillies 8, Dodgers 6: We’ve taken your National League division champions and secretly replaced them with the Red Sox and Yankees! Let’s see if anyone notices! Four hours+. Lots of homers. Not my kind of game, but I suppose the Phillies will take it. I had thought that Kershaw would be sharp and Hamels not so much, but I was only half right. Both starters struggled, with such struggles aided by what looked to my untrained eye as a really poor effort by home plate umpire Randy Marsh. Kershaw later said that he “failed to make adjustments” throughout the night. It wasn’t the lack of adjustments to Phillies hitters that seemed to be the problem, though. It was the adjustments he tried to make to Marsh not giving him anything low in the strike zone. He turned to overthrowing and seemed to get frustrated. More experienced pitchers would have probably stayed with their game and kept trying to drop that backdoor pitch down low until Marsh finally started calling it. If he did call it: great. If not? Well, at least you’re not getting shelled for five runs and throwing three wild pitches.
But ultimately this game didn’t turn on the umps. It did turn on the strike zone, though. As in George Sherill’s inability to find it against Howard and Werth. The fastball he subsequently threw to Ibanez was a get-me-over pitch, right? I mean, otherwise, a lefty doesn’t connect against him like that, true?
In light of last night, Game 2 brings a great chance to make Torre look like the goat of the NLCS. The youngin’ in which he placed his trust for Game 1 got beat up. If the lighting-in-a-bottle veteran for Game 2 reverts to Padillistic form, the story of the offday will be how L.A. managed to all but lose the NLCS without Randy Wolf, Kuroda or Billinglsey even throwing a pitch yet, seeing as though they were the dudes who staked them to a big lead back in the spring. I’m not saying it’s a fair storyline — I liked the Kershaw call — but it’ll be out there.