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Phillies’ bats explode in 11-6 Game 1 victory over Cardinals

Oct 1, 2011, 8:25 PM EDT

St Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies - Game 1 Getty Images

If you want to beat Roy Halladay, you have to get to him early. That’s the common thought around baseball and it’s backed by the statisctics.

The Cards followed that strategy to near-perfection in the early going, plating three runs in the top of the first inning courtesy of a Lance Berkman home run.

But the St. Louis bats quickly went silent and the Phillies were able to rally in a major way against starter Kyle Lohse and the Redbirds’ bullpen.

Jimmy Rollins went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and Chase Utley went 3-for-5 with three runs scored. Hunter Pence drove in two runs, Raul Ibanez drove in three, and Ryan Howard drove in four.

The Phillies, baseball’s best team during the regular season, grabbed a convincing 11-6 Game 1 victory.

Notes

* The leadoff batter reached base both times Halladay faced St. Louis during the regular season. Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal continued that trend on Saturday evening in Philadelphia, and Berkman made Doc pay with a massive three-run homer to open the game’s scoring.

* Lohse followed a six-pitch first inning with a six-pitch second inning. Then needed only 11 pitches to get through the third. The Phillies appeared to be pressing early on, and the Citizens Bank Park jumbotron was broadcasting motivational movie scenes (Hoosiers, Varsity Blues, etc.) from the start.

* Philadelphia found life in the bottom of the fourth, when Utley missed a home run to right field by about two feet. He wound up with a double and came around to score a few batters later when Cardinals third baseman David Freese mishandled a pop-up in foul territory and Victorino singled to left field.

* Howard turned on a hanging changeup from Lohse with two runners on in the sixth inning to put the Phillies up 4-3. The shot sent a charge through Citizens Bank Park, which had been muted to some degree since Berkman’s three-run first-inning blast. Raul Ibanez made the roar even more audible when he ripped a two-run shot into the right field stands a few minutes later to give Philly a 6-3 lead.

* After Berkman’s homer, Halladay retired 23 of the next 24 batters he faced. And 21 batters in a row. Only two balls left the infield.

* The Cardinals scored three runs on five hits in the top of the ninth, after Halladay was removed.

* Matt Holliday was able to pinch-hit late in the defeat, suggesting he might be ready to return to starting left field duties in either Game 2 or Game 3 of this five-game series.

* Game 2 is scheduled for Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET. Cliff Lee will face Chris Carpenter.

  1. halladaysbiceps - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    I posted my thoughts in the Phillies-Cards lineup thread, but that forum seems dead.

    The Phillies take game 1. Expected and exciting. Howard, Raul and Utley were beasts. The Cards didn’t stand a chance. Doc was an animal after the first inning. As the game went on, Doc pitched more and more pissed off.

    Stutes in the 9th looked like he was going to do a number 2 in his pants. Luckily, he got his first playoff appearance out of his system.

    Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to game 2 we go. Cliff Lee, Cliff Lee, Cliff Lee, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho!

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    There can be nothing better than Ryan Howard hitting the game winning bomb. Nothing. For all the haters and all the negativity about the big man, he showed tonight why he is worth every penny of the $25 million a year he will be getting for the next 5 years. It isn’t for his OBP or how many singles he hits. It’s for times like those, when the crowd is roaring and the pitchers is shitting in his pants. He doesn’t just hit right-handers…he abuses them. Goodbye St. Louis. Thanks for coming out.

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:41 PM

      Hahahahahaha!!! Mr. Lucky is a Cards abuser, always has been throughout his career. Mr. Lucky started the abuse, and it was continued by the rest of the lineup. And Mr. Overrated, in his first playoff game, did what he had to do, driving in a couple of runs. St. Louis fans were probably all cocky after the first 5 innings, too.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:45 PM

        Well, I said it in the other thread, but Lohse retired them 9 up and 9 down, but without a single K. They were hitting the ball and it was only a matter of time until those balls started falling in for hits. Lohse stinks and against a good hitting team, he will get destroyed eventually. Mr Lucky and Mr Overrated are just doing what they do best…get big hits.

        Now we see if “Carp” is good on extremely short rest…3 days? Are you kidding me? That’s just ridiculous.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:50 PM

        Carpenter on 3 days rest against Cliff Lee is a joke. Don’t you think Lee will be equal if not better than Doc in CBP? I sense he will carve up the St. Louis lineup. Carpenter will not be his normal sharp self and this “new” Phillies lineup will capitalize. Once the Cards lost this golden opportunity to take game 1, the series was over.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:54 PM

        Yeah, I think Lee will probably carve them up but ya never know. I thought before the World Series that Lee was basically unhittable in the postseason and he got jacked up in game 1 last year. He looked better in game 5 but he still showed a chink in the armor. That being said, I think this offense is going to just tee off on “Carp” after they were embarrassed by him when they were all hungover on that Sunday night in front of everyone on ESPN. Either way, I’m not concerned at all about the Cardinals, The Brewers or D-Backs. The Yankees are the only team that can beat the Phillies this year.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:59 PM

        Agreed, Chris. The Phillies have some payback to give Carpenter. And tomorrow night they will do it.

        On a different topic, they need to get rid of that clown Craig Sager. I have watched him for years with this sideline reporting crap and he brings nothing but stupid shit to the table. He looks horrible in these asshole suits he wears and interrupts the game.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:01 PM

        He is an idiot, but he isn’t going anywhere. He definitely has nude pictures of somebody important in the TBS power structure. I don’t even pay attention to him.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:04 PM

        I try never to pay Sager any attention, but they put his mug on the TV and I have no choice. They show him as game action is going on right up to the first pitch of an at-bat. He just is an annoyance. He has pissed me off the last few years. They guy should have been put out to pasture years ago.

    • delawarephilliesfan - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:45 PM

      I’ve said it before, I will say it again – Ryan Howard needs a “Buddy Ryan/Chris Carter” moment to show how dumb the haters are.

      Ryan Howard: All he does is drive in Game Winning Runs

      • sasquash20 - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:08 PM

        Couldn’t agree more. Howard is by far the most underrated Phillie of all-time.

      • cktai - Oct 2, 2011 at 4:23 AM

        Howard earns 25M/yr. He is not underrated, Utley is.

  3. deep64blue - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    The Phillies used 3 pitchers – Halladay, Stutes and Madson.

    • deep64blue - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:24 PM

      My comment only makes sense if you read the first version of this article!!

  4. lampe21 - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Looking good

  5. proudlycanadian - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    About those exploding bats that Drew mentioned. They are dangerous. Something has to be done about the poor quality of the maple bats being produced by some manufacturers.

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:06 PM

      Seriously, seemed every baseball bat in the first 3 or 4 innings were breaking left and right. Granted, Doc breaks a lot of bats with the nasty cutters he throws, but the Phillies bats were breaking as well. Ridiculous.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:19 PM

        Go to itsaboutthemoney.net. The guy who posts as Jason @ IIATMS has made posts almost every year about an item called the “bat glove”. It’s been scientifically proven to prevent bats from breaking. Cost is peanuts. MLB won’t listen.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:26 PM

        Church,

        I bookmarked the site. I will check it out later. Thoughts on the Phils-Cards game?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:35 PM

        I didn’t get to watch much, but Roy is typical Roy. It’s absurd how much movement he gets on his pitches. I know I’ve posted it before, but it’s still hilarious to see. He basically throws every pitch right at the heart of the plate, but because of all the movement it never ends there.

        Huge huge mistake by LaRussa not bringing in a lefty to face Howard before that HR. You have a chance to steal game 1 and you leave Kyle freaking Lohse to pitch to Howard with two on? It’s been said before (not starting the RBI argument, slow down) that Howard hits a lot better with runners on because he’s not being shifted against. Why let him beat you?

        I wouldn’t worry about giving up the runs in the 9th. 11-3 lead you want outs. You’re willing to give up hits so guys get the bat on the ball. Don’t walk people.

        1 down 10 to go right?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:37 PM

        Not just what you said, church, but the fact is that Howard simply kills right-handed pitching. If TLR puts that Scrabble-named dude in, I guarantee Mr. Lucky doesn’t hit the bomb. He’s always called a genius, but he choked there.

        And MLB needs the bat glove.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:44 PM

        for biceps, here’s one of the posts about the bat glove:

        http://itsaboutthemoney.net/archives/2010/09/21/presenting-both-sides-of-the-batglove-debate/

        for chris

        but the fact is that Howard simply kills right-handed pitching

        It’s not just that, he’s [being nice] not good against lefties. How does the guy who lives to bring in 4 pitchers an inning not bring in a lefty in that situation? Victorino is a switch hitter right? so you pitch around him and have the lefty for Ibanez as well. Genius my ass

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:46 PM

        About the issue of leaving in Lohse in. From the LaRussa viewpoint, I see why he did leave him in to face Howard. Lohse was dealing up to that point. Howard was Lohse’s hitter to face. However, after giving up the 3 run bomb, LaRussa should have pulled him.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:50 PM

        He did it not once but twice, remember that two batters later Ibanez went yard.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:51 PM

        Anybody who thinks that Howard hits lefties even OK is nuts…in 185 PA, he has 3 HR/28 RBI/.224/.286/.347/.634. I think TLR fell in love with Lohse since he looked so good through the first 3 innings, but as I pointed out, he had no K’s so they were hitting him well, just right to people. Once the balls started falling, it was time to get him out and that was the perfect time. He then inexplicably lets Lohse pitch to Ibanez after giving up the hit to Shane? Dumb all the way around.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:56 PM

        But it’s Kyle Lohse. He’s the epitome of a pitch to contact guy (twins would love him). He strikes out less than 6 per 9 and doesn’t walk much. You want a guy like that facing Howard? It’s the postseason, all bets are off.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:57 PM

        Chris,

        I noticed that you have brought up a few times that Lohse didn’t have any strikeouts. He’s never been a stikeout pitcher. He throws a lot of sinking stuff and slop. That induces ground balls.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:08 PM

        HB and Church…agreed that Lohse is a groundball pitcher. But what I was referring to is more that they were hitting him pretty solidly…even Doc had a good swing and lined out to left. It was only a matter of time…then of course let’s not forget that he K’d both Rollins and Pence in the 4th inning which completely blew me away. But Shane got a second chance and scratched out a run. So yeah, he doesn’t have a good K rate…but he should at least be able to put away the pitcher and he couldn’t even do that.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:15 PM

        exactly! So what are we arguing about again? Oh yeah, LaRussa is a moron!

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:16 PM

        Agreed, Chris. He wasn’t effective with his slop after the 4th/5th inning. It was only a matter of time before the Phillies saw him once through the lineup. Lohse was a playoff loser ever since he pitched for us and gave the grand-slam up in relief of Kyle Kendrick in 2007.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:20 PM

        Gentlemen, remember this quote and give me your thoughts:

        “I came here to bury Caesar, not praise him.” -Roy Halladay

      • cur68 - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:52 PM

        I know you’re not asking me HB, but for what its worth;

        Harry LeRoy Halladay III: 1

        Caesar Julius Augustus LaRussa: 0

        The burial has commenced.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:01 PM

        cur,

        Doc is simply the slayer among men. He has started the fall of the baseball empire that begins with St. Louis and will end with whomever the Phillies play in the World Series (hopefully the Yankees). Baseball will burn down like Rome with the beginning of what the greatest pitcher of the current generation has done tonight.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:10 PM

        World Series (hopefully the Yankees

        Careful what you ask for, thems fightin’ words!

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:18 PM

        Church,

        LOL!!! Most of the intelligent Philly fan base wants a rematch of the Yankees-Phillies. It will be epic. This time we won’t be putting out a washed up Pedro out there. You will be facing Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Oswalt as opposed to Lee, Hamels, Pedro and company.

      • bleedgreen - Oct 2, 2011 at 12:32 AM

        Not only did Ibanez go yard 2 batters later, but Victorino missed it by about 2 feet of the foul pole as well.

  6. lampe21 - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    That Howard at bat was key think it was like 10 pitch arbat

  7. smb5024 - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    Expect more of the same through the next 10 wins

  8. mojosmagic - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    One TV shot of the Phils dugout showed Lee, Hamels, and Oswalt sitting together on the bench and reality set in. It really isn’t fair but anything is possible.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:40 PM

      Weird how they weren’t back in the clubhouse pounding beers like the team at home right now from Beantown. And they say that chemistry didn’t hurt the Red Sox…OK, I’ll buy that but it certainly didn’t help. Those guys like each other and they have all year long.

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:42 PM

      They were hyping up the “4 Aces” angle. That’s why they got so much TV coverage. I would expect we will see more of it.

  9. sasquash20 - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    The real reason the Phillies started hitting was that my 4 year old came in the room and watched the game with me. She came in when Rollins lead off with a single, a few batters latter Howard put the smack down. She left when they took Doc out. The Phillies and Eagles always play better when the good luck charm watches the games with me. Not the Flyers though. Shes not allowed to watch them any more.

  10. spudchukar - Oct 2, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    ‘Cepts-Disappears during Phillie 8 game slide(can’t take the heat).

    ‘Cepts-Reappears in force after game 1 win with usual bravado.

    Typical.

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