Thursday, October 23, 2008

World Series Game 1 Wrap

Since yesterday's post was basically my World Series prediction, I figured I'd do a game-by-game analysis of how things are looking.

Last night didn't start off very well, in terms of my prognostication. Chase Utley hit a first inning two-run homer off of Scott Kazmir, despite the fact that I said Kazmir would give Utley and Ryan Howard a hard time. But, after that the two combined for an 0-for-4, with Howard walking once and striking out once. I also called the lefty-lefty matchups between these two Philly hitters and Tampa Bay's bullpen a key factor. Utley, of course, singled off of J.P. Howell in the 7th, but both Howell and Trever Miller struck out Howard.

So, it appears I was right about Howard, but not about Utley. I should have listened when my friend Smitty said to me that Utley doesn't have as tough a time with left-handed pitching as Howard does. I knew the splits didn't look as bad for Utley (.888 OPS vs. lefties in 2008) as for Howard (.746, vs. .881 overall), but I tend to think that when a nasty lefty is on his game, this doesn't matter. Well, Kazmir wasn't really on last night.

I also said that the Rays would have an edge in the DH department, with Chris Coste being Philadelphia's best option. Coste went 0-for-4, but Willy Aybar went 0-for-3, so that hardly qualifies as an advantage. The Rays bullpen did pitch three shutout innings, giving up only two hits and two walks, while striking out five, so my points weren't all bad.

My Game 1 self-evaluation: C-

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