Fox really wants a Red Sox-Dodgers Manny World Series. They can take a little temper tantrum by crybaby Russell Martinboo hoo, I got hit by a 75-MPH Jamie Moyer junkball in the leg and now I will have my pitcher throw at a player's headand turn that tempest in a teapot into a series-defining moment.
It's not bad enough that the umpiring has been awful throughout the game, truly throughout the playoffs. Look at the Jayson Werth check-swing third strike call in the midst of a Phils' comeback. Tim-may and Buck Fils wouldn't even look at that one or the worst ball-strike calls that plate ump Mike Everitt made. And the way they lauded the Dodgers individual players as if Matt Kemp had suddenly become Jay Buhner and Rafael Furcal, whose range factor was below the league average for a shortstop, were Ozzie Smith.
But McCarver has to call on the ghost of Bob Gibson, he's favorite touchstone when his blovio-meter is low, and demand that the Dodgers throw at a Phils to make up for the latter's proclivity for hitting batters. Did McCarver even do his homework? The Phils were 13th in the majors in hit batsmen in 2008. Their 57 HBP were just one more than the major-league average. Meanwhile, the Phils batters were hit by a pitch 67 times, tied for seventh in the majors and 13 more than the NL average.
The Phils do not throw at people. They got hit by a pitch 10 times more often in 2008 than they hit their opponents. Note that none of the myriad Phils relievers even came close to brushing back Kuroda as a statement. But never mind the facts, when the Rovian Fox broadcasters are trying to create a story.
Meanwhile, during the game I heard Joe Torre admit to these same Fox broadcasters that Voctorino was intentionally thrown at. After the game Russell Martin admitted the same. At least Kuroda had the sense to mimic Brett Myers and say in the post-game press conference that the ball just slipped. Doesn't that demand a suspension, if not an arrest warrant, for the manager and the catcher?
And now that we mention Brett Myers, you may have noticed that as the Phillie Phanatic pantomimed the Phils lineup before game 2, he pointed to his head and twirled his index finger around to indicate that Myers is a crazy head case. To think that Myers has the consent of the team when he threwif it was intentionalat many Ramirez is flimsy at best. And to lump Moyer's obviously unintentional plunk of Martin, is ludicrous.
The Phils have never swept a playoff series. Realistically, they need to win one in LA to stay comfortably ahead. One loss far from breaks their back. They could loss all three and return home and take the series.
However, McCarver said something in the waning innings of tonight's game that unless Howard and Rollins picked up the offense, there was no way that the Phils could win this series. Really?!?
My biggest worry is Joe Blanton going tomorrow night against Derek Lowe. If Lowe comes out as flat as he was at the end of game 1, the Phils should be fine. Given that he is going on three day's rest that will be a concern. But Blanton is a real wildcard. He can look great as he did against the Brewers or he can look like the ill-advised pickup he had been most of the season.
I just hope that nobody throws a pitch close to Crybaby Martin or we'll be back in this mess again.
Oh, one P.S., it was extra-bush of the Dodger faithful to continually harangue Shane Victorino, one of the most easy-going players on the Philshe is Hawaiian after all, for protesting when a ball is thrown at his head. I thought Victorino acted completely appropriately. He didn't mind the intentional buzz: it was the location. And all he did was protest. He didn't charge the mound. Nor did he demand a retaliation as Crybabies Martin and Ramirez had done.