Well, it ain't over yet, but it's a pretty good start. The Philadelphia Phillies, who were given virtually no chance whatsoever, took both home matchups - a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers and the unbeatable Derek Lowe and an 8-5 win over the unhittable Chad Billingsley.
The wonderful sound of the "Beat LA" chant rained down like a glorious single voice from an animated fan base that has seen more than their share of dissapointment, but has been treated to some fine baseball thus far. Cheesesteaks for everybody!!
As a Phillies fan who is oddly allowing himself to have total faith in this team, I am just hoping they can keep this great mojo going. All they need to do is take one game, and it's cool. I do think they could certainly do more damage than that. But... that remains to be seen.
In game one, Chase Utley awakened from his postseason cocoon and blasted a shot into the right field seats that tied the game at 2 and brought the Phillies back from a post season jet lag. After a Ryan Howard out, Pat Burrell followed that up with a blast of his own, depositing a Lowe pitch into the left field seats.
"Yeah, it was looking pretty dicey for the first five innings," said long-time Phils fan, Sj-hypocycloid, sipping a Dinkel Acker in his living room. "But they came through. I love seeing a great plan come together.
"All those experts who picked against the Phils, well...it might be time to re-evaluate those picks. And, so far, the Phils have been able to stave off the mighty Man-Ram, despite Fox's efforts to make him into the greatest player in baseball history. Please. Go Phils!"
"It's nice to see him get a damn save without loading the damn bases," opined Sj-dad. "Now let's go get three more and give this town a World Series groove."
As runs and hits were in short supply Thursday, it was nice to see Utley and Burrell each get two hits. If we could only get Ryan Howard contributing, the Phils would be quite a force to reckon with. They pretty much are that now. The good news: he was 0-for-4 Thursday, but he didn't strike out. It seems stupid to mention, but considering the flack he's gotten all season... this is a good thing.
Brett Myers, who was supposed to suffer a severe meltdown or something, started game two and pitched five innings, giving up a three-run homer to All-World Malcontent Manny Ramirez. But it wasn't his pitching that carried the day.
Myers led all hitters in this 8-5 Phillies win with three hits, and also drove in three runs to boot - including two of the runs that guaranteed a Philadelphia win.
Shane Victorino redeemed the hitters somewhat, pounding out a single and a triple that resulted in four RBI. The Phillies bullpen did the rest, pitching four scoreless innings to preserve a game two that started out looking like it would be a shootout.
"Holy crap, man," Sj-hypocycloid grunted between sips of some domestic crap beer he'd found in the fridge. "That was one nutty game. I loved that Myers. He's awesome. He pitched well enough, but look at the at-bats. He pretty much drove (Milwaukee pitcher) C.C. Sabathia to distraction, and did even more damage here."
Hard to argue with that.
Over to you, LA...
Now the series shifts to LA, where the Dodgers were supposed to close things out and await the eventual ALCS winner. Now, predictions of "Dodgers in 5" will have to be modified to "Dodgers in 6...??" or... "Can we try for best 6 out of 11?"
While it would be foolish to say that the Dodgers are done, they are certainly not in a great spot. Down 2-0 is not where they planned to be, and I'm sure that many Fox executives are trying to figure out whether or not they can broadcast the games and simply report that the Dodgers have won, despite the actual result.
Sorry, Joe Torre - you're the man and all, but you need to pull out all your magic tricks to get the LA Express back on track.
I, for one, will be rooting against that. But... no hard feelings, okay? You're still the best manager the Yankees have had in the last 13 years.