The Phillies did what they needed to do last night and got a big win. The Dodgers offense didn't show much besides Manny and the Phillies finally got a big hit from Chase Utley. The Dodgers MUST win today. They need Billingsly to step up today, because as Joe Torre always said Game 2 is biggest game of the series. Either your going to LA tied or 2-0 Phillies. Tied and LA has a chance down 0-2 series over.
One other point before the preview: why would the Phillies ever pitch to Manny with first base open. They need to make someone else beat them. Manny proved once again what a great hitter he is. Charlie Manuel if you want to win put Manny on 1B, treat him like Bonds circa 2001.
I do not think I can give a fair evaluation of this series as my hatred for the Sox will likely come out. My heart wants the Rays to win but my mind knows better. The Sox are too experiences, too gritty, and have too much going for them. They lose their ace Beckett, who looked very mortal in his one start, but they got Jon Lester who looked very Beckett Like in his two starts. He has'nt given up a run in 21 innings in his post season experience. Only Red Sox with that type of number is Babe Ruth. Dice-K never looks good as a starter but he finds a way to win. He will walk people and throw 140 pitches but only allow 2 runs and the Sox will win. Papelbon is lights out in the 9th. Pedroia and Youkilis are gritty grinders who wear out pitchers and Jason Bay has easily replaced Manny Ramirez.
The Rays are a great story this year. They are a true "team." They have no one in the top 10 of MVP's but they were able to win the AL East beating out the Yankees and the Red Sox. The Rays dominated the Sox down at the Trop. The Rays play great defense and Evan Longoria could change everything. If he has a monster series things could change.
Predection: Sox in 6. I think the prospects of facing Beckett and Lester in games 2,3 6,7 is too much. Beckett is this generations Bob Gibson and Lester might be the pitching the best right now.