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October 26, 2008

Game 3 in review if you didn't stay up until 2

Phillies starter Jamie Moyer bounced back from his early postseason frustration to pitch a solid 6 1/3 innings that should have been good enough to get him a victory in his World Series debut. He gave up just one run through six and made a great diving play on a bunt by Carl Crawford to open the seventh, only to have first base umpire Tom Hallion miss the call on a close play at first and Crawford eventually come around to score the first of two runs in the inning.

Fortunately for the Rays, baseball only allows video review for border calls, because the replay clearly showed Crawford's foot about six inches from the bag when Ryan Howard made a barehand catch on Moyer's flip to first base.

That narrowed a three-run Phillies lead and B.J. Upton single-handedly tied the game in the eighth with an infield hit, two stolen bases and a forced throwing error that allowed him to score and keep Phils closer Brad Lidge from having a save opportunity in the ninth.

I'd love to say I told you so about Moyer, since I wrote in a pregame post titled "The old man and the Rays" that I thought he might have big psychological advantage coming off the 90-minute rain delay, but there's no way of determining whether the Rays were too anxious after sitting around so long. They looked uncomfortable at the plate, but Moyer makes everybody look like that when he has his good command.

Different story with Carlos Pena. I predicted he would have a tough night in spite of his great previous numbers against Moyer. He went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts, though one of the K's came after Moyer left the game.

The late former Phillies and Angels manager Gene Mauch must have been smiling down from above in the bottom of the ninth, when former Angels coach Joe Maddon employed a five-man infield to try and cut off the winning run with the bases loaded and no one out. It didn't work, but not because the strategy was flawed. Carlos Ruiz hit an unfieldable 40-foot nubber down the third base line and Game 3 went to the Phillies.

Who knows what the ratings were like last night, but it was another terrific baseball game, even if the delayed start probably prevented a lot of people from seeing it through to the end.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:00 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Just baseball


Has his "good command"? As opposed to his "bad command?"

I think your expression is redundant, and I know you're going to say command can be a matter of degrees, but I disagree. On the other hand, I went to Catholic school and thus I may be rigid about such things.

BTW, the Horned Frogs were no. 15 going into yesterdays demolition of Wyoming.

Pete's reply: Somehow, I don't see the whole Catholic school/TCU dynamic.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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