Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Above we see Anna Li and Cody Yoka on the day of their Senior Prom back in May, and what a magical evening it must have been. It's every young lady's dream to attend prom in a gown dedicated to their favorite baseball team, especially if one attends an all-girls Catholic school, as does Miss Li. (Not shown: Cody's red-and-blue Phillies condom, which sadly went unopened that night). Go John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School! And go Phillies! What they're saying on the series of Intertubes about Philadelphia's 3-2 win over Los Angeles in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series ...Success! Phils Win Game 1. It wouldn’t be a Phillies victory without some curious strategy from manager Charlie Manuel. In the bottom of the seventh against “reliever” Greg Maddux, catcher Carlos Ruiz led off with a single deep in the hole, a tough grounder for Furcal. With the pitcher due up, Manuel could have sent up left-handers Greg Dobbs or Matt Stairs against the right-handed pitcher, but instead opted to go with So “Failure” Taguchi to bunt Ruiz to second base. A look at the Run Expectancy Matrix at Baseball Prospectus will show you why bunting in that situation is a losing play even if executed properly, so success or not, it was a dumb move. But Taguchi turned regular old fail into epic fail by popping up his bunt attempt, caught by Loney in foul territory. [Crashburn Alley]• NLCS Game One Recap. You know, I just spent two hours driving home from the game on the NJ Turnpike thinking about what to write about this game. Lemme start with a little WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am of a particular generation that barely remembers the great Phillies playoff teams of the early 1980s but has by and large suffered with tons of mediocrity and general misery, 1993 excluded. Being in the NLCS, and getting to watch the game in person (a VICTORY no less) makes the drive worthwhile! Now that that's out of the way, it's hard to understate just how well Cole Hamels pitched tonight. His command wasn't at its best, there were some hard hit balls, but he still didn't walk everyone and give away baserunners, and he kept his head together in the face of adversity. His gutty performance made Chase Utley and Pat Burrell's 6th inning heroics possible and meaningful. [The Good Phight] • One Rock 'N Roll Too Many. The Dodgers did do a lot that was right tonight, and even if they're mulling that Furcal error that might have cost them the game, they should still feel good about themselves. I still believe Game 1 was one the Phillies needed more than the Dodgers. So much for that luxury, though. Friday's Game 2 isn't do-or-die for Los Angeles, but things are a whole bunch of serious now. [Dodger Thoughts] • I Love [Beating] LA. Worst Play — So Taguchi's bunt. Holy crap, I can't believe that guy got in the game. Why is he on the playoff roster? What can he possibly contribute to this team? Help me, somebody, because these unanswerable questions are driving me crazy. [We Should Be GMs] • One Down, Three To Go. Three wins in six games and we'll all be running out to the store, the stadium, the back of some guy's van or wherever to buy World Series gear. Three wins. And the Phils have three left at home where they are 51-33 this season. Oh, and three left on the road, where they are 45-38...the best road team in the National League. [The 700 Level] • By Popular Demand. Ozomatli, Can't Stop the Blue. [Sons Of Steve Garvey] • Manny Makes Me Angry. But we do have one hope left. It’s called the Sports Illustrated cover jinx. Manny, AKA Greedy Baseball Playing Bastard, is on the cover. And this means the Dodgers are going to lose. At least I hope so. I’m angry, and I feel like I have every right. And I expect everyone else to be angry too, especially if we are forced to Boo Manny when he comes back to Boston in the World Series. [Red Sox Superfan] • Bring On The NLCS!. On the eve of the NLCS, I am sitting here typing away as a nervous wreck. Everyone around me, is predicting a Dodgers-Red Sox World Series. I hold my breath when they speak of it. I knock on wood. I cross every limb. Funny how superstitious one gets when the thing you want so badly is completely and totally out of your hands. [Touch 'Em All]


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