October 2, 2008

Rock and/or Roll

So, Brett Myers wants to be a rock star?

He wants the ball in his hands with the game on the line?

He's got it.

When you go up against C.C. Sabathia, every pitch you make is with the game on the line. The man is a machine - I think he's started 12 times in the last 10 days. People have compared him to Bob Gibson, Christy Mathewson, Grover Cleveland Alexander, William Howard Taft, etc., but in this era, there's no comparison. After last night, Cole Hamels is an ace by any and all definitions, but I can't see him even WILLING to string together two consecutive three-day starts. And that's no slight against Cole - he just doesn't have the strength for it. C.C. does.

And he's good. He's a lefty, and he'll almost certainly mow down Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Geoff Jenkins and any other lefties who are unfortunate enough to be matched up against him. Jayson Werth, Pat Burrell and our other "lefty killers" (all of whom are struggling at the same time, joy of joys) might have a prayer. At this point, though, I think most Phillies fans are rooting for C.C.'s arm to legitimately fall off of his body, because if it stays attached, he's going to be trouble.

So it's on Brett. The same way Cole dominated yesterday afternoon, Brett needs to dominate tonight. There's always a few 8-6 slugfests in a postseason run, but this probably won't be one of them. It'll be a pitchers' duel, as long as both men bring the requisite amount of bullets. Brett claims his problems in the last start were mechanical, and that he was able to identify them immediately after the game. Well, he's had almost a week off to confirm those suspicions, and he's had plenty of rest. He should be reloaded, he should be good to go. There's no excuses anymore; we've seen what he CAN do. He CAN match C.C.

And this is his game. The offense sputtered last night, and rationality and statistics (and a large black man) all point towards another sputter tonight. So, for maybe the first time in his career, Brett gets to be a full-game closer. Somehow, he's put the whole "wife-beater" thing behind him, and the fans are ready and willing to embrace him. Win tonight, and we'll put the first-half struggles behind us, too. Doors open at 6 P.M. for the show tonight, Brett. You're the opener AND the main event. Let's see you wail.

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