You've read all the predictions, all the breakdowns, all the history, so you know that the Phillies lineup eats up left handed starters like chocolate cake, and that Hamels is an authentic ace in the making. You know then, that by stealing a win in this game, when no one expects it, could be a key to the Rockies going on to win the series against the Phillies.
What needs to happen for this to occur?
- Get on top in the first inning. If we rattle Hamels like we did Peavy Monday night right from the get go, it should be a good sign, then even if Francis struggles our offense will be confident that they can mount the comeback. It will also get the hostile crowd out of the game, and that should help Jeff in his half.
- Francis needs to rebound. It's not like his last start against Arizona was bad, per se, it's just that he put in a pedestrian effort against one of the top pitchers in the NL. This afternoon we need to see a turnaround similar to the one he had after his last start against these Phillies, in which his next two games were dominant gems. We definitely don't want to see them put up twelve runs like they wound up doing in that last game.
- Our bullpen has to keep them off balance. Hurdle did a remarkable job of rotating different types out of the pen when he had a twenty pitcher contingent to play with in September. The rosters have been cut back to 25 man mode, however, so it will be interesting to see if he can still create the same kind of magic.