Each morning during the playoffs, we'll attempt to answer some questions about the playoff games that absolutely nobody asked. This could be helpful and fun or this could be painful and uninformative. Either way, it's another listicle in the listicle-ful sportsblogosphere.
- Who was the MVP last night? Cole Hamels, no questions asked. His only mistake was deposited in the right field stands by Carl Crawford but other than that, he allowed four hits, escaped one serious jam with a double play, and struck out five in seven dominant innings. Kid's already got as many postseason victories this year as Sandy Koufax had in four World Series appearances, and is just the fourth pitcher to win three Game One starts in a single postseason.
- Did Shane Victorino know how many outfield assists B.J. Upton had this year? Probably not. Third base coach Steve Smith didn't send Victorino on Jimmy Rollins' shallow fly-out to center fielder Upton; it was Shane's bright idea to tag up. Kid got thrown out by a country mile by Upton, who had 16 outfield assists in the regular season. Was that a case of Upton having an awesome magical arm, or a case of Upton being tested with regularity? I don't know, I saw maybe 15 Rays games all season.
- So should Cole Hamels have been called for a balk or not? If you're Joe Maddon, the answer is absolutely yes. Hamels, according to Maddon, stepped towards home plate which is a no-no when attempting to pick off a runner. Hamels asserts that he only stepped towards first base, and ended up erasing Carlos Pena from the basepaths with his move and killed a late Rays rally. Tim McCarver was very helpful in explaining the balk rule last night. I'm not being facetious, Tim McCarver was helpful. For once.
- Will the Rays break the streak of Game One winners? The last five teams to win Game One of the World Series have gone on to win the whole bowl of cantaloupe. Sixty percent of Game One winners have won across the entire history of the World Series. The Phillies took away home-field advantage last night. Still, to count out the Rays because of past history would be silly. Let's all hope this Series goes much longer.
- HOW DO YOU LIVE LIKE THIS PHILLIES FANS? If you're Enrico of the 700 Level, you were rending your garments and tearing out your hair despite leading the entire game. For the sake of the collective sanity of the entire city of Philadelphia, I hope the Phillies win more convincingly in the future, or just get blown out.
Come back later tonight for another World Series Liveglog, starring Tuffy!