How Can the Phillies Stop Cody Ross?
Hey, it’s close enough.
Ross’ homers in Game 1 of the NLCS helped the Giants to a 4-3 victory. It was an unbelievable game against an incredible pitcher, but when Ross broke up Roy Oswalt‘s no-hitter Sunday with a home run in Game 2 at Citizens Bank Park, the question had to be asked:
What must the Phillies do to stop Ross?
“We’ve got to make better pitches,” Rich Dubee said. “Give him credit. He’s hit them. But we haven’t made good pitches to him, either.”
Oswalt threw high and tight to Ross in his first at-bat in the second inning, but Ross walked and then homered in his next at-bat. He flied out to the deepest part of Citizens Bank Park in center field in the seventh before Ryan Madson struck him out looking in the ninth.
“Roy moved his feet one time and the next time he went up he hit one out,” Dubee said. “He’s feeling pretty good at the plate. It’s a matter of us executing. We’ve got to command, change speeds and do what we do against everybody. The fact is we’ve thrown three balls in the middle of the plate and he hasn’t missed them.”
Madson struck out Ross in a six-pitch at-bat on a 94 mph fastball.
“When you’re locked in you’re still not going to hit everything,” Madson said. “He’s locked in. You’ve got to mix it up. You’ve got to try something different. At any time he can unlock and not be so hot, but just change things up. I’m not going to tell you all my secrets.”
Said Oswalt: “Don’t throw it down and in. The last three balls that he hit are in the same exact spot. Just bad pitches. I mean, throwing it right into his bat pretty much. If you can make your pitches you are going to do well. But if you miss down and in that’s pretty much where he’s hitting them.”