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Monday, October 20, 2008


Of course, you know there are certain fanbases out there who are saying the Phillies are only in the WS because they got lucky and are a fluke.

I don't think just narrowly missing out on the playoffs before making it 2 straight years is a fluke, but whatever makes them sleep better at night, I guess.

There's a certain amount of luck required in any championship--game of inches and all that--but the Phils SP has been pretty consistent since the ASB (when we jettisoned Eaton, added Blanton and got Myers v.2.0). Pitching, defense and key hits are what win championships.

Layoff is what's going to hurt the Phils the most, but Myers will be key to the Series as he has been in each playoff run. It's imperative Phils win Game 1.

Don't know about "built to last" with a spry 45 year old in the rotation but the real difference this year was that the Phils have a legit ace for the first time since Schilling in the late 1990s and the ability to put out 4 above average starters in one turn off the rotation for the first time probably since 1993.

The Phils have earned this trip to the WS, no question about it.
Let the fanbases say what they will, but where are their teams right now?
A good buddy of mine (Dodger fan) who watched the NLCS said " The Phillies are a really good team." He didn't make excuses for the Dodgers, just acknowledged that the Phils were better.

I would have to agree with MG. I think you went a little overboard with your analysis on the Phillies starting rotation. Both Myers and Moyer's last starts weren't exaclty "gems". Myers isn't always a number 2 with his Jeckyll and Hyde act he likes to pull during the course of the year but I agree that Moyer/Blanton are both solid. All in all, this rotation was good enough to make it to the world series with the help of one of the best bullpens in baseball. This baseball team was built well and we have a good chance to win the whole thing. GO PHILLIES!!!!

Reliable, tough, dependable? Really? The #2 got sent down to the minors this season with an ERA near 6. He comes back and pitches really well, but then starts pitching really poorly again. He has a very poor outing in the postseason, followed by a very good one. Not reliable, not dependable. Maybe tough, although no one would've called him tough a few months ago. Then there's Jamie. Lasted 4 innings in one postseason start, 1 inning in the other. Not reliable, not dependable. Definitely tough. (And I know, small sample size, but you simply can't call a guy who's managed to go 5.1 innings in his two postseason starts reliable and tough. If he were reliable, he could be relied on to not pitch games like that.) Then there's Blanton. In the postseason, he has been reliable and tough. Only thing is, in the regular season he wasn't reliable. In his last nine regular season starts, he went five or less five times. 5+ or less six times. That is, more often than not, he failed to have a quality start, even a Cory Lidle special. So he's not reliable. So who's reliable? Our ace and only our ace.

Tray, it doesn't sound like you're describing a team going into the World Series.

GoPhilsGo, we've had a great bullpen and a good offense. Two of the starters have had good postseasons, and they've combined for 5 of our 9 starts. In fact, if you count Blanton's 5 inning, 3 run start, we've had six good starts out of 9. Nevertheless, we only have one reliable starter.

Tray - Agreed. Hamels has been dominant but the rest has been a pretty mixed bag. Myers' hitting has overshadowed his shaky stuff on the mound, Moyer has gotten lit up, and Blanton has been decent but nothing special either.

Only pitching matchup I like for the Phils this entire series is Hamels vs. Kazmir and one of the guys I was listening to in Bay Area had the best point. Phils have the better individuals players including the best starter (Hamels), reliever (Lidge), power hitter (Howard although given the way Upton is hitting the ball I would disagree vehemently), and possibly the best overall player (Utley).

His argument on way he thought the Rays would win a tough series was that they had the better overall team and clearly had the better starting pitching including two large potential mismatches in Garza vs. Moyer including a Game 7. Added that if the Phils best shot to take series was in 4 or 5 games since the Game 6 & 7 probables right now are tilted in the Rays' favor.

MG, Tray: Do you think you're selling them short? I see an ace and three above average starters. In Myers, he's capable of a great start. On whole, they've been mostly good in the post-season. It's sputtered here and there, but it's to be expected. Hamels, Myers and Blanton have done the job this post-season and definitely carried them in the DS. And "built to last" applies, right? They've made it to the World Series. Team ERA during the regular season stayed under 4.00 ...

Still, we'll see how they stack up with Tampa. The Rays are a different animal.

It's loony to give Moyer 2 games, including the possible #7. Let's face it, good playoff hitting is lighting him up. After torching Wakefield, the Rays must be licking their chops. Alas, there are no Fish or Nats left on the schedule.

I'm gonna go way out on the limb here and say that Moyer comes through huge in the WS. I'm gonna go further...if they win, Jamie retires.

Come on Gramps, make me a prophet!

Wake and Moyer are totally different pitchers. Wake has always been very hittable when his knuckle isn't on...everyone knows that. Its a standard issue with a knuckle ball pitcher.

Tray, in typical Philly Phashion, you're probably being a little too critical.

You're evaluation of Myers is also a little off. "a very poor outing in the postseason, followed by a very good one"?

2 R in 7 IP vs the Brewers and CC Sabathia is a poor outing? Hmmm.

Followed by a Game 2 win against the Dodgers in which he gave up 5 R in 5 IP, with one pitch to Manny Ramirez that almost no other hitter could've handled. This, after he admittedly got gassed running the bases going 3 for 3 with 3 RBIs. Hmmm.

Methinks thou hast a bug about Myers stuck somewhere.

That aside, it's still going to be incumbent uon the hitters to score runs off of the TB pitchers.

You can't win if you don't score.

Good Morning.

Travelling out west so I have been out of touch.

NEPP, I hope you are right. I feel pretty optimistic, myself. As has been correctly pointed out, they are in the World Series after all!

The Rays have my respect. I doubt that this will be over quickly.

I can hardly wait until tomorrow! I worry a bit about Vic- I hear the Tampa outfield is quite irregular, and he tends to run all out, as he should. I don't want him to slow down, that's for sure, but I also don't want him to catch a toe. No real point worrying, I guess. What will be, will be. I hope it will be good.

Have a great day.

The Phillies are 7-2 in the playoffs, mostly because of pitching. Enough said.

Give Hamels three starts.

I'm having trouble understanding why people aren't pushing the idea of giving Hamels 3 starts here (1, 4,7). There'd be three rest days between each start and it seems to be an acceptible risk given the alternatives.. or..does somebody have info on Hamels starts after short rest that I don't know about?

Dickie T,

Hamels personally doesn't like going on short rest, so I guess Cholly doesn't want to upset him and run the risk of future harm.

Yeah. He doesn't do it. :)

"Cole and Brett, and pray for wet"

Give us some rainouts so Cole can make 3 starts on regular rest.

I was watching FSN on the tube this morning and Mr. Shrimp, Ken Rosenthal picks the Rays in 7. His logic is that the AL is better than the NL.

If Vegas doesn't want to pay out on 200-1 bets, the fix'll be in and mysterious injuries, illnesses, and ailments will beset the Rays during the entire WS. I can see the headlines now: "Kasmir doesn't remember how he fell, twisting his ankle, breaking both kneecaps and hitting his head against a brick wall, knocking himself out into unconsciousness."

How annoying is it that the system is such that So Tag is carried on the roster. He adds NOTHING.

Any warm OF body anywhere on the spectrum between Bourn and Golson would do.

Agree with NEPP on Moyer-

I think he's due for a big game. He's pitching @ home for the first time this postseason, the Rays' hitters will be swinging for the fences in our 'bandbox' (as opposed to the 'litterbox' that they call home), and the crowd will be absolutely nuts.

Hamels is the brand new Lexus with leather seats and a moonroof. Myers is a crotch rocket, no helmet. Moyer is the '96 Ford Ranger pickup you use to get to work that starts every time. Blanton is a Ford van that gets the job done- kids to school, furniture moved, camping trip, whatever it takes.

LFred: Yeah I guarantee Vegas made the Phils underdogs to encourage as many bets on the Phillies as they can and pray they win and pay those bets off then have to shovel over the cash for Tampa.

So if you're a betting man, getting $1.35 on the dollar for the Phils is actually a better pay out than Vegas really wants to offer.

You know what we need? We need to hear Harry sing a good rousing chorus of "High Hopes."

Seriously, let's not start glooming out. There are a lot of unpredictables, and ultimately, it could go either way. But the Phils absolutely have the tools to win this. You believe it. If they didn't, they wouldn't be here.

Are we really ready to write off a pitcher who went 16-7? One who went 4-0 as a Phil, and in whose starts the Phils went 9-4?

It's going to be a hard-fought series, but absolutely nothing I've seen tells me the Phils can't stay in it and win it. They've just gotta show up and play ball.

lovin the showroom/car reference, jw...

myers is the brand new mustang gt (badass when all the pistons are firing), blanton the preowned superduty pickup truck (big, tough and wont quit on you), moyer is the classic vette (style and class) and hamels is the showroom floor porsche 911 turbo (wicked).

I realize that the Rays are a newbie to the main stage but let's remember a few things. First off, their bullpen is NOT as good as ours. Wheeler is a time bomb, and the rest of their 'pen got blowed up and lost a seven run lead in game five. Their starters are good, but again, outside of Shields, none of them are stellar pitchers that the Phils can't hit. I seem to remember CC and Lowe being unhittable as well. Garza was brilliant in game 7 but he is hittable. The Sox had their chances in that game and didn't cash in on them. Brett will be fine out there. Cole will continue to dominate. And the other two we have got to give run support to. Split the first two in Tampa and we are looking pretty.

Ya gotta believe...there's a new thread...

That 200-1 is from before the season. Yes, Vegas would have to pay out those long odds should the Rays win, but they'll be paying it out with losing bets on the 29 other teams that didn't win it all.

For the line on this series, the first thing that should be apparent is that most people think the Rays will win. This is totally understandable, as they've been covered heavily with their cinderella season and, more importantly, all those games beating the Sox and Yanks. Plus, they're the AL with home field.

As for adjusting the line to make up for potential 200-1 payoffs, that's minimal. Millions more dollars will be wagered on the WS than was ever bet on a longshot before the season began, making the proposition of severley tilting the betting line either way far too risky. The line is being adjusted because people ARE STILL BETTING ON THE RAYS, not for any longshot shenanigans.

The Phils have been undervalued by the general public all year and especially in the playoffs. I expect the same gritty performance from them that we've gotten used to and think this series has a chance to be one for the ages regardless who wins.

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