First-year GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and his crew have steered the Phillies' ship deep into another postseason.
After watching Cliff Lee slice and dice the Dodgers during last night’s “what to do” and “what not to do” pitching demonstration, I think it’s safe to say the Phillies’ made out okay in their deal for Lee, who's been even better than NLCS and World Series MVP Cole Hamels was at this time last postseason. Chaired by Amaro, the Phillies' war room is on an unbelievable hot streak when it comes to plucking talent from the open market, including a flier on three-time Cy Young winner Pedro Martinez, whose seven shutout frames Friday should have set up a series sweep tonight.
The most amazing part of Amaro’s 2009 blueprint has been that he hasn't had to compromised the bylaws established late in Pat Gillick’s tenure, rules against big free-agent commitments and leaving nothing to chance in terms of pitching depth. It started in the 2007-08 offseason and continued with Gillick’s low-key trade for arbitration-eligible starter Joe Blanton, lined up to win his third postseason game tonight. Even Jamie Moyer, who finished 12-10 with a 4.94 ERA, falls under the shorter-term commitment category, and contrary to popular opinion, played a big role in the Phillies' success down the stretch.
Kuroda: Not to sell Lee or the big bats short, but Hiroki Kuroda’s abominable night energized a cautious crowd and changed the landscape of Game 3. A four-run deficit in the first, in a hostile environment, with Lee dealing, was going to be too much to overcome. Color me unimpressed with the Dodgers this series, while Joe Torre moves continue to blow up in his face.