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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Comments

One thing worth taking from the Rockies' end: Carlos Gonzalez is a star in the making. In the eighth, Lee buzzes his tower and I thought "Great pitch." But Gonzalez was undeterred. He flied out deep, but Gonzalez was up to the challenge, and was the best player on the field for either side this series.

Great game. Lidge 2 for 2 in PLAYOFF save opportunities. I am so happy that I was in the minority (and by minority I mean 1 of maybe 3 posters) not to totally call for Lidge to shut it down. Because honestly, if Lidge had not been brought in to get the final out, I think we had a good chance of losing the game. Since Madson and Eyre didn't have their best stuff.

I can not wait until Thursday for this NLCS to begin. In my opinion I would have rather played the Dodgers in the NLDS rather than the Rockies. I felt we matched up better with the Dodgers. Therefore I am pretty confident that the boys can get it done in 5.

With last series it was countless "Gold Glover Helton", now with this series it will be nothing but the "Mannywood" show. Good times ahead.

"Get me to the plate, boys!"

Gonzalez is just like Pujols. He'll be watching the rest of the playoffs from his couch, too.

JW- Love the comparisons to the 1980 Astros series- Strange coincidence, but I was in Boston area for the beginning of that series in '80 and was there again last week on vacation- So I thought it was just my surroundings that brought that series to mind.
Great minds think alike??

JW, agree on Gonzalez. From a fan's viewpoint, the frustration level rose every time the guy got on base.

I can imagine how frustrated the Phillies' pitchers were, because some of them made good pitches to him and he still got on base like a machine.

My hat is off to him. He was incredible.

Hard to believe, indeed. Just a wrenching, ridiculous game from every perspective -- the initial pitching duel, leaving the bases loaded twice, the terror of Carlos Gonzalez, Madson's implosion, Francisco's catch, the two-out rally, and really, what other way could this have ended than with Lidge coming in for the final out?

Ridiculous.

Also worth being noted that the Phillies/Rockies series was most likely the best series of the 4 division series matchups. Although it can be debated, but this is the series that was pushed aside and given the worst starting times for all 4 games.

Like I said last night, this was Gonzalez's coming out party as a star...simply incredible to watch. Remember him fouling off slider after slider from Lidge? Those were great pitches that Lidge was locating and Gonzalez just kept fouling them off (Game 3 I think). He was basically unstoppable all series. I was so happy that Lee finally decided to knock him off the plate a bit...savvy veteran call by Ruiz BTW. On a side note, when does Ruiz go from good young catcher to savvy playoff veteran catcher? Isn't 3 seasons of post-season play enough to acquire an appropriate level of savviness?

Both teams left everything on the table in this series and the Phillies just wanted it more.

The comparison of last night's game to the 1980 playoffs vs. the Astros is right on the money.

Now on to the next opponent. The Dodgers strength is pitching and their weakness is offense. Of the 2 lefties in their lineup (Loney & Ethier), only Ethier gives you pause.

The guys you have to watch are Manny, Blake and Kemp and frankly, I think Blanton and Pedro can shut them down. And when Lee is on, L/R doesn't matter.

Last series was all about our lefties getting out their lefties. This series will be all about our righties getting out their righties. Because we have only 2 RH starters, I really hope that Park is healthy enough to come back. He will be needed.

Does anyone know if/when the Phils will send out emails notifying people about tix for the NLCS?

I wouldn't be surprised to see Pedro over Blanton in Game 2. Blanton has terrible terrible splits against all of the Dodgers hitters.

Yet another reason the Bull deserves the NL MVP over that other guy.

Gonzalez's numbers on the series are just insane: .615/.643/1.000. reminiscent to me of Bonds in the 2002 WS, when he personally destroyed the Angels but the Giants as a team still couldn't come through.

George they already have sent out notices for those that didn't win the lottery. Check your credit card statements.

Also, let's not forget that 2 nights in a row, the much maligned Jimmy Rollins started game winning rallies.

That is a big time player stepping up big on the big stage.


Also, I have to give a great deal of credit to Chase Utley. All he did was work a patient BB and keep the rally alive.

He got on base - that's all (yeah, right!).

He knew with the guys coming up behind him he didn't have to tie the game all by himself.

Last night's 9th inning AB by him reminded me of the game last season in May, when he got on base in front of Burrell, who then hit a walk-off against the Giants.

Chase knew...he knew..."My job is to get on base and let the big guys behind me deliver".

I remember the look an his face then. He had the same look on his face last night.

He knew he had done his job.


That type of unselfishness and team oriented thinking is what helps create a championship baseball team.


(Correct me if I'm wrong, but he clapped his hands together when he scored, and I can't remember him ever doing that - showing that kind of emotion, like Vic. He then turned around and looked at Howard, in amamzement it seemed, because last night Howie not only talked the talk, he walked the walk.)

clout: You are correct. Except for a few minor tweeks. First, Wolf and Padilla still don't scare me. You bring up their ERA+, but refuse to acknowledge that there are great pitchers with lower ERA+'s like Lackey, Sabathia, etc. Are you saying that Randy Wolf and Vincente Padilla are better pitchers than those guys?

Secondly this Dodger team is very similiar to the team we beat in 5 last year. Except they are minus Lowe (solid #1), Chan Ho Park (solid reliever). But they have added Wolf, Padilla, Garland, Thome, among other. I am sorry but all those guys that they have acquired do not have the same effect as the guys they lost.

How do you get from Philly to LA?

Take Huston Street

I was also immediately thinking of the 1980 NLCS in terms of the twists and turns, especially of Game 5 of that series, which, IIRC, went from 2-2 tie after 6 to a 5-2 deficit, a 7-5 lead, a 7-7 tie before we won it in the tenth. I remember, as a ten year old child, running upstairs crying, listening on the radio, coming back down, and having my mom yell at my dad for making sports too important to me and my brother.

That series also had its share of controversial calls, which just adds to the legend: who can forget Vern Ruhle's trap/catch in the bizarre Game 4 with the umps taking twenty minutes to decide what to do about it?

That has to still be the best 5 game series in MLB history, and it is only because it is the Phillies and Astros and not the national media's more favorite teams that you don't hear about it more often ...

Also, I had a calendar question that I was confused about this morning. Since Rocktober is now over, does that make today the 1st of Rovkember?

Just a thought....

Last year the Dodgers beat the Cubs in 3 despite all the pundits thinking the Cubs would win it all. Did this lull the Dodgers into thinking they'd easily take the Phils, causing complacency?

This year the Dodgers beat the Cardinals in 3, despite many thinking the Cards would prevail. Will there success once again cause them to take the Phils lightly?

D'oh! "there" should be "their"

I hate when I do that.

"The Dodgers strength is pitching and their weakness is offense."

clout, the Dodgers scored 4.91 RPG - 4th in the NL.

If you would, please elaborate on your expressed opinion that "their weakness is offense."

Thanks in advance.

It isn't that the Phillies 'wanted it more'. Their edge in that series came primarily from their ability to stay calm and focused in the most crucial situations. Apart from their 3-run uprising in the 8th, Colorado was pretty much crap with RISP the whole series.

The Phillies looked palpably different in such situations than they did in the previous two postseasons, no one more so than Ryan Howard. I've never seen the BP exude as much confidence as he did in this series - mentally, he would appear to have turned a huge corner as a hitter. We have been accustomed to impatience, lunges, getting his own dangerous self out time and time again in such situations. I still can't get over how completely calm Utley and Howard were in that situation yesterday. That's what it takes to pull that kind of win, and series, off. It's not wanting it more; it's *knowing you can do it*. This is the residual effect of being a champion.

oops - typo.

That should read "4.81 RPG".

NEPP: Small sample size anyone? He's thrown 4 games vs. the Dodgers in his career with a 2.88 ERA. His splits vs. individual Dodgers don't mean much.

The Phils need Blanton to step up. You get the Dodgers out with righties, not lefties.

****Their edge in that series came primarily from their ability to stay calm and focused in the most crucial situations. ****

That's all I meant really. The Rockies played like a team happy to be in the playoffs (think Rays in the WS last year). Tulo's ABs felt very similar to Evan Longoria's last year.

Kutztown: I was thinking the same thing. But I think the thing that hurt them last year (and hopefully this year as well) isn't them "taking the Phils lightly", rather then the 4 days off angle. I am happy the Phillies only have 2 days off.

Pedro is also a righty, clout. Its not a Happ instead of Blanton debate, it was a "we might just see Pedro instead of Blanton" as Manny, Belliard, Ethier, etc kill Blanton for their careers...albeit in fairly small sample sizes other than Manny.

To be clear, I am not advocating either pitcher over the other, just saying that I won't be stunned if UC goes with the veteran Pedro.

I would like to point out when the Phils last played the Dodgers, Moyer and Blanton both pitched, with ERAs in the 6's for Moyer and mid 5's for Blanton. I believe we have MAY have *slightly* improved since then, and that the regular season series is absolutely garbage when it comes to comparing the two teams.

And Bastardo was also in the rotation. Can't forget that part..

Looking ahead to the NLCS roster, do the Phillies expand the approach they've taken with Cairo and go with someone who's been swinging the bat all season in Tracy? Dobbs doesn't do it for me at all right now, but his ability to play a couple positions, including third, adds value.

I also wonder where the Phils are at with Myers. Also, are we sure Pedro has a spot despite the righty-heavy Dodgers? He hasn't pitched since Sept. 30 and it was brief. I have a hunch they'll stick with Bastardo, but I could be wrong.

Rotation?

Thursday (ROAD)- Hamels
Friday (ROAD)- Blanton or Martinez
Sunday (HOME)- Lee
Monday (HOME) - Blanton or Martinez
Wednesday (HOME)- Hamels
Friday (ROAD)- Lee
Saturday (ROAD - Blanton or Martinez

I wouldn't mind seeing more of Bastardo. he pitched with a lot of confidence when they called on him for Giambi.

If Pedro doesn't get to pitch against the Dodgers, I think his head will explode.

PE-DRO, PE-DRO, PE-DRO, PE-DRO

NEPP: And to be clear, I'm advocating BOTH Pedro and Blanton.

Did anyone else notice Darren Daulton's vicious comb-over last night on CSN?

Does anyone have any idea where the Phillies stay while in Los Angeles? I am trying to make a trip out there and I would love to stay in the teams hotel.

Think Cole watched them win on TV? Must be weird to be on the team yet not be there to witness it in person nor celebrate with them. Guess the same is true for Park, Moyer, and others - but Cole is even on the roster.

I wonder if those guys stayed up 'til after 2AM to watch Game 3?

If I were one of the healthy ones who didn't make the roster and weren't already traveling with the team, I'd have wanted tickets to be there so I could at least get in the clubhouse and feel a part of the celebration.

Hopefully, Cole doesn't like feeling removed from the action, in spite of reveling in the joy of his first child's birth. We'll need him to be focused for the Dodgers.

Bret Saberhagen was able to pitch well in the 1985 World Series during/after the birth of his son. Perhaps Cole should call him and ask for advice.

If the Dodgers took the Phillies too lightly last year, I think we can assume they will take the Phils VERY seriously this year.

Frankly, I think the Dodgers are much improved, and they scare me. Their young guys are now playoff-tested, and do not forget that last year Russell Martin grounded into like four inning-ending double plays yet stayed in the cleanup spot. That was huge. I seriously doubt he will be so brutal this year.

****NEPP: And to be clear, I'm advocating BOTH Pedro and Blanton****

Oh, then we're in agreement. Happ to the BP for this series. I'd rather see Pedro in Game 2 in LA than Game 4 in Philly. His stuff plays better in their stadium and he's always loved going into another guy's park and ripping their throats out.

I think they'll keep Pedro and Brett, although you bring up a good point, JW, that they haven't pitched a ton and could end up being viewed as not ready. If anything, I think Brett would be the one left off. What about Condrey? I think he'll be put on the roster now, too, but that means someone else has to go. I'd guess Bastardo would be replaced.

And what about Happ? He gets one start in postseason and is not included in the rotation for the NLCS? Is that what everyone thinks? What about the BP? I think he'll definitely be there.

I dont know about that. Russell Martin is pretty terrible.

He posted a whopping .68 OPS in the regular season and a .496 OPS in the NLDS. I'd rather have Chooch on my team. I wouldn't do a 1 for 1 trade of them.

That's a .680 OPS, not .68 OPS above.

hahahaha yes CLo, I did. I also liked that his head is really tan underneath it too.

If Cole still wants the accolades, which presumably he does, he'll be ready to go. Saberhagen got the MVP that year if I'm not mistaken.

I wonder if Andy Tracy will be added to the roster? And I still wish that Chris Coste was with the Phillies instead of Bako. :)

"Get me to the plate, boys" - Ryan Howard, Game 4, 2009 NLDS.

Finally, a Philly sports qoute that can replace these gems:

"I'm supposed to be the franchise player, and we're talking about practice? Prtactice? (repeat 14X) - Allen Iverson, after elimination from playoffs, 2002.

"For who? For what?" - Ricky Watters, after the TB Bucs game, 1995.

"." - Any Steve Carlton interview.

"!@#$%^&*()~§" - Any Philly sports fan at any point in any game.

Howard's lne won't be as famous country-(or world)wide as

"Houston, we've had a problem." - Jim Lovell, Apollo XIII Lunar Mission, 1970

but it will be heard again in this town.

Chris Coste is with Bako? I thought he was married.

Was Daulton's comb over created to hide his aluminum foil hat?

Poor Dutchie...something about him seemed not quite sober, too.

Does anyone have a link with the game times? MLB has all TBD. Someone on the last thread had a link which no longer works.

Watching some of the great, battling ABs this series for both teams made me think of a question that comes to mind often in the postseason: when you have great hitting vs. great pitching, which one wins?

I usually say pitching, because you can throw strikes that even the best hitter can't do much with (see Tim Lincecum, generally), and most great hitters have to wait and take advantage of a great pitcher's "mistake" pitch (see Street's pitch on Howard's double).

There was no way they were going to use Hamels for anything while they were in Colorado but it seems a bit weird that he was absent for half of an NLDS.

But the Phillies seem to promote a family atmospere and are definitely more than just a business or a sports organization. That's one of the reasons I am proud to be a phan.

What a win last night. This team is resilient. Phillies in 6 or 7 over LA.

My only negative takeaway from this NLDS, specifically Game 4, is Pedro Feliz at the plate. Would someone please tell him that it's ok to not swing at the first pitch every at-bat, especially on a new pitcher late in the game. He's so annoying sometimes. But overall, awesome series and this team will be ready for LA.

I don't know if others will think it's as dumb as I do, but if you want to hear some schmaltzy Hollywood-movie style music, here's a link on mlb.com - which is followed by Duquette's analysis of the comeback in the 9th last night.

http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=7050677&topic_id=7222328

He feels the Rockies' outfielders should have played Howard's AB further back, and that Werth should have been IBB'd. Something to chew on - for Rockies fans. I prefer to revel in the victory for now - just without the silly music.

Mark - I can't remember Pete Happy doing much of anything at the plate this series.

I'd have to flip him and Chooch in the batting order. When men are on base, it would be nice to see Carlos come up with one less out on the scoreboard.

A friend of mine works for TBS and asked me what I thought of their broadcast efforts.

Should I be nice?

Should I ignore?

Should I be brutally honest? (If so, please feel free to give me your ideas about what to send him. It's a good opportunity to vent.)

Now that the euphoria is over (mostly) I think we should not think the NLCS will be a cakewalk. LA is more experienced now (ala Phillies of 08) and should pose a better challenge. That said, if (and it is a BIG if) Lidge is closer to being "back", top to bottom we have a better team than 08. It should be an exciting series. I think it will be tougher to get to the WS let alone win than 2008, but...that will make it more statisfying.

"Secondly this Dodger team is very similiar to the team we beat in 5 last year. Except they are minus Lowe (solid #1), Chan Ho Park (solid reliever). But they have added Wolf, Padilla, Garland, Thome, among other. I am sorry but all those guys that they have acquired do not have the same effect as the guys they lost."

This version also has two left handed pitchers in the bullpen that the 2008 team didn't: George Sherrill and Hong-Chih Kuo. Against the Phillies, that's a huge addition for the later innings.

Anyone else see that Dustin Pedroia threw the Fenway groundskeeping crew under the bus and essentially blamed them for their Game 3 Loss? Stay classy, Dustin!

http://morningsentinel.mainetoday.com/sports/stories/377770557.html

I think you should be honest while attempting to be objective. I prefer listening to our radio broadcasters, myself, so I didn't hear much of the TBS broadcasters. They sounded rather matter-of-fact on what I heard, during the big plays. Maybe that's what they aimed for in their quest to be objective, but I think I prefer excitement in the voice of the guy calling the game even if that excitement is voiced for the opposing team's plays.

The viewing looked pretty good. If they are going to use the visual for the strike zone, they should probably comment on it when umps make calls that are way off.

The times are the main thing. That's what you can give an earful about. The crappy times (day games during the week, or very late games) should be divided among the series. How was a 2:30PM EST start time good for either Rox fans or Phils fans? How was an 10PM EST start time good for either of those teams' fans? (For Rox fans, it was better, but still a little late for a Sunday, and freezing.) Starting at 9ET would even have helped.

Their camera crew needs work as they had some major issues tracking the ball. Joe Simpson could talk a bit less and still be informative as a color analyst. Their pitchtracker is completely useless and innacurate.

TBS:

Announcers were okay.
The production was what I would expect from the fourth-string crew on a non-baseball network; i.e., terrible.

One specific gripe: One never knew who/if anyone was warming up in the BP.

"Gonzalez's numbers on the series are just insane: .615/.643/1.000. reminiscent to me of Bonds in the 2002 WS."

Since this series conjured up so many memories of the 1980 NLCS, I was thinking more like Terry Puhl, who just couldn't make an out in that series.

That Howard quote is just another reason to like him, and this team. Back in late 2006 I was talking with some friends about the team and our chances going forward. My comment then was. The Phillies need to do everything they can to lock up Utley and Howard. Right now they have two guys who are event at bats. No matter where you are at the stadium you try to grab a view when those two come to the plate.

Fast forward 3 years later and you have 2 very dangerous hitters in the middle of the line-up and both have positioned themselves as leaders of this team. Utley was a big part of the Game 3 win with his heady play on the dribbler in front of home plate. Howard was the hero last night telling his team to get him to the plate and he'll take care of the rest. He delievered just like he said.

There are teams all around Major League Baseball who would kill for a player like Utley or Howard. We have both.

Side question: I know the 93 team is revered in Philly and the 80 team is as well. 15 years from now where do you think this team will rank in the halls of Philly teams? They have a lot of the same swagger of the '93 team but are much less vocal about it.

Kutztown - I liked the TBS coverage except for the strike zone box or whatever they call it.

I though the announcers did a nice job. Remarkably, they never once p***ed me off the way national announcers have a way of doing.

On TBS: PitchTrax was terrible. It seemed to show locations which differed monumentally from reality. It's hard to judge pitches from TV b/c of the angle, but it seemed way way off. It was even off from how the announcers were calling pitches.

Dude, I don't think it seemed like it would be easy last year, either. It just seems like it was easy in hindsight. If Stairs hadn't got that big hit, it could have been a very different NLCS. The WS in particular seemed a challenge, with the Phillies failing to score runners, the Rays a threat to run every time they got on base. Honestly, if Game 5 hadn't been postponed midway through, the Rays seemed to have the momentum to win. And if we'd had to go back to their turf, they would really have had the momentum. You never know whether your team will steal the momentum and the moment or not. I was a nervous wreck last year, although I really felt victory was possible.

This year, I also feel victory is possible, but I still feel our BP is weaker - although I feel better about it now than I did last Wednesday.

The Dodgers will be that much more resolved this year than last, and their experience will help them. Their back end of the BP is really tough. Their starters pitched well in the NLDS. They, not us, have home-field advantage this year. They will not be easy. I would never assume a victory in any case. It will be a competitive series, I think. Just like this NLDS w/CO was.

I'll be nervous, but I am grateful to the Phils for the great ride they've taken us on these past few years! They've done a great job in postseason already, and I look for them to keep fighting in the NLCS.

I was comparing their PitchTrax to Pitchfx and it was way off consistently.

Overall, they just have some moderate tweaks to make it a better product.

All 4 division series winners clinched on the road. So how important is home field advantage?

For all you grammar nuts out there, that should be "They, not we"

Another great thing about last night/s game is that it reminded people who forget (esp. on BL) that the games are 9 innings.

at first, i thought pitch trax was great, i like knowing how many pitches have been thrown in an at-bat, and i love being able to see location of the pitches and realizing that theyre throwing every pitch to howard low and away or werth up and in, etc.

but damn it is frustrating ESPECIALLY watching the games next to my girlfriend. i flip out when a pitch is on the corner and called a ball and my girlfriend says 'that pitch was waaaay outside if you look at the box in the corner.' the thing is just so inconsistent with prob 75% of the pitches

The division series winners all clinched on the road because they won games at home first.

Home field is an advantage. Not a necessity, but an advantage. Our loud fans bouoy our team and can get in the heads of the other team.

"I can't remember Pete Happy doing much of anything at the plate this series.
I'd have to flip him and Chooch in the batting order."

I don't think you can do that. There is, actually, a little bit of an art to hitting 8th that Ruiz has mastered.

TBS's coverage is so much better than Fox's. I'm thrilled that they have the NLCS this year. I never want to hear Joe Buck's voice again. (Except I do, because I want to play in and win the WS.) Tell your friend the telecast was excellent.

I do think they could have used the pitch tracker on a higher percentage of borderline calls.

Kutztown: Sounds like I'm in the minority, but I thought TBS presents a nice package. I like their overlays. Fox goes overboard. For a national analyst, Simpson seemed in tune with these teams. Compare him to Joe Morgan, for example, who offers no insights into the team or players.

Regarding great Philly teams, I think this is the greatest. Some guys are new and some have disappointed, and our pitchers are all here and there, but right now I can say with absolute confidence that:

Rollins
Victorino
Utley
Howard
Werth
Ruiz

are all names that I know I will never forget. I don't think anyone else in Philadelphia will either.

Championship caliber teams win on the road.

I thought the TBS announcers were uninspired, but that said, I'd take them any day over Buck/McCarver.

Does Joe Simpson's daughter go to Stanford too?


Simpson's main weakness is that he talked non-stop. A little less would have been better. He's far better than McCarver.

awh: The Dodgers did indeed finish 4th in the NL in runs per game with 4.91. Which puts them behind every other team in the post-season playoffs except St. Louis.

The Dodgers also allowed 4.8 runs per game. Which puts them AHEAD of every other team in the playoffs.

So, would you say the Dodgers weakness is offense or pitching?

Thanks in advance.

TTI: The 93 Phillies have a special place in Phillies lore because they had so many odd-ball personalities like Dykstra, Eisenreich, Kruk, Inky, and Daulton (who actually seemed pretty normal at the time but turned out to be the oddest bird of all). But the 93 team was a classic one-year wonder. The year before, they had lost 92 games and finished last place. The year after, they went 54-61 and were 20.5 games out of first at the time the strike ended the season. When baseball resumed in 1995, they were just as bad, going 69-75 over a shortened season.

The 1980 Phillies are better thought of as the 1976-1980 Phillies, since 1980 was really just the pinnacle of a 5-year period in which they had outstanding teams. Some would even call it an 8-year period, ending with the 1983 League Championship -- although, except for Schmidt, Carlton, Maddox & a washed-up Pete Rose, that 83 team had a very different look to it.

This team compares to the 1976-1980 Phils teams, for its sustained excellence. It hasn't been as dominant during the regular season as those late 70s teams were. And, at least so far, its run hasn't been quite as long. But if they win another championship either this year or within the next 2 or 3 years, they'll certainly go down as the best Phillies team of all time. I'm thinking this year would be the best option.

The post above has a typo. The Dodgers allowed 3.8 runs per game.

I agree Chris, this is the best team the Phillies have ever fielded. Had Lidge not struggled they would have won over 100 games. Next years team should be even better as we will have Lee for a full year and we have to trust that the bullpen problems will be solved.

http://www.phightinphils.com

I really enjoyed the TBS coverage too. In fact, I like pretty much all their analysts as well. Joe Simpson was especailly good in this series for the reason JW mentioned. He seemed to know certain quirks of players and pointed them out as the series moved along.

On the Rockies front, have to agree with those praising Gonzalez. A great series by a young player. They need to keep him in the leadoff spot going forward and keep him in the everyday spot.

It needs to be pointed out again, but Jim Tracy was a general buffoon in the series and may have cost a team a win or two.

“Get me to the plate, boys.”

That's the new rallying cry. You have to love this team. TTI asked how this team stacks up against the 1993 team. There is no comparison. This team has power back to back to back to back in the lineup with Utley, Howard, Werth and Raul. They led the NL by a mile in homers. They have speed, with the best stealing percentage over the last three years. They have defense up the middle with Chooch, J-Roll, St. Utley and Vic. They have domination starters in Lee & Hamels. Real solid starters in Happ, Blanton and Pedro. They have some solid relievers (at times) with Eyre, Madson and of late (small sample size) Lidge. (I had to be hooked up to the cardiac monitor each time Cholly put Lidge in the game.)

I liked the 1993 team, but this is the 2008 WFC and they're looking for more titles. I don't think the Dodgers will be able to handle a confident and still hungry WFC team.

I thought the TBS team was OK. But that is a giant step up from what Fox or ESPN gives us. As Bonehead said the TBS guys didn't aggrivate me. McCarver and Morgan as color guys never, ever shut up. Joe Simpson wasn't particularly interesting but at least he gave us some time to breathe. In the end I should probably just watch the game with the sound muted. I know what I'm watching when it comes to baseball. I don't need Joe Morgan bleeting on and on about a play that happened 3 innings ago. And somebody else mentioned that they acted as if the bullpen didn't even exist. Never a mention of who was warmed up to come into the game. That is information that I can't see for myself and very much need to know. I didn't think their guys were particularly insightful but they don't call balls basehits at the crack of the bat like Chip Caray kept doing. Just a tip Chip, when the line drive is caught by the leftfielder, it is not a hit.

That's the key for me, Lake Fred. I'm sure that LAD will be hungry, but this team takes NOTHING for granted. Win or lose, I know that they will play their hearts out.

Don't get why Philly vs LA is 4:37 (1:37) on Friday and LAA vs NYY is 7:37. Shouldn't the MLB take some note from the NFL and play West Coast games in the later slot? Come on.

that would make too much sense doug....and the lack of the bullpen updates really pissed me off and its unbelievable that it wasnt even touched on, let alone a focus of the broadcast becuase it is such a storyline for the phils

Bill: This may indeed best the best Phillies team ever and I agree with BAP that it is comparable to the late 1970s team. But we can't say for sure yet.

The late '70s team made the playoffs in 4 of 5 years, won more than 100 games twice and won a World Series.

This team has accomplished some, but not all, of that. We'll know how they stack up in a couple years.

The Yankees play in prime time whenever possible. End of story.

TBS crew was half-decent - anyone's going to sound like Red Barber after a season of Charlie McCarthy and Mushmouth Matthews - but don't we have them to blame for the starting times? And their camera work left quite a bit to be desired. And why do they try to promote Ernie Johnson as some kind of big deal? No one outside of Atlanta even remembers that his father provided doddering commentary on a lousy Braves team for decades.

I said Rockies over the Phils in 5. I'm happy to be wrong. I say Phils over the Dodgers in 6. I'd be happy to be right.

Thoughts on a couple topics…

I watched all the games on TBS. I thought the announcing was fairly bland, but much better than having to listen to the kind of constant micro-analysis that comes from Joe Morgan/Tim McCarver types. Camera work could have been a lot better. There were a lot of close plays where they never had a good angle and several times where they seemed to lose the ball entirely.

I've finally decided this team is better than the 76-81 edition. I loved those teams, but there was obvious lack of follow through in the post-season outside of 1980. This team has at least as much talent, maybe more, and is much more cohesive and able to respond to pressure and adversity. I am sure some of that comes from their being different players, but I gotta attribute some to the manager to.

I think LA will be tougher than last year with the series going 6 or 7 games.

I don't think you can win when both series feature a West Coast vs. an East Coast team. No matter what, the time will be inconvenient for one team's fans.

Maybe the AL gets the prime time start b/c it's the first game of their series whereas the NL series will have had prime time the night before (I assume).

But since both series play again on the 19th, NYY@LAA and LAD@PHI, you can bet they will follow the West Coast=later start time principle then, and the Phils-Dodgers will be playing on a Monday afternoon in Philadelphia.

I guess Fox and TBS have a pact not to compete for viewers by showing both games concurrently.

There was a change agreed upon for the WS start time, wasn't there? I think it will start at 8PM (instead of 8:40-8:50) this year.

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EST. 2005

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