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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

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With all those lefties I think it's safe to assume Howard will be a non factor this series. Rollins, Vic, and Werth are going to need to have a good series.

The only real big impact of LH is Howard, who hits like Albert Pujols against RH and Dave Kingman vs. LH.

I would love to see Howard get into his "wait 'til the last second" groove and pump some LHed pitching over the LF wall.

Tony D: Is that sarcasm? A non-factor? Sure, the lefties will make it difficult for him to have the kind of series he had against the Rockies, and it does scare me a bit, but I'd never count Howard out. At any moment he can hit a bomb.

Why not keep Happ, Pedro and Kendrick out of game 1 altogether and assign them to split the duties of game 2? Start off with the idea that each will go 3 innings, but adjust as needed (ie- pull the trigger quickly if they get into serious trouble, or allow them to go longer if they're dominant).

If any of them should falter, it's probable that one of the others can pick up the slack and work multiple innings. Besides, giving Pedro some innings might better prepare him to pitch deeper into a game later in the NLCS if necessary.

They're three very different pitchers; might keep the Dodgers bats off balance if a large portion of the lineup only sees a pitcher once or twice at most.

Forget all that; how is Manny's baby? Was it a boy or girl?

What?

CS - Cholly would never do something like that in game 2. I doubt any manager would count on thier last man in the pen to pitch 3 innings in game two of the LCS. Thats assuming Kendrick even makes the roster.

Dukes, Howard was .653 OPS vs lefties in 09. Wolf had a .417 OPS against vs lefties in 09, and Kershaw was .489. Together, Wolf and Kershaw gave up 2 HR's vs lefties this SEASON. So I'm not expecting much power from our lefty hitters. I hope I'm wrong of course.

I agree with the overall opinion regarding this series expressed by many here. Whether you are in the camp afraid of the lefty starters and lefty relievers. Also don't forget on upcoming stars Matt Kemp and now Andre Eithier who has come alive this season, including 1 walk off homerun earlier this year against our Phillies.

However when this is all said and done, I am pretty confident that the difference in this series will be Game 1 & Game 3 where the pitching matchups COULD be Hamels vs. Wolf and Lee vs. Padilla respectively. I am sorry, but no matter what stats you try to decode, if you can not tell that those pitching matchups HEAVILY favor the Phillies, then I don't know what to say. We are talking about the reigning NLCS and WS MVP along with his tag team partner, former AL Cy young going against journeymen Randy Wolf and Vincente Padilla. I mean honestly, come on.

Game 1 is going to be extremely important in this series. If cole pitches well and gets a W, I think we will take the series. If not, I don't like our chances. Kershaw vs our game 2 starter is not an ideal matchup.

Wolf was not sharp in his first start, lets hope that continues.

I am very excited though. Watching this team is a pleasure.

I hear that, Tony. But you said we can count on Howard being a non factor "this series." While the lefties will hurt his production, I find it hard to believe he won't have at least 1 big hit (and I hope more) in this series.

Tony D: That's a scary stat. Good post.

I think you are forgetting how weather can play a part here. With the weather looming in Philly, we could theortically face Kershaw in games 1 and 3. I dont like that, but then again, having then face Lee when 99% of LA has never seen him b4 works in our favor. I expect a really good 7 game series and I think this is a coin flip.

mvptommy: I think it all depends on which version of Cole Hamels shows up.

Forget the stats- Think about a Matt Stairs HR going deep into the background of a California night sky.

Feel better now.

Dukes is right. This series is pretty dependent on how Hamels performs.

mvptommy: And someone's career stats make it possible for you to predict what they'll do in a single game how? Remind us. In fact, you can begin by telling us how Padilla's career stats foreshadowed his pitching 7 shutout innings in his first playoff start.

I think Pedro will have a huge impact on this series. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is another matter altogether. That said, I'd rather give Pedro a start over Happ against this team.

"Together, Wolf and Kershaw gave up 2 HR's vs lefties this SEASON."

Strangely enough, both home runs were hit by Brad Hawpe.

Bubba -- why imagine when you can watch?

http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=200810143618349&c_id=phi>Stairs Moon Shot

And if anyone can turn that into an animated GIF, that would be fantastic.

"In fact, you can begin by telling us how Padilla's career stats foreshadowed his pitching 7 shutout innings in his first playoff start."

Going into the game, Padilla had NEVER allowed a run in his starts in St. Louis. It was all right there, if you did the research.

Yes, it was only one start, and it was in 2002, and I'm excluding games where Padilla started against St. Louis in other locations or where he came in as a relief pitcher. So it really wasn't there. At all.

We better add another bench option for this series.

It almost bit us in the butt twice in the Colorado series. Putting a IF who hadn't played in the OF in over a year, in the 9th inning of a clinching game, because you were out of players, was really bad.

Put Gnome on the roster and take off one of the un-needed extra pitchers, and go with a 11 man staff.

Again, with the off-days, there is ZERO reason to carry 12 pitchers in the playoffs. There IS a reason, to carry an extra bench option though.

Thanks for that, Pete Happy. Beautiful.

Think there's a chance it happens again?

Any chance of Ben Fran getting the nod against Kershaw?

Wow, so Bruntlett has value! Actually, I'm wondering why Francisco was PH for. Must have been a matchup thing.

Not even the most irrational poster would argue that the Dodgers pitching doesn't present a greater challenge than the Rockies (well, CJ would) but keep in mind that against LHP, Werth has an OPS of 1.080, Ibanez is at .998, Utley at .962, Chooch at .894, Vic at .844, so the team is not without weapons.

The guys who did poorly vs. LHP this year were Rollins (.691), Howard (.653) and Feliz (.663).

Charlie can maximize his offense thru lineup adjustments and smart pinch hitting.

denny b: Please explain how having Bruntlett on the roster helps the team. Thanks.

Clout-
Padilla could throw 7 shutout innings - hell he could throw a perfect game. He could also get shelled for 5 runs in 1 2/3 innings. I would say the likeliest scenario is that he pithces a little worse than his average career statistics, given the capabilities of the Phillies offense.

By your logic, it almost sounds like you're contending it's completely moot to even put forth predictions about what will happen in this series. I mean if we can't accurately attempt to predict how Padilla will throw in game 3, then what are we even doing here?

"In fact, you can begin by telling us how Padilla's career stats foreshadowed his pitching 7 shutout innings in his first playoff start."

I refuse to answer your inane questions. So I will reach into my bag and pull out a BLer favorite, "Every clock is right twice a day". With that Said I expect nothing less than Padilla to let up 6 runs in 5 or 6 innings.

Also Padilla is a career 2-1 with a 4.40 ERA against the Cards. Want to guess what he is against the Phillies? I will tell you. 0-1 with a 10.50 ERA.

Pete Happy- Priceless!

Clout: I don't think anyone is arguing that a combo of Kershaw, Wolf, Padilla and Kuroda/Garland is better than Cook, Jimenez, Hammel and Marquis/De la Rosa. However, you make Wolf and Padilla sound like the next coming of Schil and Randy Johnson via the 2001 D'Backs. I mean give me a break.

the last post should be "isn't better" instead of "is better"

****Wow, so Bruntlett has value! Actually, I'm wondering why Francisco was PH for. Must have been a matchup thing.****

"Its called playing the percentages. Its what smart managers do to win ballgames. You see, you're a lefty and so is the pitcher."

"But Skip, I've had 9 homeruns today!!!"

"Hit the showers, Darryl."

NEPP: As Im sure you remember, that 'playing the percentages' worked in their favor. They got the winning run across.

Padilla threw 7 shutout innings? Wow, that's great. Someone send him a couple of bottles of whiskey to celebrate!

"I mean if we can't accurately attempt to predict how Padilla will throw in game 3, then what are we even doing here?"

Unfortunately, our ability to accurately predict the happenings of a 7 game series is pretty slight. But it is fun to conjecture.

Love that episode NEPP.

"Padilla threw 7 shutout innings? Wow, that's great. Someone send him a couple of bottles of whiskey to celebrate!"

Pete Happy - you win an internet!

Klaus - I wrote that tongue-in-cheek. One of my favorite things to do is make predictions as to how the Phils will fare in the playoffs. I just didn't follow Clout's logic that, since Padilla threw 7 shutout innings in one start last series against St. Louis, his career statistics (and especially statistics against the Phils in particular) were of no relevance to how he will fare next week against the Phils.

diggity: I agree with your assessment. Predicting how a specific player will perform in a single game is impossible. But you can certainly make true statements about larger season-long performances by both individuals and teams and hope, in the Phils case, that the form holds over a short series.

Padilla could pitch very well, but the odds are against it. Surely his 8 good starts for LA can't be more predictive of how he'll pitch than his very mediocre numbers over the past 4 or so years - indeed, his mediocre numbers this very season. Randy Wolf, on the other hand, had a very good season - one that, though it's on the high end of what he's done in his career, doesn't vastly outstrip his career numbers. So no, I don't think that Hamels/Wolf is advantage Hamels, not the way Hamels has pitched this year, including his one start so far this postseason.

Tray: So you think how someone has performed over the past 4 years is predictive of how they'll perform in their next start?

Interesting.

mvptommy: As usual, you haven't been paying attention. Several posters argued exactly that.

Yes, clout, it is predictive of their next start, with the caveat, of course, that even an Adam Eaton has a 20% chance of throwing a good game in any given start. However, there's also an 80% chance that he'll throw a bad one, and we know that because of how awful Eaton's career numbers are, not because of his moving 8-start average. If Eaton freakishly does well over an 8-game period, do you think it's more likely than not that he'll pitch well in the 9th game? And then in the 10th game, and so on ad infinitum? Of course not. You expect his run of good luck to stop every game he goes out there. Padilla is not Adam Eaton, so he has, I'll grant, a higher chance of pitching well. But in any given start, it's still more likely than not that he'll come back to earth. If he was doing this all year, then you could say he's having a good season, he's doing something differently. And if he pitched decently in the AL, you could say it was the league switch. But it's more than the league switch because the improvement's been huge, and besides, he's facing us, a team as good as any he faced in Texas, not the run-of-the-mil NL team.

clout: Well than they are wrong. Dodgers rotation is better. BUT Wolf and Padilla aren't going to lift them to the WS.

If the Dodgers have a chance in this series they are going to need offensive contributions their entire lineup. Something that didn't happen collectively last year.

I still feel like the Rockies series was a tougher series than this will be overall.

Guys step up all the time in the postseason. Some of them are surprises. There are also others you expect to do well who don't. And if Padilla pitched well this season for LA, I do think it can negate his mediocrity of the past. So my fear will be that he will be terrific again - or that the Phils will pull their typical funk against mediocre pitchers if he does prove to be mediocre. My hope is that either he will be mediocre and the Phils offense will go to town, or that he will be great and the Phils offense will still go to town.

Totally unpredictable in my book, but anything seems possible. That's why we watch. Go ahead and have fun making predicitions. I'm sure that game time will find you, like me, watching - fearing the worst and hoping for the best.

To quote Charlie "That's baseball."

"I just didn't follow Clout's logic that, since Padilla threw 7 shutout innings in one start last series against St. Louis, his career statistics (and especially statistics against the Phils in particular) were of no relevance to how he will fare next week against the Phils."

Right, and it's a mistake to rely on either date point as a predictor of how Padilla will fare in one start against the Phillies.

Do you guys think it will be Kershaw in Game 1?

I think after he pitched so well in the NLDS and Wolf pitched so poorly, he might go Kershaw even though most people are saying it will be Wolf. If the Dodgers can take Game 1 with Hamels and Kershaw on the mound, and then throw Wolf against Blanton/Pedro, its obviously a better matchup than Wolf vs Hamels. On the other hand, Torre could go with the Kershaw vs Blanton/Pedro matchup and have a distinct advantage in Game 2.

Also a stark difference between these teams. The Dodgers starting 8 had a combined 132 HR's, with only 1 player (Eithier) hitting over 30 HR (He had 31). Their ENTIRE team combined only had 145 HR's.

The Phillies starting 8 had a combined 198 HR's, with 4 players (Werth, Utley, Ibanez and Howard) hitting over 30 HR's.

This is another reason why I think the Phillies are better. As we saw in the NLDS, even a solo HR can spark a team.

Also, since the Dodgers don't hit the long ball and rely on "small ball" , double plays sure don't help. Dodgers have GIDP's 141 times this year. Compared to the Phillies 90 times.

These are all huge problems and mismatches between these teams offensively and something that the Dodgers can not depend on.

Just one question. All this talk about their improved bullpen. If it is 6-1 Phillies in the 6th, who cares what their bullpen looks like?

If I remember correctly, the key to breaking Padilla is to get runners on base. I know that statement sounds moronic, but I recall Padilla really getting rattled by base runners and severely slowing his pace. Jimmy, Victorino, and Utley would really do this team a favor if they get on early against this guy and run around.

I know the matchups go a lot deeper than this, but doesn't it say something about the Dodgers that last year their game 1 starter is Derek Lowe and this year it's Randy Wolf?

Anyone see the weather forecast for Philly this weekend? Terrible. World Series '08 terrible.

Do they annonce rosters today?
CHP in & Bastardo out??
Gnome returns & Myers out??

I would argue for replacing a pitcher with a hitter for this series (presumably Bruntlett or Mayberry). We used Pedro, Kendrick, and Bastardo for a combined 1 batter last series, and yet needed Cliff Lee to pinch-run and Miguel Cairo to play left-field. I think that speaks to the necessity of a 6th bench player more than a 12th pitcher.

What about KK? On or off? Park? Will they decide he's healthy enough? Will we have cause to worry that he isn't? or that he'll be rusty? Will Walker or Condrey be brought back?

And as for the rotation....Cole, Joe, Lee, then Pedro? or Happ? Seems like most here prefer Pedro to Happ for this series. Put him in the 'pen. Since Joe B. did well out of the 'pen, too, should he stay there?

45F and rain Sunday night. Playoffs with a side of pneumonia. Why not?

Jack: Even though they both are clueless at the plate, I'd take Mayberry over Bruntlett. Perhaps Mayberry can get lucky and send one deep into the October night.

Having Mayberry to play left field in NLDS game 4 is a much better option then sticking Cario out there because you ran out of players.

I would guess Charlie will elect to carry another bench player.

Personally, I would replace Bastardo and Kendrick with a bench player and Park (or Walker if Park isn't healthy).

True, Bay Slugga, but he can't play infield. Cairo isn't very experienced as an OF. Bruntlett can play both. Still, I feel I'd prefer Mayberry, too.

Of course you can never be certain of how anyone will pitch or hit in any one game, but obviously it's more likely that Cliff Lee will pitch well in a given start than Hamels will. That's because the one has been a much better pitcher than the other this season. Similarly, I think it's folly to say that Lidge has turned it all around because he's gotten 4 postseason outs, only one of which was a strikeout, and that against an obviously pressing batter.

It may be a colder-than-usual October across the country this year, but since we're already mid-month, it's not surprising to see the bad weather make an appearance. I like the suggestion of removing interleague play from regular season and therefore playing 10 fewer games. It would help.

Either that, or limit the postseason to CA, FL, AZ, and TX teams, or any team with a dome. (Are there any cold-weather teams with domes next year?) No more Yankees, Red Sox, or Phillies in the postseason. :)

Or, as the supposed Rockies fan was quoted as saying upon the postponement of Saturday's game: "Can't they just wear parkas?"

Here's an idea. Eliminate the dreaded WBC and then the season will start 10 days earlier. At that rate we would be getting ready for the WS to begin instead of just starting the NLCS/ALCS.

Jack: Because of health issues & instability in the pen, I supported the decision to carry 8 relievers in the NLDS. But Eyre proved himself healthy enough to pitch and, if Park can return, he'll provide some stability to the pen. The wild card is Park's health status. Is he truly able to return, or is this one of those situations where no one is 100% sure, but they're willing to take the risk? The reason you carry an 8th reliever is so that, if someone gets injured, you don't find yourself down to just 6 relievers. That is certainly a risk with Park.

Bruntlett provides absolutely nothing of value, whereas an 8th reliever at least has a slim chance of being useful. So, if it's a choice between Bruntlett & or an 8th reliever, I'd take the 8th reliever. But, to me, the choice should be between Mayberry and an 8th reliever. Mayberry is much faster than Bruntlett, much better in the OF, and, of course, has the potential to go yard in every AB.

David Montgomery just commented last week that the WBC had nothing to do with the season starting later this year, although I still don't see how that's true. Did anyone else read that?

But that's a fine suggestion, too. Although last year the WS was still a little late, I thought.

"Mayberry is much faster than Bruntlett, much better in the OF, and, of course, has the potential to go yard in every AB."

SAY YES TO THE RFD!!!

BAP, I agree 100%.

I'd actually bounce both Bastardo & Kendrick & bring in Condrey & Walker for this series. Happ will probably be doing bullpen duty this series, so Bastardo isn't necessary. And, with Romero out, Condrey is the best ground ball pitcher in our bullpen.

weather.com is not quite as pessimistic about the forecast, saying 40% chance of rain on Sunday, but Monday looking pretty nice.

As for the roster, I would drop Kendrick and Bastardo, add Park and Condrey. Happ to the bullpen and Pedro gets a start.

Quick question:

Did the Phillies hit better against lefties or righties this season?

Answer:
Phils vs. LHP: .787 OPS
Phils vs. RHP: .779 OPS

This idea that LHPs can neutralize the Phils is a myth. The problem with the Rockies is that they platooned players based on pitching matchups leaving their better offensive players on the bench.

The Phils won't be doing that.

re: the questions about who is starting game 1 for the dodgers. 610 this morning reported as fact that wolf was starting game 1. do we know this for sure?

i agree with the post above that pitching wolf game 1 when they have kershaw is kind of dumb. my hunch is they go with kershaw, but i'm excited to hear.

Everyone

Please stop bringing up Hammels MVPs last year. He's _NOT_ that pitcher anymore. He's got a 7.20 ERA in the postseason this year and the team's only loss. He's struggling like he has for most of the season.

Dukes, agreed. If healthy and rested, you should always go with the guy that has then best stuff in Game 1. I don't know why he would go Wolf instead of Kershaw, but I'm glad thats the rumor.

Shane: Yea and what occurred immediately after the start? Oh yea, the birth of his 1st child. I think that a something to do with his 4 runs in 5 innings. Don't you?

And it is "Hamels" not "Hammels" therefore your opinion is null in void on this topic.

Also, going by that judgement Lidge shouldn't have made the playoff roster. Oh wait he recorded 2 saves when Madson and Eyre were in jams. Hmm, good thing Charlie put him on the roster.

Pedro Feliz did not have a very good series against the Rockies.

With the LHP that the Dodgers have, and with Sherrill lurking in the bullpen, IMHO Pete Happy needs to step it up and get on base more in front of Chooch. Period.

Spitz: He would go with Wolf for this reason.

Game 1 Thursday Wolf
Game 2 Friday Kershaw
Game 3 Sunday Padilla
Game 4 Monday Billingsley/Kuroda/Garland
Game 5 Wednesday Kershaw
Game 6 Friday Wolf
Game 7 Saturday Padilla!?!?

Point is no matter what Kershaw is pitching game 1 or 2 and 5 because the rotation rolls over regardless for game 5. So if the Dodgers loss game 1 with Kershaw on the mound. They MUST win game 2 with Wolf. So Torre would rather take his chances in game 1 with Wolf and if they lose, no big deal because Kershaw is going game 2. As opposed to losing game 1 with Kershaw and being in full out panic mode for game 2.

And it is "Hamels" not "Hammels" therefore your opinion is null in void on this topic.

Tommy the phrase is null and void. People in glass houses and all.

donc: My mistake on the typo. But seriously, who doesn't know how to spell their own guys last names?

mlb.com compares the LCS teams position by position. Apparently Feliz is erratic in the field (I hadn't noticed). Edge to PHI at 1B, 2B, SS. Other than that, the reporter gives the edge to LA, at 3B, OF, C, SP, RP, and of course, closer. It is interesting to read.

Feliz definitely needs to step it up. I don't think anyone would question that.

Shane: Thank you for being grounded in reality.

I hope he can, but I'm not willing to believe that Hamels can magically get it all together this postseason. He's been highly average most of the year.

I just read a blog touting how cool a Freeway Series between the Dodgers and Angels would be. In the comments section, most of the people posted about which highway would the fans use to get to the game.

Really? The fans in LA would rather talk about getting to the games instead of how the teams match up, etc?

Phils/Yanks = much better baseball.

Rather ironic the Phils do a quick turnaround to make it back to LA only to have the weather make onfield practice today impossible.

I'm sure most folks around the country want to see Dodgers-Yankees.

My order of preference from here on out is: Phils (goes without saying), followed by Angels, then Dodgers, lastly Yankees. If the Yankees take the trophy, I will be somewhat consoled by the fact that it has been several years since they've done so. Not long enough, IMO. But if it can't be the Phils, I'd really like the Angels to win b/c of Nick Adenhart. Not that it will bring him back, but I like the story.

Shane and Bed beard: Do you want reality? I will give it to you. Hamels is 1-0 with a 1.12 ERA @ Dodger Stadium in 16.0 IP and 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA overall in 30.0 IP.

Tommy: Just yanking your chain. Beerleaguer is the place that grammar and spelling went to die. For most of us, correcting people in these areas is like Adam Eaton becoming a pitching coach.

Hamels hasn't been great this year, but even when he was in his funk, he still pitched very well against LA. Complete game shutout IIRC.

He can still do it; I have faith.

But, as other posters have noted, we need him if we are going to win this series. Time to step it up, Cole.

Phillies in 6.

Weather forecasts use a brand of statistics that is unique to weather forecasts. A "40% chance of rain" means there's about a 90% chance of rain, but the rain isn't likely to be super heavy or prolonged.

Of course Hamels is capable of pitching well and I hope he does. I just am not going to take it for granted that he will. Given the year he's had, I think that is a realistic stance.

Honestly, for all we know, Heidi might have had a tough pregnancy and that might have been distracting Cole all season. Maybe now that the kid is out, he can focus on pitching...

That's my hope at least.

Growing up in Sacramento, we used to have a local weatherman known as "Stormin' Norman." He was one of the few weathermen who was also a meteorologist, and he always used to belittle statements like "There's a 40% chance of rain." He would say exactly what I just wrote in my last post: that "40% chance of rain" was just weather-speak for, "90% chance of rain but it won't be a huge rain storm."

Unfortunately, Stormin' Norman's career as weatherman came to a rather inglorious end when he was caught on videotape performing sex acts in the men's room at a local Macy's.

Bed Beard-"I just am not going to take it for granted that he will."
The only things we can take for granted are complaining about the strike zone and Cholly's moves.
And Charles has gotten some praise lately, so maybe we can't even assume that.

GBrettfan: Don't buy it. Here's what I see:

Howard > Loney
Utley >> Belliard/Hudson
Rollins > Furcal
Feliz < Blake
Werth > Ethier
Victorino < Kemp
Ibanez < Ramirez
Lee > Wolf
Hamels > Kershaw
Happ > Padilla
Phils BP << Dodgers BP

That's 8 > for us and only 5 < for them. That makes us >>> better than the Dodgers.

And that's science.

I like that theory, NEPP. Preferable to thinking he just doesn't have it this year.

I am happy for him personally and also glad for the team's sake that he has had a few days to enjoy his newborn son. (Who will still be spending most of his time sleeping anyway.) Hopefully, that will be enough to have given Cole a mental break that he can use to reinvigorate himself for the playoffs.

He can then refocus on the job at hand and be motivated both by his desire to "walk down Broad St. again and again and again" and by a desire to do his part to dispatch LA (and then the future AL champs) in as few games as possible. So that he can get home to his family that much earlier, with another ring to pass down to his son someday.

CJ: That's not a big divergence between L/R (.008) and, as I noted above, the Phils have some pretty good weapons against lefties.

But it's worth a deeper look into that slightly higher OPS vs. LHP. Here's the breakdown:

vs RHP
BA .262
OB .334
SLG .445

vs LHP
BA .248
OB .335
SLG .452

As you can see, against lefties the Phils offense has slightly more power, but lots fewer hits. And the OB is about identical. If I'm an opposing manager, it's that .248 BA that interests me.

I think Cole will want his first start with his son on this earth to be a good one. Being from Cali and a sort of night start will help as well.

If he can't get up for this one, there are serious problems with him. I have faith though.

W,L,W,W,L,W

Phils in 6.

CJ, Kershaw is better than Hamels this year.

GBrettfan: Everyone associated with MLB would do anything in their power to have an LA-NY World Series.

CJ: Actually, that's your opinion. And we all know what that's worth.

clout: That's worth noting, but my point stands. The idea that lefties neutralize this offense is a myth. Plain and simple. It's just not true. If we were sitting down our best players in favor of inferior players just to get a righty-lefty matchup, that would be a problem. It's just not the case.

This offense performed very well against LHP this season.

I have a bigger concern about late game matchups vs. Kuo and Sherrill than I do about the starting pitching.

Since the mlb.com reporter lumped all OF and SP together, your assessment agrees with his in terms of OF (Dodgers OF > Phils OF) but disagrees in terms of SP, where you would give the edge to PHI. Which would make us pretty even.

If you look at the OF specifically, however, surely Ibanez is a better fielder than Manny, even if Manny's bat is amazing. And I think it can be considered about even with regards to CF and RF.

What about C? I like that Ruiz at least keeps his cool. Martin may have the better bat.

I do think the series will be tough. And that's ok. I like the fight our Phils have shown so far.

Since the Phils seem to do better this year against good pitchers rather than mediocre ones, should that work in favor of us or them?

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