Colorado faced Phillies left-handers in 108 of 144 plate appearances and were limited to a .669 OPS. Meanwhile, the big bats of the Phils barely faced any lefties and figure to see plenty of them in the NLCS.
Beerleaguers have already started discussing how the Phils will need to shift gears against a Dodgers’ lineup better equipped to face left-handed pitching, going so far as to say the series key could actually boil down to how well the Phillies’ right-handers contain Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp and the rest of the Dodgers’ balanced lineup. This concept is worth taking a step further. How will a Phillies’ offense that hit .296/.381/.452 with 61 total bases, facing right-handers in all but 13 of their 154 plate appearances in the division series, stack up against likely Game 1 starter Randy Wolf, Clayton Kershaw and a bullpen that includes tough lefties Hong-Chih Kuo and deadline pickup George Sherrill, undoubtedly acquired by Ned Colletti with this probable rematch in mind?
Just like the division series, Charlie Manuel will earn his stripes based on how he leverages his available arms. Chan Ho Park, recovering from a strained hammy, traveled to Los Angeles, meaning he could be added to the 25-man roster. Teams are permitted to reset their rosters between series and finding the right mix of healthy and dependable arms figures to be no small challenge considering LA's balanced attack. Beyond Cole Hamels going in Game 1, the Phillies could go any number of directions.