After announcing Clayton Kershaw as his Game 1 starter, Joe Torre will follow with Vicente Padilla, Hiroki Kuroda and Randy Wolf. Meanwhile, the Phils have made Cole Hamels official for Game 1.
Last series, Beerleaguer picked Cliff Lee as his key to the division series and it turned out to be a rather good guess for the strapping young lad indeed. So here we have the Championship Series, and I gotta admit I'm at a loss. Many of the experts expect a seven-game series and Vegas anticipates a Dodgers win. The only clear vision includes plenty of goose eggs lining that scoreboard. Considering the quality of the pitching, four games slated at Dodgers Stadium, and with raw conditions setting into the Northeast, these roaring lineups could be reduced to a purr.
Also clouding the crystal ball is the fact that the Phils haven't announced their rotation beyond Hamels, much less a roster, which makes this next statement a little risky: Pedro Martinez will be the key for the Phillies.
Let's face it: Everyone wants to see what a future Hall-of-Famer can do in the 80-degree heat, returning to the place where it all started, slotted into Game 2 against Padilla. But the Phillies can't afford to get suckered into the novelty of it. Pedro hadn't even shaken off the rust before spending these last 14 days crusting up again. If Charlie Manuel makes this call, as Jayson Stark believes he will, then he must be absolutely certain. He's got a tested arm sitting there in Joe Blanton, no matter how well he showed out of the 'pen. Not to sell the Phillies' late-game heroics short, they can't afford a three-inning dud, considering how tough it will be to rally against this formidable Los Angeles bullpen.Meanwhile, here's your Dodgers X-Factor: Kuroda, who will start Game 3. There's a reason Joe Torre flew all the way to Arizona to watch his Japanese right-hander make 50 pitches in a simulated game: the Phillies can't hit him.