A Phillies Tale
By Kevin K
On Thursday life seemed a little bit dimmer as the Phillies fell to the Giants once again, falling to 3-1 in the series. Life was at its end throughout the Sporting World and Schooling world of the Philadelphia Area. In one local Elementary School a teacher had an idea that would help save the Philadelphia Phillies and their season.
Throughout the day every student in the class had a chance to talk to Roy Halladay (well not really, they talked to a poster of Roy) and tell him what they wanted to happen that night. Every student in that classroom had a private conversation with Roy and helped “will” the Phillies to a Game Five win.
Yesterday, the students had the opportunity to talk to Roy Halladay again, along with another poster of the Phillies roster; this time, talking to “the boys”.
In this way there is hope. Hope that the Phillies are truly listening to not only us Phillies Phans, but the children who look up to these players every day. These students are growing up in a winning Philadelphia society; a society that hasn’t grown since 1975-1983 where the Flyers, Eagles, Phillies, and 76ers were all in the Championship of their sports (three of them winning).
I hope the Phillies were “listening” and ready to PHIGHT back this weekend against the Giants.
Note: Phillies time change from 3:57 to 7:57 on Saturday
My Fellow Phans ,
So the NLCS is set to begin play tonight between the Philadelphia Phillies and the San Francisco Giants. In what appears to be a very close and well pitching series, this series has the potential to go the distance. Here is your NLCS preview with a position-by-position breakdown:
Phillies: Ryan Howard
Giants: Aubrey Huff
Neither first baseman had a particular strong opening series. However, it terms of overall impact, Howard provides a bit more than Huff. During his career, Howard has led the league in homers, RBIs including winning the Rookie of the Year and MVP awards. Huff had a good season for the Giants, but not as strong as Howards.
Phillies: Chase Utley
Giants: Freddy Sanchez
Sanchez is an above quality contact hitter, whom helps set the table for the Giants’ offense. However, Utley has been well known as one of the top players in all of baseball and has been providing admirably for the Phillies in the postseason during his career. Both players provide solid dividends for their respective teams, but those listed factors give the edge to the superstar from Philly.
Phillies: Placido Polanco
Giants: Pablo Sandoval
After having a monster 2009 season, Sandoval had a serious slip in numbers in 2010. He is still a dangerous hitter, but not as formidable as he was 2 seasons ago. Even during this postseason, he was removed in games for defense and didn’t start one of the two games. Polanco hit just under .300 this season for the Phillies and provided an adequate top setter for the Philadelphia offense this season better than most people predicted.
Phillies: Jimmy Rollins
Giants: Juan Uribe
It is obvious that Rollins isn’t at 100% and that is showing signs of returning to old form at the plate, but overall he hasn’t done not much Rollins-like hitting at the plate this year. Uribe had a great season power wise for the Giants and was one of their top run producers overall. If Rollins was fully healthy, then this battle may go differently, but for now Uribe is the better of these two shortstops.
Phillies: Carlos Ruiz
Giants: Buster Posey
Buster Posey came into the league and made a gigantic splash when he came into the big leagues this year. There is no doubt that he is one of the best catchers in baseball and one of the best players overall this season. For the Phillies, Ruiz has solidified himself as a mainstay in the offense. He has been arguably the most clutch hitter for the Phillies, albeit mostly from the 7th and 8th spot, and drove in key runs in critical situations. He has been even more clutch in the postseason for Philadelphia.
Phillies: Raul Ibanez
Giants: Pat Burrell
Burrell has been one of the primary run producers for the Giants. Ibanez had a really horrific start, but has picked up his offense majorly over the past couple months of this season. Offensively, both players are about even, but defensively, Ibanez clearly has an edge over Burrell, whom is often pulled for defensive reasons late in ballgames. This defensive edge gives Ibanez the slight, slight edge in this matchup.
Phillies: Shane Victorino
Giants: Andrew Torress
This is a matchup of two quality centerfielders. Both players are their respective teams’ leadoff hitters and are good at setting the tables with their above average speed. There isn’t much difference in their stats either. So upon further review, I think this is a draw.
Phillies: Jayson Werth
Giants: Cody Ross
Ross has been one of the top clutch hitters this postseason for the Giants and he a quality time with the Giants after being dealt by the Marlins. However, he is matched up against an All-Star caliber talent in Werth. The Phillies’ right fielder has the ability to carry a team and that gives him the edge in this matchup.
Even though the Phillies used their pitching to carry them most of the season, their offense is still one of the tops in the league. Despite the fact that runs could be hard to come by this series with the strong pitching presented, the Phillies’ offense is stronger than the Giants. Whether or not, either team will be able to score a lot of runs this series is still to be seen, but on paper, the Phillies offense is stronger.
Phillies: Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton
Giants: Tim Lincecum, Jonathon Sanchez, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner
I think there is no doubt that this series will be all about the pitching. There is really no weakness in the opening 3 starters for either team. I don’t think that I need to say anything about how good these pitchers have been.
Bullpen: The Rangers’ bullpen has been one of the best in the league this season. The Philadelphia pen has struggled at times this season and there is a still some questions outside of Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge. However, there hasn’t really been a single weak spot for the Giants this season. Give the edge to the Giants’ pen on this one.
Experience: The Phillies have been in this position in the past two seasons although this may be the toughest test that they have to face to get to the World Series. There is no proof that experience plays a significant role in these situations, but if it does than the Phillies have the edge.
The NLCS gives us a glimpse of the two best teams in the National League: the Giants and the Phillies. If there is any slight edge for either side, it would be with the overall lineups and on the Phillies side. So, the very, very slight edge goes to the Phillies in the series.
Slight Edge: Phillies
Look for more coverage on the NLCS later!
Until we meet again Phillies fans; Happy Readings and Go Phillies!
25 Man Roster for the NLCS
SP Roy Halladay (RHP)
SP Roy Oswalt (RHP)
SP Cole Hamels (LHP)
SP Joe Blanton (RHP)
RHP Kyle Kendrick
RHP Chad Durbin
RHP Jose Contreras
RHP Ryan Madson
RHP Brad Lidge
LHP Antonio Bastardo
LHP J.C. Romero
C Carlos Ruiz
1B Ryan Howard
2B Chase Utley
SS Jimmy Rollins
3B Placido Polanco
LF Raul Ibanez
CF Shane Victorino
RF Jayson Werth
1B Mike Sweeney (R)
1B/OF Ross Gload (L)
OF Ben Francisco (R)
INF Wilson Valdez (R)
OF Domonic Brown (L)
C Brian Schneider (L)
NLCS Schedule: Phillies vs Giants
note: times are subject to change
Game 1 in Philadelphia: Saturday Oct. 16 at 7:57
Game 2 in Philadelphia: Sunday Oct. 17 at 8:19
Game 3 in SF: Tuesday Oct. 19 at 4:19
Game 4 in SF: Wednesday Oct. 20 at 7:57
Game 5 in SF: Thursday Oct. 21 at 7:57 (if necessary)
Game 6 in Philadelphia: Saturday Oct. 23 at 3:57 (if necessary)
Game 7 in Philadelphia: Sunday Oct. 24 at 7:57 (if necessary)