Game 1- Halladay vs Lohse
Game 2- Lee vs Carpenter
Game 3- Hamels vs Garcia
Game 4- Oswalt vs Westbrook/Jackson
Game 5- Halladay vs Carpenter/Lohse
They pried Cliff Lee away from everyone during the offseason, and swooped in to scoop right fielder Hunter Pence at the trading deadline.
Obviously Lee’s signing had everyone giving the Phillies’ rotation nicknames, but Pence’s acquisition gave Philadelphia it’s right-handed bat in the middle of the order. Neither Domonic Brown, nor Ben Francsisco could lockdown the starting right fielder position, vacated by Jayson Werth. John Mayberry played extremely well, but his name wasn’t in the right field mix for much of the year.
Pence came in and fixed all of the offensive problems.
The St. Louis Cardinals are on fire, they went 18-8 in September and they made an 8 1/2 game lead in the wild card race disappear quickly.
When their ace, Adam Wainwright, went down for the year not many expected a postseason appearance for the Cards. Not many expected Lance Berkman to produce the way he has either.
Their other ace, Chris Carpenter has been remarkable down the stretch and he’ll start Game 2 on three days rest for the first time in his career.
3 Ways the Phillies win the series…
1. Hitting the lefties out of the pen: Charlie Manuel has penciled Pence in the three hole in the latter part of the season, with Chase Utley moving up to the two hole. Last postseason, the Giants’ lefties out of the pen got the better of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. But this year, the lefties are split up.
2. Starters go deep: Antonio Bastardo and Michael Stutes have each pitched poorly down the stretch. Look for the aces to go at least seven to eight innings each start. In the pen for Philadelphia, it looks like Vance Worley will be available in the seventh and Brad Lidge will be the set-up man.
3. Keep Pujols in check: Normally opposing staffs like to stay away from Albert Pujols, but that’s not the demeanor of the Phillies starting rotation. We’ll see how the aces play it against Pujols.
3 ways the Cardinals win the series…
1. Starters- Kyle Lohse, Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia are a solid trio, but they’re going to have to keep the Cardinals in the game against the inferior starting pitching of the Phillies.
2. Make the Aces Work: Normally the strategy against Halladay and Lee is to swing early in the count because the hitter knows that the pitch is going to be a strike. The Cards lineup has to do everything possible to get the aces out as soon as they can so they can go against the Phils’ pen.
3. The Pen: Manager Tony LaRussa has tried everything this season with his bullpen. They blew a four-run lead, up 6-2 in the ninth inning against the Mets and New York scored six in the final frame to win it. It’s the same St. Louis bullpen that allowed nine runs to Philadelphia in the eighth inning of a June 21 game where they lost 10-2. They had a 2-1 lead entering the eighth.
PREDICTION: Phillies in Four
Both lineups are potent, the bullpen goes to Philly and they of course have those aces.
About the Author
Written by Adrian Fedkiw
I currently work for the Sports Network. It's the best job ever! I am a 2010 graduate of Temple University where I majored in broadcast journalism, I LOVE SPORTS! That's why I am here. I have a vast knowledge and want to share my athletic intelligence with the world. Some people like to spend their time shooting down aliens in Halo; I like to spend my time watching sports, current and old. It's my passion! I got asked one time how I can watch a game over again when I already know the outcome. 5 minutes later, he's watching Happy Gilmore reciting all of the lines from the movie. Hypocrite! As for my favorite sports teams, I've been a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan. My favorite athlete is Allen Iverson. He didn't like practice that much, but when it came to gametime, no one let it all out on the floor like Iverson. He is absolutely beloved in the city of Brotherly Love. For college athletics, obviously I pay close attention to Temple. (Yes, football too) Even before I stepped foot on Temple's campus for the 1st time in 2005, I was a fan. Oh the good old days of John Chaney! Some other tidbits about myself, I love cheesesteaks, I hydrate myself with Welch's Grape Juice and Snapple. I love the HBO show Entourage. Also, when is Kenny Powers making his much anticipated return in Eastbound and Down!