This is it, folks. The Phillies now know who they are playing in the World Series after the Yankees beat the Angels in six games. This is the match up many fans have dreamt up in the beginning of the season. The Yankees went into the past offseason and made big splashes that have really paid off. They include Cy Young candidate C.C Sabathia, MVP candidate Mark Texiera, and re-signing Andy Pettite.
The Phillies also made a couple moves during the offseason and regular season. Those big moves include letting Pat Burrell go and signing Raul Ibanez, who had an all star year. They signed Pedro Martinez mid-season to a one year deal. They also traded a package of prospects to Cleveland in exchange for ace Cliff Lee.
Fun Facts: The Phillies won the season series 2-1 back in May… The Yankees are playing in their 40th World Series. The Phillies are in their 7th… This is the rematch of the 1950 World Series… New York and Philadelphia are two of the biggest sports markets on the east coast… Sabathia and Lee were team mates on the Cleveland Indians… Martinez was a part of the historic 2004 Red Sox who came back to beat the Yankees after being down 3-0 in the ALCS.
Schedule: (times not announced yet but will be updated)
Teams by Positions: Post season stats
1B) Ryan Howard vs. Mark Teixeira
Howard: .355 (11-31), 8 runs, 4 doubles, triple, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 7 walks, 8 K
He led the league in RBI’s and was second in homers. He tied Lou Gherig’s record for consecutive playoff games over multiple seasons at eight and set the single season record. He was the NLCS MVP. Phillies fans call him Mr. Red October. Jimmy Rollins calls him the Big Piece.
Teixeira: .205 (8-39), 5 runs, double, home run, 5 RBI, walk, K
He is one of the leading candidates for the AL MVP award. He is also probably the best fielding first baseman in the league. He has been cold all post season and the Phillies can hopefully take advantage of that.
2B) Chase Utley vs. Robinson Cano
Utley: .303 (10-33), 8 runs, HR, 2 RBI, 8 walks, 7 K’s
He is the Phillies best player and best two-bagger in the league. He really sizzled in the NLDS but fizzled in the NLCS. The Phillies will need a big series from him.
Cano: .229 (8-35), 5 runs, double, 2 triples, 5 RBI, 4 walks, 4 K
Cano is very fast on the base paths and can be a threat to stretch hits, take an extra base, or steal.
3B) Pedro Feliz vs. Alex Rodriguez
Feliz: .161 (5-31), 3 runs, double, triple, HR, 2 walks, 7 K’s
He still didn’t so a thing in the NLCS and right now is their worst bat in the lineup. He does have the ability to heat up but hasn’t showed signs of that yet.
Rodriguez: .438 (14-32), 10 runs, 2 doubles, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 9 walks, 5 K
A-Rod quieted everyone who said he wasn’t clutch. He is the most dangerous hitter in the Yankees line up. He and Howard are going to be the stories of this series. Both are battling for the “Mr. October” title.
SS) Jimmy Rollins vs. Derek Jeter
Rollins: .241 (10-41), 6 runs, 3 double, 3 RBI, 8 K’s
He is the spark to the Phillies offense but has been spark-less minus his clutch hits in the NLDS and NLCS. If he continues to struggle, the Phillies will have to turn to Shane Victorino for a spark.
Jeter: .297 (11-37), 9 runs, 2 doubles, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 9 walks, 5 K
He’s the captain. He is everything about Yankees baseball and baseball itself. My friend wrote a great post on Jeter and I think any baseball fan should read it. I don’t like the Yankees but I love everything about Jeter.
LF) Raul Ibanez vs. Johnny Damon
Ibanez: .226 (7-31), 6 runs, 2 doubles, HR, 9 RBI’s, 5 walks, 8 K’s
After a good NLDS, Ibanez disappeared in the NLCS. He will either have a good game or a really bad one. His struggles are due to playing with a tear in his abdomen since June. He needs to consistently play better in the World Series.
Damon: .238 (10-42), 1 double, 2 HR, 5 RBI’s, 2 walks, 6 K’s
Damon is a clutch hitter but hasn’t been to spectacular in the post season. He did have a very good regular season. He is not one of their best fielders or arms.
CF) Shane Victorino vs. Melky Cabrera
Victorino: .361 (13-36), 8 runs, 2 doubles, triple, 3 HR, 3 walks, 3 K
Victorino assumed the catalyst role from the two-hole while Rollins struggled. He led the league in triples and is a very speedy CF who can track balls and throw out runners. He has been the Phillies second best offensive player behind Howard.
Cabrera: .314 (11-35), 4 runs, 2 doubles, 4 RBI, 11 K
Cabrera has been awesome in the bottom of the line up for the Yankees. He can turn over the line up and get Jeter up to bat.
RF) Jayson Werth vs. Nick Swisher
Werth: .281 (9-32), 10 runs, triple, 5 HR’s, 10 RBI, 6 walks, 11 K
He is having an amazing year in his first full year, hitting .268 with 36 homers, 98 runs, and 99 RBI’s. After tearing up the Rockies, he struggled greatly in the NLCS but heated back up in games 4 and 5. He protects Howard at the plate and needs to be dangerous to allow the Yankees to pitch to him.
Swisher: .125 (4-32), 2 runs, double, RBI, 3 walks, 11 K
He is the playing awful in the post season. He actually makes Feliz look good for the Phillies. I don’t understand how he is still playing for the Yankees with the way he is playing in the post season.
C) Carlos Ruiz vs. Jorge Posada
Ruiz: .346 (9-26), 4 runs, double, HR, 7 RBI, 7 walks, 2 K
Carlos Ruiz is one of the best defensive catchers in the game. He has turned into “Senior Octobre.” Batting in the 8th spot, he can play a role similar to Cabrera for the Yankees.
Posada: .258 (8-31), 4 runs, double, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 5 walks, 7 K
Posada has been OK in the post season for the Yankees. He is still one of their leaders and can be dangerous at the play at any moment in the game.
DH: The Yankees will have the advantage in this department like every AL team does. They have Hideki Matsui to fill this line up spot. The Phillies are unsure who their DH could be but will likely be Raul Ibanez and put Ben Francisco in LF.
Phillies: Cliff Lee will start game one and has been their best pitcher by far in the post season. After him, the rotation isn’t set yet but it’s likely that Martinez will go game two and Hamels in game three. JA Happ and Joe Blanton will start in the bull pen and will either pitch game four or remain in the pen.
Yankees: Sabathia will likely be their game one starter. Behind him, they only have AJ Burnett and Andy Pettite. Using three pitchers throughout the playoffs can wear their rotation down and could be very beneficial for the Phillies offense.
Phillies: This unit is still a danger to blow games. Luckily the offense can bail them out. Chan Ho Park came back from injury and pitched really well. Brad Lidge is perfect in saves. Blanton looked good in relief but is a better starter. Ryan Madson has been better, JA Happ has not looked good at all, and Brett Myers may be back. They can’t keep the Yankees close.
Yankees: They have had bull pen struggles as well, Only Mariano Rivera has been lights out all post season. He is supported by Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Phil Coke, and Damaso Marte. If the Phillies can get to this unit early and wear them down, it may be an easy series.
Phillies: The Phillies have relied on Greg Dobbs and Matt Stairs in hitting situations, a huge mistake in my opinion. They both were amazing in 2008 and sucked in 2009. Ben Francisco is their fielding option and is also a very good hitter. Miguel Cairo earned a post season spot after having a hot bat in September.
Yankees: They only go to the bench for speed and fielding. Jerry Hairston Jr. and Brett Gardner are those two guys. With a DH, there really won’t be a need for pinch hitting but when the series goes to Philly, they may need to rely on someone for a timely hit late in the game. They also feature the Phillies’ best friend, Eric Hinske, who was the Rays player Lidge struck out to end the World Series.
Phillies: Charlie Manuel wants another ring. He knows how to keep this team together through any situation and knows how to rally them.
Yankees: This is Joe Girardi’s first trip to the post season with the Yankees. He would love to bring a ring back to the Bronx.
Prediction: The Phillies seem to be a more complete team right now. Their starting pitching has been tight and the bats have been clutch. The Yankees are relying on intimidation and hunger for their first ring in nine years. Phillies in 6.