Posts Tagged ‘Brett Myers

01
Apr
11

PHILLIES: Opening Day Drama

Phillies fans..

Opening day has come and gone, and fortunately for this quick write-up, the game can be summed up in one word.

WALKOFF!

In dramatic fashion, the Phillies capped off a come-from-behind victory against the Houston Astros with a 3 runs in the 9th inning, the last one being on a John Mayberry Jr. pinch-hit RBI single that would end the game.

If you watched the game, you would know that it wasn’t what you would call a “pretty” victory. The Phillies were basically shut down by their former teammate Brett Myers through 6 innings, and if it wasn’t for a Brandon Lyon meltdown, they would probably be sitting in the clubhouse with a losing record right now.

Nonetheless, the Phillies came away with the victory with a combination of a solid start from ace Roy Halladay, a strong bullpen showing from Ryan Madson and Danys Baez that helped keep the Astros lead in reach, and 6 singles in the final frame which manufactured the 3 runs that would win the game.

Impressive stuff.

For more on the Phillies comeback victory, check out Philly.com San Donnellon’s take on the season opener.

20
Jun
10

PHILLIES: A Team of Ex-Phillies

If you readers have some free time on your hands, take a gander at this.

Nothing like some stats to show how crazy this season has been so far. Instead of seeing the regular names like Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, or Chase Utley on top of the charts, players such as Jose Bautista, Martin Prado, and Billy Butler are among the league leaders in some of the major offensive categories.

Crazy, right?

After taking a deeper look into these stats, since I had some rare time on my hands and all, it became a bit frustrating. As the current Phillies appear to be just breaking out of a seemingly endless slump, it seems that now more than ever, the names near the top of some of the lists are players who have been spotted in the home dugout in Philadelphia at some point in their career.

This poses an interesting question..

That is, if you put together a team of the best players who have been a part but are no longer affiliated with the Philadelphia organization in any way other than the history books, who would be on it, and how good would they be in comparison to the current (note that I said current) Phillies squad?

Take a look.

(All stats accurate as of June 19th, 2009)

STARTERS

C: Rod Barajas (.253 BA, 11 HR, 30 RBI’s for the New York Mets): After hitting .230 with 4 HR’s in split-time duty with the Phillies in 2007 (he was the opening day starter), Barajas was left of the 25-man roster at the beginning of the 2008 season in favor of Carlos “Chooch” Ruiz and was granted his release from the organization. After two season as a starter in Toronto, Barajas is now with the rival Mets, and is second on the team in HR’s with 11, one behind team leader David Wright.

 

Thome was "The Man" in Philadelphia during his two seasons with the Phillies

1B: Jim Thome (.250 BA, 6 HR, 19 RBI’s for the Minnesota Twins): Thome, who hit 40+ HR’s in both his full seasons in Philadelphia, isn’t on this list because of his stats THIS year. In his time with the Phillies, the future hall-of-famer helped rejuvenate baseball in the City of Brotherly Love, in which fans of the sport like myself should be forever grateful for that. With 570 HR’s ( the last one being against the Phillies), 5 all-star appearances, and one Silver Slugger award, Thome is a virtual lock for the HOF, and will go in to Cooperstown as one of the most genuine personalities in the history of the game. While he has spent almost half of his career at DH, if it weren’t for the utter existance of one Ryan Howard, Thome would have most likely played a couple more year at first base for the Phillies, using the band-box that they call Citizens Bank Park and the short porch in RF as his personal target practice. I’m not complaining (Howard has done pretty well if I can remember correctly), but it’s still okay to wonder what could have been.

2B: Miguel Cairo (.263 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI’s for the Cincinnati Reds): Cairo is in this spot because everyone who has played a middle infield position with the Phillies over the last decade is either still with the team, in the minor leagues, is out of baseball all-together, or has the name Nick Punto (Minnesota Twins). Honestly, it’s a toss up between the two, but I will not put in my starting lineup because I still remember him spurning me for an autograph way back when. Karma.  Not a second-basemen by nature, Cairo has made a 14-year big league career out a utility man, second base being one of the position that he has played. I already made my anti-Punto case, so it was either Cairo or Eric Bruntlett here, and Cairo gets the nod because he is actually playing in the bigs and is hitting over the Mendoza line, two qualities that he has over Bruntlett.

SS: Jason Donald (.253 BA, 1 HR, 8 RBI’s for the Cleveland Indians): Again, not much depth with the middle infield, but Donald is an interesting case. If he was not part of the deal to acquire Cliff Lee last season, he most likely would have made his big league debut with the Phillies this season instead of with the Indians, in which two disabled list stints for Jimmy Rollins would have most likely brought up Donald to the forefront of the organizational depth chart. Donald, who was considered a top-5 prospect for three seasons with the Phillies and this year with the Indians, has performed reasonably well for a struggling team in relief of Asdrubal Cabrera, who was lost for the season in late May after a gruesome arm injury, and is looking like he could be in the big leagues for a long time.

3B: Scott Rolen (.296 BA, 14 HR, 45 RBI’s for the Cincinnati Reds): As the surprise of the year, the Reds, of all teams,  have been in and out of first place the entire season. While Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and the starting pitching may get most of the credit for it, the MVP of this team and maybe the entire NL at this point of the season is Rolen. With that said, he’s a no-brainer for this spot, as he was one of the only reasons that the struggling Phillies franchise stayed afloat from 1996 to when he was traded in 2002, as he averaged 27 HR and 98 RBI’s in six full seasons with the club, winning a ROY award, 3 Gold Gloves, and making one all-star game in the time span.

 

Love him or hate him, Bobby Abreu was an all-star for the Phillies

RF: Bobby Abreu (.272 BA, 7 HR, 34 RBI’s for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim): Bobby Abreu is the the typical enigmatic Philadelphia athlete. On one end, Abreu was one of the most consistent offensive threats for the Phillies in recent memory,  hitting 20+ HR for six straight seasons with Philadelphia, making two all-star games and winning a HR Derby to add to it. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Phillies fans always had a reason to boo Abreu when he was out on the field, as his superior arm strength was overshadowed by the fact that he rarely used his maximum effort to go after balls in the outfield. At this point, Abreu being 36 years old and all, you have to take into account that his skills are going to have to drop off at some point. However, with three straight 100+ RBI seasons with the Yankees and the Angels, he is still and above-average corner outfielder in the bigs.  Note that I refuse to associate J.D Drew with the Phillies (his back-hand slap to the face of the organization when he refused to sign with the club after he was drafted by Philadelphia in the first round in 1997 still makes him public enemy #1 in my book), so it’s not like there is much competition.

CF: Marlon Byrd (.320 BA, 9 HR, 34 RBI’s for the Chicago Cubs): Based on his career, some may view Byrd a surprise pick here, being that he has basically been a platoon player since his arrival to the big league scene in 2002. However, at 32 years of age, he may be in his prime. In his first full season as a starter with Texas in 2009, Byrd hit .283, and set a career high in HR’s and RBI’s. So far this season, after signing a 3-year contract with the Chicago Cubs, Byrd has been even better, as his .320 BA is the best on his team, and ranks third in the NL. And to think, Byrd was at times viewed in Philadelphia as just a defensive replacement.

LF:  Aaron Rowand (.220 BA, 6 HR, 23 RBI’s for the San Francisco Giants): Rowand may be having a down year for the Giants. Ok, a really down year. The fact of the matter is, Rowand makes this team because he beloved by the Phillies fans in his two seasons in Philadelphia, making an all-star game in 2007, and providing the signature defensive highlight in the eight-season history at Citizens Bank Park.

BENCH: OF Pat Burrell (.246 BA, 4 HR, 18 RBI’s with the Tampa Bay Rays/San Francisco Giants), 3B/2B Pedro Feliz (.220 BA, 2 HR, 22 RBI’s with the Houston Astros), 1B/3B Wes Helms (.272 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI’s with the Florida Marlins), OF Michael Bourn (.253 BA, 0 HR, 11 RBI’s, 21 SB with the Houston Astros), SS/2B Nick Punto (.255 BA, 1 HR, 18 RBI’s with the Minnesota Twins), C Ronny Paulino (.314 BA, 3 HR, 27 RBI’s for the Florida Marlins)

STARTING PITCHER

SP: Cliff Lee (5-3, 2.55 ERA for the Seattle Mariners): For a player who only spent three months with the organization, Cliff Lee made about as big of an impact  in Philadelphia as humanly possible. He was the teams ace for the stretch run in the 2009 regular season, and was even better when it truly mattered in the playoffs and the World Series. That alone makes him the sure-fire starter. The fact that he is the proud owner of a Cy Young award, and is arguably a top 8-10 pitcher in baseball at this point of season (2.55 ERA ranks fourth in the AL) is just a bonus.

REST OF ROTATION: Carlos Silva (8-2, 3.01 ERA for the Chicago Cubs), Freddy Garcia (7-3, 4.94 ERA for the Chicago White Sox), Gio Gonzalez (6-5, 4.21 ERA for the Oakland Athletics),  Randy Wolf (5-6, 5.08 ERA for the Milwaukee Brewers)

BULLPEN: Ryan Franklin (3-0, 2.40 ERA, 13 SV for the St. Louis Cardinals)Brett Myers (4-5, 3.34 ERA for the Houston Astros), Chan Ho Park (1-1, 5.30 ERA for the New York Yankees), Arthur Rhodes (2-1, 0.30 ERA for the Cincinnati Reds), Tyler Walker (1-0, 3.67 ERA for the Washington Nationals)

 

The Billy Wagner era in Philadelphia provided some great memories.

CLOSER: Billy Wagner (5-0, 1.27 ERA, 13 SV with the Atlanta Braves): Even though Wagner may have had an up and down tenure with the Phillies, both on the field and in the clubhouse, he will always be remembered for hitting 100 mph on the radar gun in the first night game at the new Citizens Bank Ballpark in 2004. I was personally one of the fans in the crowd who gave him a standing ovation during that game that seemed like an eternity. With that said, after having great years before Philadelphia with the Houston Astros, and bad years after Philadelphia with the New York Mets, “Billy the Kid”  has seemed to revive his career for at least one more season with the Braves, in which a bid to the 2010 All-Star game might be on the horizon for the 40-year old veteran closer.

THOSE WHO MISSED THE CUT: Matt Stairs, Russell Branyan, Gavin Floyd, Rodrigo Lopez, Kyle Lohse, Robinson Tejeda, Vicente Padilla, Jason Jaramillo, Jack Taschner, Lou Marson, Gustavo Chacin

So, that’s the team. Can they compete with the current Phils?

11
Jan
10

PHILLIES: Adios Amigos

To start this post, for those who cannot translate simple spanish dialect, the topic of my post means “goodbye friends”.

At this point, the translation could mean a number of things.

For instance, I could be referring to the utterly depressing end to the Philadelphia Eagles season.

But, I’m not.

Maybe I could be talking about how your favorite Philly Phour writer is leaving for three months on a study abroad program to Spain tomorrow.

Again, I’m not.

Now, could I be talking about how three more members of the 2009 Philadelphia Phillies pitching staff have left the City of Brotherly Love to either sign contracts to play for other teams or hang up the cleats and part ways with the game of baseball.

You know me too well..

In any events, throughout the last week, Brett Myers, Scott Eyre, and Clay Condrey have determined that their future will follow a path that will not include being in a Phillies uniform.

I will start with Myers. As a former top prospect and opening day starter, the decision to let Myers go at the end of the season was a bit odd to me. Now, I know he may have not been the most level-headed competitor you have ever seen, but hey, at least we can acknowledge that he competed.

In 2010, Myers will be in a Houston Astros uniform

While Myers’s career produced mixed results, he undoubtably showed a certain amount of versatility, and he had a certain amount of success in four different roles (starter, long reliever, set-up man, closer) while pitching for the Phillies. Not many players in the Phillies organization, or all of baseball for that matter, have had experience and success like that, which is one reason why I thought Ruben Amaro Jr. would change his mind and offer Myers a contract at some point in the offseason.

Now, Amaro can just forget about that option.  In their first big addition of the new year, the Houston Astros signed Myers to a 1 year-5 million dollar deal that will allow him to compete for a job as middle of the rotation starter behind Roy Oswalt and Wandy Rodriguez. If Myers does not make the starting rotation, he will most likely have an opportunity to fulfill the Astros set-up man vacancy or even close if  free-agent incumbent closer Jose Valverde decides to go elsewhere.

While I do believe the loss of Brett Myers will hurt the Phillies, I do not feel the same way about Clay Condrey. I don’t think the Phillies felt that way either, as it appeared that he did not figure into their future plans when they did not tender his contract in December. While off-season surgeries to J.C Romero and Brad Lidge may have given the Phillies a reason to bring back Condrey, that just wasn’t meant to be, as he signed a one-year deal with the Minnesota Twins after a month of being considered a free agent.

Lastly, you can say the ultimate “adios” to Scott Eyre, as the 37-year old reliever announced his retirement after 13 MLB seasons. This was expected, especially after the Phillies only offered Eyre a minor-league deal in the off-season. That’s seemed to be a little bit of a low-ball offer, considering Eyre had a career ERA around 2.00 in 42 games with the Phillies as their most effective reliever in that 1 1/2 season time span. However, I think that offer was a test. Eyre has been recovering from off-season elbow surgery, and has been hinting at retirement for the last two off-seasons. Obviously, Eyre was not comfortable with entering spring training without a guaranteed contract, which after 600+ MLB appearances of wear-and-tear on the arm, I don’t blame him.

So, with that, I say ADIOS to all of you readers.

I will be posting while I am in Spain, in which the frequency of those post are TBD.

On a final note, just over a month until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training.

05
Jan
10

PHILLIES: News and Notes..

It’s been about three weeks since the Roy Halladay deal went down, and finally it seems that the seas have settled in regards to the Phillies off-season moves. 

As of the start of the new year, the Phillies lineup and pitching rotation (except the fifth and final spot) are all but solidified. While it’s pretty standard for a team to return the majority of their nucleus when they were two wins short of back-to-back World Series titles, the Phillies did that, added some depth with Brian Schneider and DeWayne Wise , and made two small upgrades (Halladay over Cliff Lee and Placido Polanco over Pedro Feliz) in terms of talent in my opinion to their player personnel. 

Can’t complain about that.

The only part of the team in a bit of a state of flux right now is the bullpen. Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson will be back, keeping the enigmatic set-up man/closer combination that produced the most blown saves (17) in the National League last year. As for the middle relievers, they may look a little different come opening day. Brett Myers was casted away by GM Ruben Amaro as he cleaned out his locker after the World Series, and it looks like Chan Ho Park will be joining him out the door as well. 

Baez is the newest addition to the current powerhouse of the National League

 

Last week, the Phillies agreed to terms with former Baltimore Orioles reliever Danys Baez on a 2-year deal, as his signing will give the Phillies a replacement for Park as a right-handed long reliever. In regards to replacing Myers, the Phillies will probably look internally within the organization, as a lot depends on what they decide to do with filling the fifth starter role. If Jamie Moyer is good to go health wise, they will probably enter Spring Trainer with him occupying that role on the depth chart, with Kyle Kendrick the candidate to take the place of Myers alongside Chad Durbin as middle inning men. 

In terms of left-handed relievers, Antonio Bastardo will be in line to take over J.C Romero’s job for the first month of the season, as Romero will still be recovering from off-season surgery. However, the real x-factor in this category is Scott Eyre.

Eyre is still unsure about deciding to return to the Phillies next season, as he’s reportedly leaning towards retirement. If Eyre stays, all is well, and the Phillies will most likely go into the regular season with two left-handed relievers on the opening day roster. If he chooses to hang up the cleats, look out for a free-agent signing or two in the future. 

Lastly, if you think the Phillies are going to try to make a move to counter the Mets signing of Jason Bay, you are mistaken. Bay is just another example of a powerful right-handed hitters that are known for existing in the NL East (David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, Hanley Ramirez are just examples), and the Phillies, with the addition Halladay and Baez, have already the necessary moves.

10
Dec
09

PHILLIES: 2009 Winter Meetings Recap

For the first year in my young life, I was able to attend the baseball winter meetings.

Sure, I may not have had press credentials, but walking through the lobby of the Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis and seeing Peter Gammons, Ken Rosenthal, and Buster Olney huddled in a corner exchanging information while across the hall Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox, Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona, and Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta were at a table eating breakfast together, you can imagine what a prospective sports journalist like myself was feeling.

In the three days I was there, while looking for jobs, I got to talk to some members of the Philadelphia media regarding the moves of the Phillies at the Winter Meetings. Thanks to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Paul Hagen and Andy Martino, and MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, I was able to find out that this was the most boring Winter Meetings for the Phillies in recent memory.

Great.

However, there is still some news regarding past, present, and possibly future members of the Phillies organization.

: Phillies have agreed to terms with Ross Gload, who led the MLB in pinch-hits in 2009 with the Kansas City Royals. In a strange coincidence, the Phillies also have Greg Dobbs on their roster, who led the league in pinch-hits in 2008.

: Former Philles 3B Pedro Feliz has agreed in principle to a 1 year, 4 million dollar deal with the Houston Astros.

: Soon-to-be former Phillies P Brett Myers has been in contact with both the Texas Rangers and Cincinnati Reds. Both Martino and Zolecki hinted that Myers could find a job with couple NL teams that would at least give him the chance to compete for a spot in the starting rotation.

: After getting in touch with the agents of both RP Latroy Hawkins and RP Brandon Lyon, both players signed with different teams. With them off the market, look for the Phillies to contact Jose Contreras.

: Phillies, as expected,  have been in contact with the Toronto Blue Jays in regards to trading for SP Roy Halladay. However, the Angels have emerged as the front-runner to obtain the rights of the former Cy Young Award winner.

: Phillies have been in contact with agents of both RP Chan Ho Park and SP Pedro Martinez in talks to bring them back to Philadelphia next season.

: If the Phillies cannot reach a deal with Martinez, they will fill the role of 5th starter in the rotation internally (Jamie Moyer or Kyle Kendrick) or sign someone else to a 1-year deal, in which John Smoltz is the name that keeps on getting brought up.

: Nothing new to report on the statuses of RP Chad Durbin and RP Scott Eyre. Both are free agents and are seeking 1-year deals with exclusively the Phillies.

As people come and go, updates will be given on this blog.

08
Dec
09

PHILLIES: Who’s In and Who’s Out

With the start of the winter meetings getting underway in the fine city of Indianapolis, the most interesting topic of discussion is where premiere talents such as Roy Halladay, Jason Bay, Matt Holiday, Jon Lackey will end up either via trade or free agency. However, for the Philadelphia Phillies, they didn’t need a hour and 15 minute flight to Indy to get started on putting the possible pieces of the puzzle together that will help bring a World Series parade back to Broad St. 

WHO’S IN

2B/3B Placido Polanco: Phillies fans might recognize this name. Or at least they should. Polanco, a former Phillie who played his last season for the Philadelphia in 2004, was signed to a three-year 18 million dollar deal to replace Pedro Feliz at 3B. While the Phillies will lose a potential gold-golver in Feliz on the hot corner, Polanco is a more than suitable defender (2 gold gloves at 2B for the Tigers), and will give the Phillies more dangerous bat as a perennial .300 hitter who hardly ever strikes out in a lineup that is already potent offensively.

C Brian Schneider: Usually considered a Phillies-killer in his days with the Expos/Nationals and the Mets, Schneider will finally get a chance to play for his hometown team, as the Allentown native grew up a Philadelphia sports fan. Schneider will make around 3 million this year, serving as the primary backup catcher to Carlos Ruiz and the emergency first baseman if both Ryan Howard and Greg Dobbs are unable to play.

OF Dewayne Wise: The player responsible for the arguably the greatest defensive play of the 2009 season (saving Mark Buehrle’s perfect game with a home-run robbing catch) was signed to a minor league contract by the Phillies on December 1st. Wise will report to spring training as a possible fifth outfielder option on the opening day roster, behind the three all-stars (Werth, Victorino, Ibanez) and Ben Francisco on the depth chart.

 UTIL Juan Castro: Another player signed to a minor league deal. Castro will be given ever opportunity in spring training to beat out incumbent UTIL player Eric Bruntlett for a spot on the opening day roster. If he can’t manage that, then shame on him.

WHO’S OUT

3B Pedro Feliz: A sad end to a solid two years with the Phillies for Feliz. Always solid defensively, Feliz hit over .300 with runners in scoring position out of the 7th spot in the order when he was with the Phillies. The only other player to do that for the Philadelphia over those two-seasons was Ryan Howard. That’s pretty elite company. However, the Phillies envisioned Feliz to hit 25-30 HR’s when they signed him before the 2008 season. When he didn’t come close to those power numbers, the organization decided to go a different way with the signing of Polanco. Look out for Feliz finding a home with an AL team who will allow him to play 3B and DH, with Baltimore being the early front-runner as a possible destination. 

 SP/RHP Brett Myers: The tenuous partnership between Myers and the Phillies organization is finally over. Just a week after the Phillies season ended, GM Ruben Amaro made it clear that he would not be renewing Myers’s contract, saying that he wanted to go in a “different direction”. I’ve always been a fan of Myers, but it’s hard to deny that he needs a change of scenery. Myers, even with a clouded injury past, is still projected as a starting pitcher by a handful of teams in baseball. Look for one of those teams, possibly the Texas Rangers, to end up with Myers.

OF Matt Stairs: In case of emergency, use the stairs. If you don’t believe that, just look into your time capsule and turn it back to Game 4 of the 2008 NLCS where Stairs single-handedly saved the Phillies season with a pinch-hit 2-run HR against LA’s Jonathan Broxton that after a year and two months still hasn’t landed yet. While he will always be a hero to Philly sports fans for that sole moment, his career is finished. Sadly, Stairs can no longer catch-up to fastballs that he is used to crushing out of the ballpark, which is unfortunate because Stairs is a dead-red fastball hitter. That’s not a good sign.

C Paul Bako: Another departure due to a free agent singing. Bako performed admirably in his limited role with the Phillies in 2009, but the Schneider signing marked the end of the Paul Bako era in Philadelphia. What a shame..

OTHER POSSIBILITIES 

SP Pedro Martinez= Will the Phillies bring Pedro back after the team was 8-1 in his nine regular season starts during his two-month stint in 2009? My guess is yes.

SP John Smoltz= If the answer to that last question is no, look for Smoltz to be an option to fill the fifth starter role for the Phillies. Age (42) is a question with the future hall-of-famer, but if the Phillies want to give phenom Kyle Drabek one more year in the minors and they don’t view Martinez as an option, look for Smoltz as a possible candidate.

RHP Brandon Lyon= Don’t like this one bit. There’s no question that Lyon has plus-average stuff, but he has struggled mightily the past two seasons both as a closer and a middle reliever with Diamondbacks and the Tigers. It’s not like the Phillies view Lyon as a potential closer, so if they sign him,  his role would be similar to Brett Myers’s during the Phillies 2009 post-season run. I’d personally have Myers.

SP Roy Halladay: A discussion for a different day…

Lastly, I will be present at the final two days of the Winter Meetings, so look for updates to this post.


28
Oct
09

PHILLIES: 2009 World Series

The matchup has been determined.

Phillies vs. Yankees, Dynasty vs. Destiny, Broad St. vs. Broadway.

All I can say is..wow.

Ever since the Brad Lidge slider that produced a can-of-corn fly ball that clinched the Philadelphia Phillies a trip back to the World Series six days ago (feels like six months ago), Phillies fans have been left to wait.

And wait..

And wait..

Now, the show must finally go on, starting Wednesday night, with the first pitch slated to go on as scheduled (not without a scare from mother nature) at 7:57 PM in the Bronx.

For the Phillies, it’s a return to the promise land once again. Two trips to the World Series in as many seasons, that’s not bad for a team was predicted to exit the playoffs in the first round, both years. In 2008, the Phillies cruised through the divisional and league championship series in four and five games respectively en route to the World Series. In 2009, the Phillies did, well, the same exact thing. 

Quite frankly, on paper, the Phillies are a much better team than at this point a year ago. Same nucleus of players, just an upgrade in the outfield with Raul Ibanez over Pat Burrell, and the mid-season addition of the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner in Cliff Lee to solidify the starting rotation. Add that with a year of playoff experience, and living up to enormous expectations, this team is built to win the World Series.

On the other hand, this time around, the Phillies won’t be fortunate enough to play the Tampa Bay Rays. 

No disrespect to them, but they weren’t the New York Yankees.

Now, the Phillies will have to face the team with arguably the greatest legacy in all of professional sports.

That’s without mentioning that this team has the highest payroll in baseball, had the most wins in baseball in the regular season, and have been the odds-on favorites to win the 2009 World Series since the all-star break.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

OFFENSE

PHILLIES: Five all-stars in the middle of the order, four of those with 30+ homeruns. Not many teams, none actually, have that type of power. The Phillies overpowered teams offensively throughout the team, and that did not change once the playoffs started.  On the road to the World Series, the Phillies were offensively superior to both the Colorado Rockies and and Los Angeles Dodgers, averaging over six runs a game, almost at run and a half better than they did in 2008.

YANKEES: Led by a half-healthy A-ROD and Mark Teixeira, the Bronx Bombers lived up to their nickname. They were arguably the offensively explosive team in baseball for the entire regular season, leading MLB in homeruns (seven guys with 20+ HR’s), 20 ahead of the 2nd place team in that category, the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Advantage: Phillies, but ever so slightly. The Yankees have a more balanced lineup 1-9, but the Phillies are the more hot offensive team going into the World Series, and the DH in game 1 and game 2 will give them an extra bat in the lineup. Either way you look at it, this could shape up to being one of the best offensive displays in World Series history not only because of the players, but also because of the ballparks.

STARTING PITCHING

PHILLIES: Enter Cliff Lee. Fortunately, Lee has been more than just a breath of fresh air for this Phillies pitching rotation. 2-0 in the playoffs with around a 1.00 E.R.A, he is the unquestioned ace of this staff.  Combine him with the resurrected Pedro Martinez and the ex-World Series MVP Cole Hamels in supporting actor roles as the projected starters for game 2 and game 3, the Phillies are far deeper than they were at this point last year.

YANKEES: For what Cliff Lee is to the Phillies, CC Sabathia is to the Yankees. Actually, he’s probably worth more. The 160 million dollar man for the Yankees was the ALCS MVP, and is a favorite to finish in the top-3 in the AL 2009 Cy Young Award race. Accompanying Sabathia is the enigmatic A.J Burnett in game 2, and  the ageless wonder in Andy Pettitte, who is now the baseball’s all-time leader in post-season wins, for game 3.

Advantage: Slight advantage to the Yankees. I’m going to consider Lee and Sabathia as equals for this argument. A.J Burnett has the stuff to be dominant, while Pedro Martinez ironically has the mentality to be more effective, so they cancel out, with Burnett having a larger upside for a potential gem. What is big in this category is third starter. It’s crazy to think that Cole Hamels could be considered a weak link, but Pettitte, his game 3 projected opponent, has pitched much better down the stretch, especially the the LCS.

BULLPEN

PHILLIES: What a difference the playoffs make. Aside from a game 2 meltdown against the Dodgers in the NLCS, the Phillies bullpen has been pitching much like the ’08 Phillies in this post-season, not the ’09 Phillies that in the regular season blew 16 saves. Most people will say the key to this bullpen is Brad Lidge. If the Phillies are lucky that’s the case. I believe that Chan Ho Park, Brett Myers, and Chad Durbin will play a huge role in this series, especially against a Yankees team who has a penchant of knocking starters out of games early.

YANKEES: The Yankees may not have as many quality relief pitchers as the Phillies, but the ones that they do have are very, very good. With Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, the Yankees have two potentially dominant set-up guys. Note that I say set-up. Once the games get into the 9th, the Yankees bullpen consists of one guy. Mariano Rivera.

Advantage: Not even a question. Yankees.

PREDICTION: I’m obviously bias here, so no analysis required.  

Phillies in 7.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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