Los Angeles Dodgers-Philadelphia Phillies: 2009 NLCS Preview

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Los Angeles Dodgers-Philadelphia Phillies: 2009 NLCS Preview

For the first time since 2004-05, we will have a rematch in the National League Championship Series as the Los Angeles Dodgers will face the defending World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies for the right to represent the National League in the 2009 World Series.

The National League Championship has had four rematches in history with the Dodgers being in two of thosethis will be the second time against the Phillies.

NLCS Rematch History:

1977 Los Angeles Dodgers beat Philadelphia Phillies 3-1.

1978 Los Angeles Dodgers beat Philadelphia Phillies 3-1.

1991 Atlanta Braves beat Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3.

1992 Atlanta Braves beat Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3.

2004 St. Louis Cardinals beat Houston Astors 4-3.

2005 Houston Astors beat St. Louis Cardinals 4-2.

2008 Philadelphia Phillies beat Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1.

2009 Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ?

 

The NL West has the overall better record against the NL East, 6-2.

History shows that every time a rematchexcept for one has happened in the pastthe defending National League Champions have won. Will history repeat itself or will the Los Angeles Dodgers change the trend?

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies will meet for the fifth timethe series record is tied at 2-2.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are 5-3 all time in the NLCS; the Phillies they are 4-3 all time. These two teams have a combined 24 World Series appearances (Dodgers 18 & Phillies six) and eight World Championships (Dodgers six & Phillies two).

The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to create magic from 20 years ago when Kirk Gibson hit the home run heard around the World and a team that was meant for destiny as on the other side the Phillies are looking to repeat for the first time since the New York Yankees did it in the mid-90s and the first National League team to do since the 70s.

 

Coaching: Advantage Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Los Angeles Dodgers: Joe Torre, Don Mattingly, Rick Honeycutt, Bob Schaefer, Larry Bowa, Mariano Duncan, Ken Howell, Manny Mota, Jeff Pentland, Mike Borzello, Ron Flippo

Philadelphia Phillies: Charlie Manuel, Milt Thompson, Rich Dubee, Davey Lopez, Sam Perlozzo, Pete Mackanin, Mick Billmeyer

 

The Los Angeles Dodgers on paper have a stacked coaching staff but that is not what showed last year as they were beat last year by the Phillies coaching staff as they would win the series 4-1.

Joe Torre has been there and done that with the teams he has coached for and he the titles that he has show it. Charlie Manuel is a great coach and knows what to do with the game on the line.

The Los Angeles Dodgers staff is good and a much better staff with experience that will bring them a long way.

 

Offense: Advantage Philadelphia Phillies

 

Rafael Furcal/Jimmy Rollins: Rollins

Orlando Hudson/Chase Utley: Utley

Manny Ramirez/Raul Ibanez: Ramirez

Andre Ethier/Jayson Werth: Ethier

Matt Kemp/Shane Victorino: Kemp

James Loney/Ryan Howard: Howard

Casey Blake/Pedro Feliz: Blake

Russell Martin/Carlos Ruiz: Ruiz

 

When you look at the lineups they look pretty similar to last year with a couple names added to the mix in Hudson and Ibanez.

X-Factor: Andre Ethier: Andre has picked up this team and even has been dubbed Mr. Clutch because of his hitting in tight or clutch situations.

Player to Watch: Ibanez, Howard, Rollins, and Utley can carry this team, but can also struggle at times. With Pat Burrell not there, things can drastically change in the postseason.

 

Rotation: Advantage Los Angeles Dodgers

Randy Wolf/Cliff Lee: Lee

Clayton Kershaw/Cole Hamels: Kershaw

Hiroki Kuroda/Joe Blanton: Kuroda

Chad Billingsley/J.A. Happ: Billingsley

Vicente Padilla/Pedro Martinez: Padilla

This seems to be the rotation that both teams could be going with but things are subject to change. The Dodgers don’t have the name power that the Phillies do but the Dodgers do have good pitching, but is it as good as the Phillies.

I think so.

The Dodgers have good pitching but can they get past Lee, Hamels and Haap. The Dodgers beat probably the best three headed rotation in the game beating Carpenter, Wainwright, and Pineiro

X-Factor: Cole Hamels, will we see the MVP of the World Series or the 10-11 Cole Hamels from 2009, I think if Hamels does good they will win.

Player to Watch: Chad BillingsleyHe has struggled, but I think that ends in this series. Chad will get his moment and he will the most of it.

The Dodgers have options with their rotation and have a rotation they can put together to prevail in the NLCS.

 

Bullpen: Advantage Los Angeles Dodgers

Jonathan Broxton/Brad Lidge

George Sherrill/Scott Eyre

Ramon Troncoso/Ryan Madson

Hong-Chih Kuo/Chad Durbin

Ronald Belisario/Kyle Kendrick

Jon Garland/Brett Myers

Jeff Weaver/Antonio Bastardo

The bullpen is going to be controlled by the Los Angeles Dodgers in this hands down, but one thing to look at in this all is one guy that could change all that…Brad Lidge.

X-Factor: Brad Lidge, he will have to step up and be the man when no one else can be and he will be the key to the Phillies success.

Player to Watch: George Sherrill & Scott Eyre. Who ever slips up first could cost their team the series.

 

Bench: Advantage Los Angeles Dodgers

Ronnie Belliard/Miguel Cairo

Jim Thome/Matt Stairs

Mark Loretta/ Greg Dobbs

Brad Ausmus/Paul Bako

Juan Pierre/Ben Francisco

It is the young vs. vets when you look at on paper as the Dodgers have a lot of veterans looking for one more shot to make it to the dance.

Jim Thome was brought in to basically give them that home run power when they need just like the Phillies used Matt Stairs.

X-Factor: Juan Pierre, He will be big in this series being used every way possible and that could be a advantage or a disadvantage.

Player to Watch: Jim Thome. Matt Stairs did it in 2008, could it be Thome in 09.

The Dodgers have a better bench then the Phillies, yea their old but they know how to win.

 

Defense: Advantage Philadelphia Phillies

 

Starters:

Rafael Furcal/Jimmy Rollins: Rollins

Orlando Hudson/Chase Utley: Utley

Manny Ramirez/Raul Ibanez: Ramirez

Andre Ethier/Jayson Werth: Ethier

Matt Kemp/Shane Victorino: Kemp

James Loney/Ryan Howard: Howard

Casey Blake/Pedro Feliz: Blake

Russell Martin/Carlos Ruiz: Ruiz

 

Bench:

Ronnie Belliard/Miguel Cairo

Jim Thome/Matt Stairs

Mark Loretta/ Greg Dobbs

Brad Ausmus/Paul Bako

Juan Pierre/Ben Francisco

The Phillies are the better defense of team even though the Dodgers can make plays. The veterans of the Dodgers slow them down and that’s where to the Phillies can beat them.

X-Factor: Carlos Ruiz, the Dodgers do play small ball and stealing will be big in this series and that is where Ruiz will succeed or fail.

Player to Watch: Rafael Furcal, he knows how to play defense, but can he still do it that is something that could help the Dodgers in the long run.

 

My Bold Prediction for this series is that another young Dodger will step up.

National League Series Championship Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers in Six.

The Dodgers will ultimately get their revenge on the Phillies are go to the World Series in 2009.

The Dodgers have upgraded in positions where they lost in big spots last year. The Dodgers rotation doesn’t have the three best pitchers but have six quality starters that can win.

The Los Angeles Dodgers will be the National League Champions for the first time since they one it all in 1988.

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