The Phillies are a terrific team, no doubt about it. Consistently preforming at this high level to have another opportunity to win the championship says enough.
The defending champions have everyone watching, learning and hopefully incorporating some of that swagger.
When looking at the Phillies the players are the first a sense of teamwork and I thought this last season too. Their line-up is dangerous when it works but as it is loaded with lefties. Their pitching isCliff Lee and without that pick-up at the trade deadline, the Phillies would not be playing in the World Series.
The question is the teams grey areas include the possibility of turning to black hole and somehow the team figures itself out.Cole Hamels is nowhere near MVP caliber he was last season, as batters are hitting him now. Hamels is not a deep inningspitcher anymore. He did not give up hits in 2008 and he does now.
Pedro Martinez is not a reliable starter anymore. He has the history and he has pitched well thus far, but Pedro is a child when he starts to allow runs score on him. Remember that ‘Pedro being Pedro’ is very familiar in the Bronx and the record is not found at all. The Yankee fans will make sure he remembers, and if any of the old Red Sox left in him it could get ugly.
Cliff Lee is ridiculous. This I had witnessed twice when he was on the Indians. One game in New York last season he allowed the Yankee bats to make contact with the ball just three times. No runs scored, and if I recall Melky or Cano made it to first but that was it. Lee won the Cy Young for a reason.
Another wild card is Phillies closer Brad Lidge. Lidge and Hamels must have caught the same cold because he has been inadequate in the regular season. The last two series he has seemed to go back to the Lidge of 08' but it is far from being a sure act like Mariano Rivera. Closing a game is like slamming a door or at least your opponent needs to believe that or even games will become 'L' very fast.
Cliff Lee will be starting game one, against his old pal CC Sabathia. It might not be the best chance because it guarantees not the outright win Lee could provide. Entertaining with competition at an all time high is what to reckon with this match-up.
For the Yankees, they want to take advantage of this grey zone and develop the black hole with their bats. The Phillies teamwork seems to win, but the Yankees do too.
This World Series will be a baseball battle between two truly talented teams and cannot get much better than this.