Phillies Down, but Not Out

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Phillies Down, but Not Out

Charlie Manuel says his team is resilient. He points out the fact that the team has lost 22 games this season in which they led after the seventh inning. That sounds like the 2008 New York Mets to me. But, it was the Phillies and not the Mets who ultimately wound up winning the 2008 World Series. (ouch)

I, too, am quite confident that this series is far from over. On the Yankee side all one must do is just look back a short five years when they were one game from eliminating their most hated rival, the Boston Red Sox and unless you've been hiding in a time capsule you know what happened there.

For the Yanks to close this puppy out they are going to have to do it on the arms of A.J. Burnett, who like his counterpart CC Sabathia, will be pitching on three days rest. If he doesn't get past Cliff Lee they will have to use Andy Pettitte once again on three days rest, and if it goes to a seventh game it will be CC back from the short rest period.

Personally, I can't see this as a formula for success, thus my unwillingness to count the Phillies out just yet.

With Cliff Lee on the mound tonight I see the Phillies regaining their swagger which has been missing in these first two games at Citizens Bank Park.

Charlie Manuel has made a couple of questionable calls in this series going back to not starting Cole Hamels in Game Two in Yankee Stadium. Last night's example was a doozy.

I have always been taught as a coach, and listening to countless hours of Baseball Tonight, that in a tied game at home you never bring in your closer to pitch the top of the ninth inning. You save that guy for extra innings. I have seen it done too many times this year and the home team gets beat in extra innings because the visiting team is facing a much less threatening opponent.

It was also Lidge's first appearance in more than a week, and after two very quick outs he lost control. Three runs later and another blown appearance, Lidge is anxious to get this series back to New York for an opportunity to face these guys again.

I think he will, and I would like nothing better than to see him close out Game Seven. That's a long way off and the odds of that happening aren't too good especially here in Vegas. However, if you want to make that prop bet that the Phillies will come back and win the next three games, I know 60 places that will take your bet and most likely your money.


Prediction

I correctly picked the "Skankees" (Now there's 'objective reporting') to win Game Four. I stand by it—it will be the last game they will win.

After Game Two I picked the Phillies to sweep the next three. I apologize for being premature with that pick. So now I give it again, the Phillies will sweep the next three games and repeat as World Champions and be the first National League team to do that since the Big Red Machine in the mid '70s.

By the way, tonight's game; Phillies seven, Yanks two.

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