The National League Championship Series will be won or lost in one place. Right in the center of the diamond.
The San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies boast the two best pitching staffs in all of baseball.The game one match-up of Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum have fans on each side already claiming victory.
Will the highly touted Phillies trio of Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels handle the Giants like they did the dangerous bats of the Cincinnati Reds?
Will the record setting rotation of Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez shock the baseball world and upset the favored Phils?
Here is my view of how the series will play out.
Roy Halladay wins game 1
The much talked about meeting between Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay will actually live up to the hype, but it won't be the double shut out people are expecting.,
Lincecum, known to be overly pumped up for big games, will start out shaky with his control. The Phils will strike for 3 runs in the first three innings, giving Halladay the advantage. Lincecum settles down and breezes through the Phillies for the next four innings but Halladay proves to be too tough with the lead.
Halladay scatters 5 hits over eight innings and the Phils hang on for the win in game one.
Juan Uribe hits a big homer
Game two propels Jonathan Sanchez into the spotlight and he knows what to do when put there.
Sanchez, who was the Giants hottest pitcher down the stretch, continues to master his opponents and throws the gem the Giants need.
Sanchez strikes out 10 Phils and masters the left-handers in the Phillies lineup.
Offensively, the Giants strike early against Roy Oswalt and the big blow is a home run by Juan Uribe. The Giants bullpen does the job over the final two innings to split the opening games in Philadelphia.
Cole Hamels dominates in game three
The scene moves to San Francisco for game three and Matt Cain takes the mound against Cole Hamels.
Hamels however is the one that comes away with the win, while allowing only 3 hits over seven innings. Cain pitches well but his problem all year has been the home run ball and again it bites him.
Brad Lidge has a shaky ninth inning but holds off a Giants threat, to give the Phils a 2-1 series lead.
"The Freak" is on his game
Trailing in the series, the Giants turn to Lincecum again on short rest and this time the Freak has un-hittable stuff.
Lincecum throws a complete game and strikes out 11 Phils. He gets all the offense he needs from Aubrey Huff midway through the game and Timmy makes it hold up. The Giants will threaten to blow the game open all game long, but will not get the big hit they need.
Ryan Howard's Homer beats Giants
In the big swing game of the series, the Phillies get the bats going against Sanchez and his control hurts him as he walks 6.
Sanchez is out before the fifth inning but Madison Bumgarner comes in and settles things down but the lead is ideal for Halladay.
The Phils ace doesn't have his best stuff either but its good enough to get through seven innings and the bull pen does the rest.
Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino are the heroes offensively for Philadelphia, who take a 3-2 lead and head back to the city of brotherly love.
Chase Utley gets three hits in game 6
Home once again, Philadelphia finally gets that good performance from Oswalt and the win sends them back to the World Series.
Oswalt cruises past a Giants team that can not get on track. He gets support from Carlos Ruiz and Chase Utley as the Phils take a 4-0 lead after four innings. The Giants fight back against Oswalt in the sixth scoring three times, but Ryan Madsen comes in to stop the Giants threat and give the Phils the series.
Halladay is named the MVP.