NLCS 2010: Phillies Pull Even, Show Why Giants Have No Business Being Here
I have heard too many analysts, as well as Giant fans, tell me how good this team is. How they are going to defy the odds, how "deserving" they are of this, when the fact of the matter is they aren't.
Although the bulk of this is based upon my opinion, this article is well-researched and formulated. Like it or not, you can't ignore these numbers.
The first comment I usually (and will) get by the Giants faithful is the fact that San Francisco won the NL West...to which my response is usually... and? Somebody had to win it.
Their next comment is usually along the lines of their 92-70 record, which again, appears impressive. Lets examine that.
Now before I get too deep, the main purpose of this article is to explain why the Giants have no business making it to the World Series, and whether or not they beat the Braves doesn't really matter.
If the Braves had advanced it would be almost the exact same scenario. Before you go look at my profile and determine I'm a Padres fan...that doesn't matter either.
Had the Padres advanced to the playoffs, they would not have had any more of a chance than the Giants or Braves. They too had no business being here.
I'm aware of that, you should be too. So why do the Giants have no chance? Why aren't they as good as everyone thinks? Why won't they win the NLCS and eventually the series?
They can't hit. They can't score runs. but more specifically here are five reasons the bus stops here.
1. Cody Ross is not your (and never will be) NLCS/World Series MVP. Sorry.
Yes, he is having an unreal streak of at-bats for the Giants this postseason, but lets look at the big picture...after Burrell, nobody else is doing squat. You don't pitch to one/both of them, and one/both has a bad game, the rest of the lineup is averaging .66 RBI's per game.
That's right, the other seven are driving in LESS THAN A RUN PER GAME...and you want to compete with the No. 2 offense in the NL.
Tim Lincecum will be our MVP!! No, he won't.
You guys will not consistently score enough runs for him to keep winning games. He isn't going to strike out 14 guys every game, which is what you needed to beat the Braves and their horrid offense.
He also needed Cody Ross to man up against Halladay, and he did...but there's nobody else there to back him up.
If we look back at the last six years NLCS/ALCS MVP's we have:
Ryan Howard, CC Sabathia, Cole Hamels, Matt Garza, Matt Holiday, Josh Beckett, Jeff Suppan, Placido Polanco, Roy Oswalt, Paul Konerko, Albert Pujols and David Ortiz.
The first thing we notice? six pitchers, six hitters, so we're fairly balanced. The next thing? I don't see any Cody Ross caliber players?
The worst player on that list is Jeff Suppan, and he's a pitcher, not an 8-hole hitter. Most of those guys are perennial MVP/Cy Young candidates.
The next (and probably most important thing) we notice? Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Placido Polanco and Roy Oswalt are on that list....and they're also on the Phillies. Not only that, Hamels was a World Series MVP as well (and he's the number THREE starter).
To further emphasize the talent on the Phillies roster, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard are regular season MVPs...and we haven't even mentioned the Phillies best hitter in Chase Utley. Oh...and somebody named Roy Halladay...who had a fairly decent postseason debut.
2. Their regular season record IS 22 games above .500, but their record against teams that can score runs is not. If we take the top three NL teams in runs we get the Reds, Phillies, and Rockies.
If we examine the Giants record against these teams, we see they are a very average 18-15. If we include the Red Sox (No, 2 in the AL) in interleague play we get to 19-17.
The Giants record against teams that can score runs tells us all we need to know about what kind of club they are...and they showcased that in the NLDS against the Braves.
After they won that series a lot of Giants fans began running their mouth about how they're the underdog, and nobody is taking them seriously, insert final cliche here. Who cares?
Your team is built around a bunch of misfits, has-beens, and never was players, anchored by a dominant starting rotation in Timmy, Cain, and Sanchez (which I will not discount...they're solid).
3. Playoff experience. This won't require too much explanation for the bulk of you that have watched what the Phil's have done in the last few years. They're the real deal, and they're only getting better.
When was the last time a ROOKIE CATCHER led his team to a world series? 1966. We have already seen a no-hitter this postseason, so you never know.
4. Home field advantage for San Francisco doesn't exist. Moving from the Cracker Jack Box that is Citizens Bank Park to AT & T Park is only going to make it even more difficult to score runs.
Citizens bank was 10th in baseball with 1.125 HR allowed per game, while AT & T was 20th in the league with .885 homeruns allowed per game...and that was during the summer. Few balls will leave the Giants bats and make it through the thick October nights and into the bleachers.
If the Giants team was built on speed that would be one thing, but nothing could be further from the truth. No team in the Major Leagues stole fewer bases than the San Francisco Giants.
They tied the Chicago Cubs for the fewest steals in the league with a whopping 55. The Phillies on the other hand, finished the regular season with 108 steals. Advantage: Philly.
5. The Phillies starting three are too good. Halladay will pitch on short rest, meaning a seven game schedule would consist of Halladay three times, Oswalt twice and Hamels twice. You beat Halladay once, what are the odds on beating him again...or two more times?
He lost 10 games in 33 starts...so on average he will lose one of the three games he pitches...and he's already done that. Will one of the worst offenses in recent playoff memory be the team to knock Halladay around three times in a row?
I'm shaking my head because I know there are Giants fans that are claiming they can do it.
"SAN FRANCISCO OWNS HALLADAY!! HE IS 0-2 AGAINST US THIS YEAR!!" True, but that's very flawed logic. First, the regular season game he lost didn't feature Cody Ross. Meaning this second go around didn't have the same players as did the first one.
Not to mention that game was only Halladay's fifth start of the year. Lets look at who did the damage that game. Halladay allowed five runs in a 5-1 loss. So who tagged Halladay for those five runs? Two of them were driven in by Whiteside, two by DeRosa. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I haven't seen their names on any lineups thus far in the postseason.
Of the 10 hits allowed by Halladay that first game, two were from Sandoval, two were from Renteria, two from Whiteside, and one each from Bowker, Torres, Huff, and DeRosa.
How many of these players were even in the lineup against Halladay the second go around? Torres and Huff. How much did they benefit from seeing him a second time around? 2-9, zero RBI's. So take that "favorable" matchup for what it's worth.
You want to focus on matchups? Cain lost his only start versus Philly this year by a score of 2-8. Bumgarner was 0-4 against the top three scoring NL teams I mentioned earlier.
Congratulations on making it this far, the Giants have clearly demonstrated they are the best of the worst teams eligible to fill this slot in the postseason. It would have been difficult to write this about the Padres, but they would have been swept in the first round before I even got around to it.
I'm not saying you shouldn't go out there and cheer for your team, just be a little more humble about it. You're fortunate enough to have gotten this far.
The Giants pitching staff should keep them competitive for the next few years, and Buster Posey caliber players will continue to emerge from a strong farm system that continues to develop talent.
If you guys pull it out, good for you. If not, try not to blame the umps.
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