Phillies' Playoff Run: All the Way or Another Early Exit?

Colin JohnsonContributor IOctober 5, 2008

The Phillies entered the playoffs on a huge burst of energy, partially because the offense and pitching were clicking and partially because the Mets did not make the playoffs. 

They took two of the first three games of the series with Milwaukee. But will they take down the Brewers or stumble?

The Phillies' offense slowed in their Game Three loss to Milwaukee. Their pitching staff looked vulnerable as well, with Jamie Moyer getting the loss.

In order for them to wash away the Brewers, they need to get a solid pitching performance from Joe Blanton in Game four, and they need to have Brad "Lights Out" Lidge ready to close out the series.  The offense will need to score early and get Blanton some comfort so he can last a good seven innings.

If the Phillies were to win the NLDS, they would have to make it through a hot Dodgers team, against whom they've excelled this season.  This year, the Phils and Dodgers have split the season series 4-4, each sweeping the other in a four-game series.

All in all, the Phillies will need to be on the top of their game to beat the streaking Dodgers, who swept the Cubs in their NLDS series.

My pick to win the NL is the Phillies, who, in my opinion, will take the series against Milwaukee and win the series against Los Angeles with a solid pitching staff, controlling the Dodgers' offense.

In the AL, the Rays and the Red Sox look like they will handle their series easily.  But if they face each other, what will be the result?

The Rays beat the Sox in the season series 10-8, but the Sox appear to be having no trouble whatsoever with the Angels. I believe they will both win their ALDS and meet in the ALCS.

My pick to win the AL is the Red Sox, once again. I think the Sox will surprise the Rays and send them packing to end their Cinderella season.

The Phillies-Red Sox series would be great to watch—Phillies hoping for their second World Series victory and the Sox looking to capture yet another title.

I am a huge Phillies phan, but I do not believe that they are ready to take on a postseason-experienced Red Sox pitching staff and lineup. In a series of seven, I would pick the Sox in six.

Of course, I hope the Phillies prove me wrong.