The truth is that none of those negative predictions are enough to hold back this Phillies squad.
So Roy Halladay doesn't toss a complete-game shutout—it doesn't matter. A poor outing for Doc means at most six runs, and if the Phils' offense is hot, that's still a winnable game.
If they lose the first game of every postseason series, the team gets to show what makes them so great.
Their strength isn't having one of the best pitchers in baseball—it's having three of the best pitchers in baseball. Both Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee are proven postseason performers. Halladay is Philadelphia's least experienced big-game pitcher.
So the Phillies go into October missing one or two guys—it doesn't matter. They have been rolling out what is essentially an offensive B-team all year due to injuries and rest.
They still have the best record in baseball. They have even found potential postseason performers in John Mayberry, Jr. and Wilson Valdez that could be just as productive as some of their slumping, injured starters.
Despite injury problems all summer, their worst losing streak is just four games this season.
So the bullpen blows a couple saves in big games—it doesn't matter. If there's one thing we know about the new Phillies clubhouse culture, it's that they win.
The Phillies haven't been swept in a three- or four-game series all season long. When they lose, they bounce back with a fresh ace and short memories the very next day.
2011 has been an historic year for the Philadelphia Phillies. Every guy on that roster has known since opening day that this team is special. They've been mentally preparing for a World Series run for months. I expect them to put that preparation to good use in October.