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Giant Collision Course Headed Phillies Way

Scott EisenlohrAnalyst IAugust 13, 2009

What team has two former Cy Young Award winners on its staff and has one of the best records in the National League?

The Phillies, with Cliff Lee, shown above, and Pedro Martinez.

Well, the Giants have three former Cy Young Award winner on its staff: Tim Lincecom, Randy Johnson, and Barry Zito.

The Phillies are a home run-hitting team, with Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez leading the way with 27 home runs each.

The Giants are more of a hit for an average team, with the likes of Pablo Sandoval, Aaron Rowand, and Freddy Sanchez.

The NL West or Central wildcard plays the National League East champion in the first round of the playoffs, so if the Giants can overcome the tough Rockies and don't catch the Dodgers, the Phillies will face the Giants.

And this is the team I fear the most. Good pitching usually wins out and I am not saying the Phillies pitching is worse than the Giants, but a singles-hitting team usually fares better in the playoffs than a home run-hitting team.

I feel better about the Phillies post-season chances with Pedro Martinez's strong five-inning, three-run, one walk, and five strikeout performance in the Phillies 12-5 win over the Cubs on Wednesday.

Martinez, a three-time Cy Young winner, threw his fastball in the low 90s, changed speeds effectively, and threw strikes most of the night.

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With a rotation of Lee, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, J.A. Happ and Martinez give the Phillies a solid rotation.

Lincecom is solid, Randy Johnson's health has kept him out of the rotation at times, and Zito is not the pitcher he was when he won the American League Cy Young award in 2002.

The Phils are on a roll heading into Atlanta, following a three-game sweep of the Cubs, and have a chance to put some distance between themselves and the Braves.

As much as I hope to play the Yankees in the World Series, a series with the Giants could prove to be a tough test for the Phillies road to repeat.

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