The 2009 baseball playoffs have been thrilling to watch so far and I firmly believe that the two best teams are the two that will start battling for the World Series trophy on Wednesday.
I cannot recall the last time I thought a series was so evenly matched. In recent years, my memory recalls easily being able to identify the team that on paper had a clear advantage. Yet for these clubs, that is not so easy to do.
On to the breakdown…
Jeez, who would you rather want, CC or Cliff? Cole Hamels or AJ Burnett? Happ or Pettite? In a pinch, I would select the Yanks, and that’s largely due to the fact that they have Andy Pettite on their side. I’ll take a guy with his experience over a rookie’s any day(unless that rookie is named Livan). CC and Cliff Lee are a wash in my opinion, and I think that their match-ups will come down to team defensive play – the team with the fewer mistakes should win those battles. Between Hamels and Burnett, I like that Burnett gets a start at home but you cannot disqualify what Hamels did last year…
When it comes to the bullpen, and specifically middle relief, I think that the Phils are far more superior than the Yankees. Being able to use Blanton, Moyer, and even Pedro Martinez in any pitching role during this series gives the Phillies a huge advantage. And while the Yankees have some strengths in their bullpen, it does not come close to equalling what these three guys can offer a team. If any of the Phillies starters get hit hard early on, the Phillies have a great chance to remain in the game with their middle and long relievers.
As for closers, the Yankees have Mariano Rivera – enough said!! And even though Brad Lidge has been great so far for the Phillies, the feeling I have is that a breakdown is imminent and I am just not sure if it’s going to happen in 2009 or 2010.
If it wasn’t for the quality pitching that both of these team possess, I would predict a very high-scoring series. The players on these clubs have the potential to score and drive in runs by the bunches, it will be interesting to see who capitalizes on their opportunities…
A-Rod = Ryan Howard. Jeter = Rollins. Damon = Utley. And so on… The only player that I think is an odd fit for the Phillies is ‘Big Tex’. If he plays well and capitalizes when there are runners on the bases, he may be the difference maker for the Yankees.
These teams both bring talented offenses to the plate that can beat you in various ways. Home runs will be hit, bases will be stolen, and it will all just depend on who is on base when these happenings take place.
When it comes down to it, the team with the fewest base running mistakes should evolve as the winner!!!
Both teams have provided late-inning heroics during these playoffs. Both of these teams have had players off of their benches contribute winning elements to their team success thus far. The World Series will be no different. Will it be Jorge Posada or Matt Stairs that makes the difference this time???
While both teams play extremely well at home, and pretty damn good on the road too, I am not sure that having home field advantage matters in a 2-3-2 series. Actually, I think the team that gets three straight home games has a big advantage. If the Phillies can win just 1 of the first 2 games at Yankee Stadium, they come home for the next three with a ton of confidence. I think it is imperative that the Yankees win Game 1 of the series, and although not equally as important, if they manage to go up 2-0 they would be in a great spot to win the whole thing.
If the series was 2-2-1-1-1, I think a major advantage is had by the home team. But this 2-3-2 really doesn’t seem as big of a deal as having home-filed advantage should be.
Stay tuned – coming tomorrow!!!