Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rays and Phillies: REALLY?!

Quick, put your hand up if you thought the Tampa Bay Rays would win 70 games this year. Ya, me neither. But alas, the time has come, hell hath frozen over. The Rays are the American League representatives in the 2008 World Series. The Phillies are coming off a surprising cake-walk of Manny's Dodgers and the debate will now begin. Is it better to be the team who has been waiting and resting, or the one with an engine full of Red Sox killing momentum? I happen to side with the latter. The Rays and Phils lineups are both strong, top to bottom. The advantage the Rays have is on the mound. Beyond Cole Hamels, there are question marks. Brett Myers has been perorming out of his skull so far in the playoffs and against a hot lineup with the likes of Longoria, Upton, et al., I just can't see it continuing. Same thing for his batting too. Somethings gotta give. And how about that spritely Jamie Moyer? In his two starts so far in the postseason, he has been lucky to escape the first inning. Moyer would be better served in this series as a second Phillies pitching coach. All I'm saying is I'd take an Andy Sonnanstine over a Jamie Moyer anyday. The only way I see the Rays losing this series is if their bullpen blows it for them. Having said that, they may have found their fireman for the remainder of the playoffs in super rookie David Price. And his stomach soothing performance couldn't have come at a better time. Rays manager Joe "Don't Call Me John" Maddon is done relying on Dan Wheeler to get 9th inning outs. At least Rays fans should hope so. On the topic of bullpens, I've never been one to hold in my opnions of Brad Lidge. The guy was brutal in the playoffs for the Astros when they went to the World Series in 2005, only to be swept by the ChiSox. Seemed like he was going to be one of those closers who couldn't handle the heat in big situations. So yes, he has yet to blow a save yet this season, but each opportunity seems a little bit more Miguel Batista-esque than the last. The Phillies and the city of Philadelphia are looking for another Mitch Williams. Time will tell if they have found him in Lidge. (God, I hope so. Nothing like a good ol' lynching). So, ultimately to my predicition. Rays in 5. Too much hot, sticky momentum. Sorry, Philadelphia. But not really.

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