World Series, Baby!

I have to admit that of all the Philly teams with the potential to win a championship, I would have placed the Phillies third behind the Flyers and Eagles. That was prior to the season, before we saw how good the Phillies’ pitching staff was to become, particularly the bullpen. As the season began, most people thought the Phillies would give up a lot of runs and score a lot of runs, but virtually the opposite happened. The pitching staff kept the Phillies in almost every game, while the supposedly potent offense would go through long stretches of struggling to score runs and a frustrating inability to manufacture runs without the benefit of a home run. That has continued in the postseason to some degree, but the offense has also found a way to produce runs when it counts, particularly with two outs, as they showed again in Game 5 against the Dodgers.

Another sometimes unappreciated aspect of the Phillies postseason success is their fantastic defense, especially the infield. Feliz, for instance, may be mostly a waste at the plate, but at third base you know he’s going to gobble up almost everything that comes his way. Also, the ability to easily turn a double play to escape a jam cannot be underestimated—it can often mean the difference between winning and losing—and Utley and Rollins are among the best at it. Meanwhile, Victorino covers so much ground that he could practically play the entire outfield by himself, ala Bugs Bunny against the Gas House Gorillas. People can talk about offense and home runs all they want, but defense and pitching wins championships. The Dodgers found out the hard way in Game 5 what can happen when you don’t play good defense.

Speaking of pitching, Hamels is showing the world why he is one of the best pitchers in baseball. Even when he didn’t have his best stuff early on in Game 5, he fought through and eventually dominated. When he’s on the mound you never have to worry about being out of a game. The outcome of the series with Tampa, however, will hinge on the performance of the 2-4 pitchers. Myers has actually been more of a hero at the plate than on the mound, but he has also pitched effectively enough to help the Phillies win his two starts. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to add to his postseason legend at the plate since both of his scheduled starts are DH games, but it also may allow him to pitch more deeply into games. Since coming back up from the minors, he has been mostly dominant (except for a couple of late season starts), so the hope is that we’ll continue to see that Myers and not the one who began the season. Moyer is perhaps the biggest question mark, as he has been shelled in his two postseason starts. He is the consummate professional, though, so I have faith that he can recapture the ageless magic he displayed during the regular season. Blanton, for his part, has been solid since coming to the Phillies. He eats innings and keeps the score manageable, and there’s no reason why that shouldn’t continue.

It’s hard to make a prediction because I admittedly know little about Tampa as I don’t follow the American league much. What I do believe is that the Phillies’ pitching and defense will keep them in almost every game, and if the offense can keep coming up with clutch hits, they have a great chance. Everyone seems to be picking Tampa, but they also all picked the Dodgers, and we know how that worked out. I’ll say Phillies in 6.

Go Phils!

Writer, traveler, photographer, hiker, film/TV addict, amateur chef, casual gamer, and occasional tennis & saxophone player . . . in real life I do web design.

Posted in Baseball, Sports

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow Michael Rappa on WordPress.com
Archives
Categories

Join 298 other followers

Instagram Feed
Yellowstone National Park - August, 2017 Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone - Lower Falls I hiked all the way down to the boardwalk below via the Red Rock Point trail. It was a long climb back up. #gorges #GrandCanyonoftheYellowstone #landscapes #NorthAmerica #Photography #rivers #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #waterfalls #Wyoming #YelllowstoneFalls #YellowstoneGorge #YellowstoneNationalPark #YellowstoneRiver #LowerFalls
Yellowstone National Park - August, 2017 Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone - Another view of the Lower Falls from Artist Point. #gorges #GrandCanyonoftheYellowstone #landscapes #NorthAmerica #Photography #rivers #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #waterfalls #Wyoming #YelllowstoneFalls #YellowstoneGorge #YellowstoneNationalPark #YellowstoneRiver #LowerFalls
Yellowstone National Park - August, 2017 Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone - Lower Falls viewed from Artist Point. Seems appropriate, as I count down to my upcoming trip to the actual Grand Canyon, to share a photo of a different “grand canyon” in Yellowstone National Park, featuring a majestic waterfall emptying into a stunning gorge. Of the many fascinating areas in Yellowstone, this among its most beautiful. #gorges #GrandCanyonoftheYellowstone #landscapes #NorthAmerica #Photography #rivers #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #waterfalls #Wyoming #YelllowstoneFalls #YellowstoneGorge #YellowstoneNationalPark #YellowstoneRiver #LowerFalls
Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming - August, 2017 One more from Shoshone National Forest. I love how this photo turned out, feels like an establishing shot for a Western. #buttes #forests #landscapes #mountains #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #scenicdrives #shoeshonenationalforest #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming - August, 2017 Another shot of Shoshone National Forest, taken during my long drive across the entire state of Wyoming from Yellowstone to Deadwood, South Dakota. If you are driving to or from the Yellowstone East Entrance, you will encounter this gorgeous scenery along Highway 14. #buttes #forests #landscapes #mountains #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #scenicdrives #shoeshonenationalforest #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming - August, 2017 Another shot taken in Bighorn National Forest. If you ever find yourself driving through Wyoming, I highly recommend leaving the freeway and taking a drive along Highway 14 through some amazing scenery like this. #bighornnationalforest #forests #landscapes #mountains #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #scenicdrives #shoeshonenationalforest #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming - August, 2017 This is Shoshone National Forest, taken during my long drive across the entire state of Wyoming from Yellowstone to Deadwood, South Dakota. If you are driving to or from the Yellowstone East Entrance, you will encounter this gorgeous scenery along Highway 14. #buttes #forests #landscapes #mountains #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #scenicdrives #shoeshonenationalforest #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming - August, 2017 This is Bighorn National Forest, a stunning drive up and down a mountain range through spectacular scenery. It’s an area that demands a return visit some day just to spend more time basking in its breathtaking beauty. If you ever find yourself driving through Wyoming, I highly recommend leaving the freeway and taking a drive along Highway 14 through this amazing national forest. #bighornnationalforest #forests #landscapes #mountains #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #scenicdrives #shoeshonenationalforest #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
Wildlife Loop, Custer State Park, South Dakota - September, 2017 Toward the end of my drive along Custer State Park’s Wildlife Loop, I encountered a massive field of prairie dogs. Here's one of the little critters. #animals #CusterStatePark #nature #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #scenicdrives #SouthDakota #Travel #UnitedStates #wildlife #wildlifeloop #prairiedogs
Wildlife Loop, Custer State Park, South Dakota - September, 2017 On the way to Mount Rushmore I detoured for several scenic drives, including Custer State Park’s Wildlife Loop, which takes you through rolling green hills reminiscent of the English countryside. It’s a nice, pleasant drive, worth the diversion if you have the time. This photo features an antelope (lower right) relaxing in front of some of those hills. #animals #antelope #CusterStatePark #hills #landscapes #nature #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #rollinggreenhills #scenicdrives #SouthDakota #Travel #UnitedStates #wildlife #wildlifeloop
Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood, Oregon - August, 2017 Knowing that Portland was only a 90-minute drive to Mount Hood, I couldn't resist spending my final night in Oregon at Timberline Lodge near its summit. The lodge was made famous by The Shining—Kubrick used exterior shots of the lodge to depict the Overlook Hotel. Although the interior was not used in the film, Timberline has fully embraced its Shining legacy. #historicbuildings #landscapes #mounthood #mountains #NorthAmerica #Oregon #OverlookHotel #Photography #roadtrips #theshining #TimberlineLodge #Travel #UnitedStates
Grand Teton National Park - August, 2017 Chapel of the Transfiguration (upper left) #ChapeloftheTransfiguration #chapels #GrandTetonNationalPark #historic #landscapes #MormonRow #mountains #nationalparks #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
Grand Teton National Park - August, 2017 Mormon Row: T.A. Moulton Barn #architecture #barns #GrandTetonNationalPark #historic #landscapes #MormonRow #Moulton #mountains #nationalparks #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
Grand Teton National Park - August, 2017 Bird overlooking Andy Chambers Homestead on Mormon Row. #birds #animals #GrandTetonNationalPark #historic #homesteads #MormonRow #nationalparks #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
Grand Teton National Park - August, 2017 Mormon Row: Clark & Veda Moulton Homestead #architecture #GrandTetonNationalPark #historic #homesteads #landscapes #MormonRow #Moulton #mountains #nationalparks #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
Michael is reading…
%d bloggers like this: