NLDS Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies (97-65) v. Cincinnati Reds (91-71)


Welcome to the playoffs, babies (or, for fans of The701Level, babbys and guy babbys)! The NLDS begins tomorrow, October 5th, with our beloved Phillies taking on the Cincinnati Reds and the San Francisco Giants taking on the Atlanta Braves. If you’ve already seen the Baseball Ladies’ predictions for the NLDS (which, if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?), you’ll know that we’re all favoring the Phillies to beat the Reds and advance to the NLCS (where I, personally, hope they’ll face the Giants… if only to bring <strong><a href=”http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/burrepa01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker”>Pat  Burrell</a></strong> and <strong><a href=”http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/rowanaa01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker”>Aaron  Rowand</a></strong> back to Philly for a short while). Yes, we’re biased, but the Phillies have been here before – the past three years in a row, actually. The Reds haven’t been in the playoffs since 2006. The Phillies are heavily favored to win this best-of-5 series, but I’m hoping for at least some fight from the Reds, just to make it interesting. I’d love to see the Phillies just destroy them, too… I’m so indecisive. Anyway. Phillies in 4.
Pitching matchups for the first three games of the NLDS are as follows: <strong><a href=”http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hallaro01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker”>Roy  Halladay</a></strong> v. Edison Volquez, <strong><a href=”http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/o/oswalro01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker”>Roy  Oswalt</a></strong> v. <strong><a href=”http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/a/arroybr01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker”>Bronson  Arroyo</a></strong>, <strong><a href=”http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hamelco01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker”>Cole  Hamels</a></strong> v. <strong><a href=”http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/cuetojo01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker”>Johnny  Cueto</a></strong>. Our big three against their… three starting pitchers? Yeah, I think we’ve got these in the bag. I am a little curious as to why <strong><a href=”http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/worleva01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker”>Vance  Worley</a></strong> didn’t make the NLDS roster, in case we need him as a starter or a long reliever out of the bullpen. At least <strong><a href=”http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/z/zagurmi01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker”>Mike  Zagurski</a></strong> and <strong><a href=”http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/baezda01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker”>Danys  Baez</a></strong> didn’t make the roster, either, but there’s a huuuuge difference between Worley and Zagurski/Baez that could really make up an entirely separate blog post. So we’ll skip that for now.
NLDS Schedule
Game 1 – Wednesday, October 5th @ 5:07PM (Citizens Bank Park)
Game 2 – Friday, October 6th @ 6:07PM (Citizens Bank Park)
Game 3 – Sunday, October 8th @ 7:07PM (Great American Ball Park)
Game 4 (if needed) – Monday, October 9th @ 5:07PM (Great American Ball Park)
Game 5 (if needed) – Wednesday, October 11th @ 6:07PM (Citizens Bank Park)
Let’s go Phillies!!!!

Series Preview: San Francisco Giants (67-52) at Philadelphia Phillies (66-51)


After a quick series win on the road against our foes of New York, the Phillies tied for first place in the National League Wild Card race with the San Francisco Giants. The same Giants who, as fate would have it, are coming to town for a three game set after a offday Monday. San Francisco won the previous meeting in SF 2-1 back in late April.

Charlie Manuel has said he’s not focused on the Wild Card race. And why he should he be? With Ryan Howard expected to return from the DL in the coming days and the activation of Chase Utley today – the Phillies now have their competition and the fate of the 2010 season right where they want them. After injuries to almost every major position player and then some, an unstable bullpen, a never-ending offensive slump -the Phillies stand on the doorstep of September with everything finally coming together for what seems like another incredible second half run.

I typically give stats for my previews; break down the pitching matchups, how the batters fare against certain guys – and for this one, I can direct you to Phillies.com. (Realistically, I know you’re much more excited for the returns of Pat the Bat and Chase to care how they stack up against Oswalt or Zito respectively.) This series reminds me a lot of the one in mid September 2008 against Milwaukee.  Behind the Brew Crew by four games for the Wild Card lead when they came to town for a four game set, we swept them and moved on from the Wild Card to take the NL East weeks later.  I bring this series up because when it comes down to it, this team does what it needs to do fate presents such an opportunity.  With  the exception of Matt Cain v. Joe Blanton, I think the other matchups of Barry Zito v. Roy Oswalt and Jonathan Sanchez v. Cole Hamels do favor the Phillies.  I don’t want to get ahead of myself and predict a sweep, but I think after this series  the Phillies will be  in the lead – but forget the wild card, send San Francisco packing with it.  Let’s shoot to end the series atop the National League East and send one final message to Atlanta that the Phillies are coming.

Series Preview: Atlanta Braves (48-34) at Philadelphia Phillies (42-38)


Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies After yet another disappointing series on the road, and dropping the season series to Pittsburgh 4-2, the Phillies will return home for a three game set against the first place Atlanta Braves. For a team plagued with injuries and still looking for a consistent level of play, this may be a series that will set the tone for the second half of the season. Play well, and the Phillies could make up some much-needed ground in the National League East. Continue reading

Series Preview: San Diego Padres (32-21) at Philadelphia Phillies (28-24)


It was a road trip that featured the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. The Phillies are coming off a pathetic and disappointing road trip against their foes of the National League East, featuring two series sweeps at the hands of New York and Atlanta, a handful of shutouts,and the 20th perfect game in Major League history from Roy Halladay. The Phillies will be home for a seven game homestand against San Diego and Florida before Interleague play begins for the remainder of the month. Last year, the Phillies won the season series 4-2, with just one win at home and a sweep on the road.

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Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies (26-24) at Florida Marlins (24-24)


After a pathetic three shutout losses against the New York Mets, the Phillies will look to turn their luck against the Florida Marlins. In a visit to Citizens Bank Park in April the Phillies lost the series 1-2. Withe the division being such a tight race, the Phillies must look to get back on track during this series. Continue reading

Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies (26-17) at New York Mets (22-23)


 

After a less than stellar homestand (3-4) where the offense went missing again, including behind two losses from Roy Halladay; the Phillies will begin a nine game road trip against their foes of the National League East. Facing also Florida and Atlanta, today will be the first trip up to Citi Field of the season. In their last meeting with New York, the Phillies took two out of the three game series.

 

GAME ONE: Jamie Moyer (5-3) at R.A. Dickey (0-0, 3.00) 

The surprising thing about Moyer this season is that despite biting the injury bug last season, and a most uncertain future in the offseason; the 47 year old has gone six innings in his eight starts this season. In his past three starts, he is 2-1 with a 2.42 earned run average. In his last outing against Chicago, Moyer went seven innings, allowing just two runs on four hits and seven strikeouts.  While he didn’t pitch particularly well against the Mets earlier this season, he did earn the win and one incredible walk off of ace Johan Santana. Continue reading

Series Preview: Boston Red Sox (22-20) at Philadelphia Phillies (25-15)


After a 1-1 series with Chicago, the Boston Red Sox return to Philadelphia for three games to mark the beginning of 2010 interleague play. This year, Boston has struggled against tough competition from the expected New York and Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays. They are currently in fourth place in the best division in baseball. In recent years, the Phillies have been less than stellar during interleague play. Boston is currently missing two of its star players: Jacoby Ellsbury and Josh Beckett are currently on the disabled list. Also worth noting, the Phillies enter the weekend with the best record in the National League. Last year, the Phillies lost their sole series to Boston in Philadelphia 1-2. Continue reading