Well, this wasn’t quite what I had thought would happen at the beginning of the playoffs. But since it is no further off really than I was during Spring Training, I think I’ll be alright and just make my predictions for the World Series:
How the Rangers Will Win
They have to continue to hit like they did in the ALCS and the ALDS before that. Their pitching, while decent, is not good enough to carry them all the way throughout this series. Cliff Lee may be the best pitcher in this series, and Josh Hamilton is the best player overall in the series as well. They will need excellent performances from both of these players to have any chance of winning the World Series.
How the Giants Will Win
Their pitching, from 1 to 4 in the starting rotation, is better than the Rangers’ staff. They are leading off with 2-time reigning Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, and then following it up with the quietly good Matt Cain. This team’s offense is highly unlikely to carry this team if it struggles, as they generally do not hit for a lot of power.
How I Think it Will Go
With that said, who do I think wins this series? I think that it ends up being the Rangers in 6 games, as Cliff Lee makes 2 starts and gets two of the wins himself. Josh Hamilton ends up adding a World Series MVP to his LCS MVP award, and it has more to do with the Giants’ inability to string a fair amount of hits together as opposed to the Rangers being dominant.
Congrats to the New York Yankees on winning another world Championship.
Time for everyone else to start making themselves better to catch them.
Been a bit busy, and didn’t get to catch anything but the highlights for Game 5…
- Chase Utley is hopefully becoming a household name. He’s played extremely well, and if the Phillies do manage to come back and win this Series, he’s a lock for MVP.
- Game 6’s matchup, when I first heard it, made me initially think Red Sox-Yankees. Guess Pedro really was known for that, even more than I thought previously.
- I would love to see the Phillies win tonight, and force a game 7 tomorrow. I love seeing games where they will throw anyone and everyone out there if need be.
- It has been a much better and more interesting World Series than I thought it would be initially. As much as it annoys me that the Yankees may very well have purchased this title, the players on the field still have to execute.
I didn’t get a chance to watch either of Games 3 or 4 with a busy weekend, but from the highlights and recaps, a few things stood out to me.
- The Phillies held their ace for Game 5, and there’s a chance it may have really cost them. Blanton pitched well, but they really needed to win Game 4, and would have been able to figure it out from there.
- I can’t recall ever seeing anyone steal 2 bases on the same pitch like that, but it definitely caught the Phillies sleeping.
- Ryan Howard has really not hit very well, and it seems to be showing.
- Alex Rodriguez is hitting really, really well. Crud.
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Yankees evened the series up at 1 each last night, behind some excellent pitching.
– Burnett pitched a great game. He looked really sharp, and the Phillies didn’t have a good real answer for it.
– Pedro Martinez is one of the best pitchers I’ve ever seen. Even with diminished velocity, he baffled the Yankee hitters for the better part of 6 innings, only a few minor mistakes. Otherwise a very well pitched game, but just not quite enough offensive support to help him.
– Mariano Rivera remains one of the best late inning relievers of all time. His team needed 2 innings from him, and he delivered yet again. So money.
Saturday’s matchup is somewhat of a let down in comparison to the previous 2 pitching matchups. Pettitte has been one of the best postseason pitchers in the past, and his matchup against Cole Hamels could potentially be really good, or potentially be a slugfest.
Congrats to the Phillies for winning game 1 last night. Some thoughts from the parts of the game I watched…
– Cliff Lee looked really sharp. The Yankee hitters didn’t see to have a very good feel for what they want to do up there. 10 Ks will do that.
– Sabathia seems to have less control tonight, but made it work.
– Umpiring controversy in the 5th, but thankfully they got that call right.
– Chase Utley is a simply amazing player. 2 HRs last night. Hopefully everyone is getting a feel for how good he really is.
– ESPN provided a really interesting stat: Lee was the first pitcher to have 10 K, 0 BB, and 0 ER in a World Series start. He was also the first to have 10 K and 0 BB in a World Series game 1 in 106 years.
I had hoped it would be a good pitching matchup, and was definitely not disappointed. Sabathia pitched well enough to win on most days, but ran into the buzzsaw that is Cliff Lee.
The World Series starts tonight in New York, and for many baseball fans outside of the Philadelphia and New York markets, it’s of little importance. Myself included. I am interested, however, in some of the storylines.
Game 1: C.C. Sabathia vs. Cliff Lee
The last 2 AL Cy Young winners face off tonight, and both have been pitching extremely well during their teams’ run into the World Series. Lee is in his first postseason, having posted a miniscule 0.74 era in 24 innings. He is working on 9 days rest, having pitched last in Game 3 of the NLCS. Sabathia has compiled a 3-0 record in this postseason, with a nearly-as-miniscule 1.19 era in 23 innings. Probably going to be the matchup of the series, in my opinion.
The return of Pedro to Yankee Stadium
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel made a very astute decision by sending Pedro Martinez to start game 2 in Yankee Stadium. Pedro has been one of the most successful big game pitchers of the last 20 years, and should have no problem adjusting to the limelight associated with it. Yankee fans love to hate this guy, regardless of whether or not he is no longer a member of their hated rivals.
Which Cole Hamels will show up?
Will we see the one that went 3-0 last year in the postseason and lead his team to a world championship, or will we see the one that has pitched in the NL playoffs to this point (11 ER in 13.7 innings)? The Phillies will need last year’s version to show up for them to have a good chance of winning this series.
Is A-Rod going to finally become a champion?
It is no secret how much A-Rod wants a World Series championship, and personally I am pulling for a Phillies repeat. I find it hard to feel sympathy for him because he doesn’t have a championship. One look at his bank account causes that.
My Hope: 4 game sweep for the Phillies
My Actual Prediction:
Game 1: Phillies 2-1
Game 2: Yankees 7-4
Game 3: Phillies 6-4
Game 4: Yankees 5-3
Game 5: Phillies 8-2
Game 6: Phillies 6-5
Phillies win 4-2
Sources: Baseball Reference