Monday, October 18, 2010

The outcomes are the same, the message is the same. In many respects only the players are different. Both the American League and National League Championships are even at 1-1. The four best starters in the business are depended on to get their teams into the World Series. Each team has one: the Rangers have Cliff Lee, the Yankees - C.C. Sabathia, the Phillies - Roy Halladay, and the Giants have Tim Lincecum.  The teams from the East have the tougher batting orders. To put it mildly, the Yankees and the Phillies are stacked, but this is the year of the pitcher and the timeless cliche is that good pitching beats good hitting every time. The Yankees starting pitching has not looked good. Sabathia was handled roughly in game 1 in Texas. Phil Hughes was even worse in game 2. Andy Pettitte is the next man up, but he is not that far recovered from the disabled list. A.J. Burnett has been so awful in the second part of the season, the Yankees had hoped to keep him out of the post season rotaton.

Tonight's game in New York will be particularly ironic.  Cliff Lee will start for Texas in what very well could be his audition for his contract for next year, not with Texas but with the Yankees. If he handles the Yankees, his asking price for 2011 will go higher. He'll also be available for game 7 if needed. However, this is the first ALCS game in New York this year. That New York state of mind along with one demonic lineup could be the equalizer.

The Phillies went 1-1 in their happy home in Philadelphia. Now they're off to San Francisco. The Phillies are the one team in baseball that is three aces deep. As if Roy Halladay and Roy Oswald aren't deep enough, Cols Hammel is set to start game 3 tomorrow. He was the ace behind Philadelphia's championship two years ago. San Francisco does not have a strong batting attack, one where roll players must function to their capacity to succeed.

The Phillies and Yankees must look like the favorites to advance to the World Series, but one would have to think with the Yankees starters struggling and the Phillies triple threat, the Phils should prevail particularly with the added advantage of games 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 if needed in Philadelphia stripping the Yanks of their DH.

By Thanksgiving, the champ wll be known. This year's schedule like others under the current TV contract are simply too stretched out.

No comments: