Phillies in 3rd straight National League Championship Series

By Matthew Shinkle '14

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The Philadelphia Phillies are in their third straight NLCS. Surprised? Actually, most are.  

            The Phillies trailed the Braves in the end of the season by six games with about two weeks to go. Most fans were only focusing on the wild card, but we watched as the Braves slowly crumbled, and resorted to winning the wild card on the last game of the regular season.      

            The Braves had a commanding lead most of the season, taking advantage of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard’s injuries. They had everything going their way, until the stars came back.

            The Phillies eventually won the Pennant, while the braves accepted the wild card. In the first round of the postseason, the Phillies swept the Reds and the Giants humiliated the Braves. Now we are left with only two teams in the NL, promising great pitching performance’s each game.

            So how will the 2-time National League Champions fare against a more pitching based team compared to a more hitting based team then the Dodgers who they beat the last two years in the NLCS?

            The Giants Ace, Tim Lincecum in the regular season compiled a 16-10 record with 231 K’s and a 3.43 ERA. He is in consideration for the NL CY Young Award, but the most deserving pitcher for that award is his opponent, Roy Halladay. Halladay went 21-10 after coming to the Phillies from the Toronto Blue Jays. He had 219 K’s with a 2.44 ERA during the regular season.

            The Phillies two and three starters are deserving of being aces for other teams (Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels), but being on a team with Roy Halladay, the Phillies have the best 1-2-3 starters in the MLB.

            The Phillies also might have the best infield in the MLB, with Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Placido Polanco and Jimmy Rollins.

Due to injuries, it is surprising to see Howard with 31 HR’s and 108 RBI’s. The Phillies infield also consists of more common household names. Averages also slightly favor the Phillies to hit more consistently.

According to ten ESPN experts, they all favor the Phillies to beat the Giants; none however, expect a sweep.

            This will be a great series, and will be remembered as one of the greatest pitching duals in Postseason History, with the occasional appearance of signs of life at the plate for two struggling offenses.    

  Average HR’s RBI’s
A. Huff .290 26 86
F. Sanchez .292 7 47
J. Uribe .248 24 85
P. Sandoval .268 13 63

 

  Average HR’s RBI’s
R. Howard .276 31 108
C. Utley .275 16 85
P. Polanco .298 6 52
J. Rollins .243 8 41
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Phillies in 3rd straight National League Championship Series