Have Teams Done Enough To Catch The Phillies?

September 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

Last night’s 2-1 win by the Philadelphia Phillies over the visiting San Francisco Giants had the makings of a playoff atmosphere.

Pedro Martinez, shown above, outpitched reigning Cy Young winner Tim Lincecome, going seven innings, giving up one run, walking none and striking out nine.

More importantly, he had the trademark scowl and separated himself from just being a bit better than what Jamie Moyer gave as a starter.

No deference to Moyer, who is among the top all-time lefthanded pitchers in the game, but an argument can now be made that Martinez is the better choice, be it one game.

Which lead me to the larger picture: Which National League teams, including the Phillies, have done enough to represent the league in the World Series?

The Phillies

The Phillies got Cliff Lee, who in essence replaces Brett Myers, and Pedro Martinez, who replaces Jamie Moyer. Lee has been amazing, save his last start and will pitch tonight in Houston. How he performs tonight will say a lot about his comeback ability and a peek into the playoffs. Some speculate that Myers will come back to replace Brad Lidge as the closer, but Lidge is starting to return to his 2008 form. Grade: Lee is a stud. A.


The Cardinals

Matt Holliday from the A’s in his brief American League stay. With Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Ryan Franklin having great years, protection for Albert Pujois is key. Grade: A.


The Dodgers

All season long the Dodgers had the best record in the National League. Slugger Manny Ramirez came back from a 50-game suspension and all was happy in Dodgerland. Then something happened: The Dodgers started to slip and it was the Rockies, not the Giants, who were nipping at their heels.

The Giants and Rockies are now neck and neck. The Dodgers noticed and recently got starters Jon Garland and Vincente Padilla, pinch hitter Jim Thome and infielder Ronnie Bellaird. More name value than substance. Grade: B


The Rockies

Left-handed hitting Jason Giambi, released by the Yankees and righthander Jose Contreras from the White Sox. The team is on a roll again and went with what they had plus a little. Grade: C, but it might not matter if the Rockies repeat their 2007 run, less Holliday.


The Giants

Brad Penny, a solid inning-eating pitcher from the Boston Red Sox and Freddy Sanchez, from the Pirates. The Giants have been well above .500 all year and perhaps didn’t need much. A light-hitting, but good pitching team. Grade: B.


Atlanta, Florida and dark horses Chicago and Milwaukee could contend for the Wild Card, but it seems as if the entrant will come from the West, with either San Francisco or Colorado. St. Louis is the hottest team in baseball, going 8-2 over the past 10 games, and pose the biggest threat to the Phillies.

You might think this is a “homer” argument from me, but the Phillies are the reigning World Champions. And they are finally making All-Star break moves and the front office is making moves worthy of a champion.

There is a different mindset in Philadelphia and a swagger from being World Champions. But they have to stay hungry. The Cardinals and the Giants pose the biggest threats to me.

Ryan Howard has to stay hot, Raul Ibanez starting hitting and climb near .300 again. Jimmy Rollins is making the plays on the field and at the bat again. The Phillies, a notorious home run hitting team, also lead the league in stolen base percentage. They are as good as any team in the playoffs.

That being said, if the Rockies are hot, they could take it all, or make it to the World Series.

Me? I think it will be the Phillies and Cardinals in the NLDS. How the teams perform down the stretch will determine who will go to the World Series.


Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on BleacherReport.com

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...