Phillies-Dodgers Series Preview

October 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

The huge NL showdown is coming up as the Phillies and the Dodgers will meet on Thursday night in Dodger stadium. Over the course of the regular season, the Dodgers had the Phillies’ number, as they earned the home field advantage.

However, things have changed since then, as both teams have made key additions and in the postseason, anything can happen.



The Phillies will send in left-hander Cole Hamels, who has been inconsistent all year. Sometimes he looks like an ace; sometimes he has bad games. However, against the Dodgers, Hamels has been dominant. In 16 innings against the Dodgers, he has given up one run and 14 strikeouts. Hamels is the key; he has to be the Cole Hamels of old, which means he has to establish the changeup and get head on those Dodgers’ hitters.

The crafty lefty, former Phillie, Randy Wolf. Wolf has the best opponent OPS against left-handers. And although he struggled in game one, he had a great bounce back year, posting a 3.23 ERA and going 11-7.

The big X-factor is the 21-year-old left-hander Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw has an overpowering fastball that can run up in the high 90s, and can absolutely dominate hitters. Although he gave up nine hits, it was his first postseason start and he managed to get out of jams giving up only two earned.

While the Dodgers lack the big names of the Phillies rotation, they have a very deep rotation that includes guys like Hiroki Kuroda, who could be back this series, Chad Billinglsely, and Vicente Padilla, who was spectacular in the clinching game three against the Cardinals with seven shutout innings, giving up four hits.

The Phillies rotation has a very strong top tow with Hamels and Lee. Lee has been dominant this season, giving up two earned in 16 and a third this postseason. Joe Blanton, who is likely to start game two, has posted very solid numbers this regular season, JA Happ, who struggled with his control in game one but posted great regular season numbers, and of course Pedro Martinez, who hasn’t pitched since Sept. 30th but has great postseason experience.

Overall edge—Phillies

I’ll give it to the Phillies if, and only if, Hamels shows up and pitches dominantly. It is very close because of the Dodgers’ depth and the fact that they posted the best ERA over the regular season. But like I said, I love the Phillies’ top two only if Hamels goes back to the Hamels of old.


The Phillies can flat out hit the long ball. Howard, Utley, Ibanez, and Werth all hit over 30 homers. The Phillies showed what they could do late in games; they got to closer Huston Street late in the game two nights in a row.

The Dodgers also have a few young hitters of their own in Loney, Kemp, and Andre Ethier, who all drove in over 90 runs. Ethier has had a great year being the big clutch hitter late in games for the Dodgers; however, Ethier has been held versus left-handers batting a mediocre .194, Ethier really hurt Brad Lidge earlier in the season. Look for the Phillies to bring in Scott Eyre if Ethier were to get an at bat.

The big question mark is Manny Ramirez. Manny had an awful slump ending the season; however, Manny had a solid series going 4-for-13 against the Cardinals. Manny is the ultimate postseason hitter with a career .286 postseason career average. Plus, Manny went 8-for-15 in the Phillies’ series last season, for the Dodgers to win, Manny has to step up.

Overall edge

I’ll give it to the Phillies, I know the Phillies are too reliant on the long ball, but I love the Phillies’ middle of order. It’ll be interesting to see how the young Clayton Kershaw, who has given up six earned in 10 innings (amounts to a 5.23 ERA), does in this matchup. And then there is Cole Hamels, who has dominated the Dodgers even in his mediocre 2009 season, giving up one earned in 16 innings.


This isn’t even close; the Dodgers’ bullpen may be the best bullpen in the major leagues, they even have hard-throwing Jonathan Broxton.

However, the Phillies have hit Broxton, and he’s given up two runs in three innings against the Phillies.

The Dodgers also have the two left-handers in the back end of the pen: Hong-Chih Kuo, who has a 3.00 ERA and deadline acquisition George Sherrill, who has a 1.70 ERA and has pitched three shutout innings against the Phillies. One thing to look for is if the Dodgers’ bullpen may be burned out; they have pitched a ton of innings.

The Phillies’ bullpen is a mystery. It has really been a bullpen by committee. Charlie Manuel has gone with the hot hand. But the big question is Brad Lidge. I still wouldn’t let Brad Lidge face a left-hander, plus Lidge has gone 3.2 innings, eight hits, and three earned against the Dodgers this season. Maybe Manuel will go with Madson, but it’s a mystery.

Overall edge—Dodgers

No question I want to go with the Dodgers’ bullpen where I know what I’m getting, while the Phillies’ bullpen is more of a roll of the dice.


PredictionPhillies in 7

I’ll go with the Phillies’ intangibles. I think they have the “it” factor; they know how to win games no matter what. However, I would not be surprised at all if the Dodgers won. Each team has their strengths and weaknesses, not much really separates these teams, and it should be a great series.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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