Philadelphia Phillies: Why They Will Not Win the World Series in 2011

February 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Fan News

Late February. Optimism fills the air in Major League Baseball.

The reason?

Baseball is back.

Granted, it is only a lowly beginning. Late February is the time for spring training games in Arizona and Florida. The exhibition games, though it is good to see that baseball has returned, are just that: exhibition games.

Spring training is mostly optimistic because of the fact that it is the time of the year when everyone believes they have the chance.

Obviously, there are pretenders. I’m sorry Pittsburgh, but it doesn’t look like the Pirates will be resurrected anytime soon. Likewise for many other teams.

The Phillies, as ESPN would put it, are not pretenders, but contenders.

With arguably one of the strongest pitching rotations of all time, the Phightin’ Phils seem to many people the inevitable 2011 world champions. There is already talk on the Philadelphia FM sports radio station, 97.5 The Fanatic, that Phillies manager Charlie Manuel will have a statue of him erected outside of Citizens Bank Park.

That statement is incredibly premature, but it is not far-fetched to say that the Phillies are favorites to win the Fall Classic.

It will not happen.

I’ve been trying to take this thought over the air onto Into The Night, Tony Bruno’s weeknight radio show, but I’ve been repeatedly told that I am too young to get on the air. So I decided to take this matter to the Bleacher Report community.

Anyway, the main weakness that the Phillies roster presents to me is the fact that there are many holes in the offense.

I am a Yankee fan, so I have been ragged on this offseason by the “Phillies Phans” because of the fact that the Phils nabbed the jewel of the free-agent market, Cliff Lee, away from my Bombers. The argument that I fought back with on that matter is extremely relevant to the reason why the Phillies will not be, as Chase Utley might say, “world-bleeping champions come November.”

That argument is this: While the Phillies may have put up the gaudiest offseason on paper, they had a bad one in the sense that they did not acquire what they needed to avoid repeating the disappointing end that the 2010 season had for them.

Think about it.

The Giants, in the entire NLCS, scored an average of 3.3 runs per game. That is not much compared to the league average, which sits around four. This is an indication that pitching was not the problem.

The Phillies just could not hit with the Giants. That was with a good right-handed bat in the lineup, Jayson Werth, whose signing with the Washington Nationals will prove a decent to severe detriment to Philadelphia’s lineup. They will be exposed by left-handed pitching.

Compared to the rest of the NL East, getting to the playoffs should not present much of a problem for the Phils. The regular season is a test of depth and pitching throughout a 162-game grind. I predict that Philadelphia will take the division easily, posting at least 95 wins.

However, with that being said, the postseason is filled with teams that boast excellent pitching staffs, making the playoffs a battle of the team that can hit. The team that can effectively hit and manufacture runs consistently has the best shot at glory.

The team, as of now, that should win it all is the Boston Red Sox. Getting Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis back from injury-ridden 2010 seasons combined with excellent pickups Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford will help the offense emerge as the best in the majors. Combine that with a pitching staff led by John Lester which, although maybe not as prodigious as the Phils’, is excellent and the Red Sox should be the favorites.

Now, of course, nothing is ever for sure in the world of baseball. The injury bug can bite and midseason acquisitions can shake up the balance. For now though, the Phillies must add a consistent right-handed bat to their lineup to get them over the hump.

They’re right there, yet they need one extra push. For now, my prediction is a 101-61 record, an NL East crown, but a loss in five games to the Red Sox in the World Series.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies