Cardinals vs. Phillies: Why Phillies Need to Sweep the Cardinals

September 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies can’t afford to let the St. Louis Cardinals win a game.

The Phillies are the clear-cut favorite to win the National League, and they need to play like it from the very start. If not, they could find themselves sitting at home for the NLCS and World Series.

Obviously, the Phillies are more talented. More importantly, they have a much better pitching staff. All three of the Phillies projected starters would be (and have been) the ace on any other staff in the majors (except maybe Detroit and New York).

Those pitchers need to have their best stuff at all times. If they pitch a gem in one of the first three games and the Phillies lose, it goes to waste. You can’t afford to waste good pitching performances in the playoffs.

Everything will come back around to the averages (eventually), and if the Phillies lose a great start, they might be forced to try and win during a bad start. That’s not something you want to try and do, especially in a five-game series.

Also, the Phillies do not want to give the Cardinals confidence. If the Cards can steal Game 1 or Game 2, they will have the opportunity to close out in St. Louis. They will be able to play in front of their home crowd, and they will have confidence from splitting the games in Philadelphia.

Underdogs need to be crushed. The longer you let an underdog hang around, the better chance that underdog will pull off an upset. The Phillies know that, which is why they need to eliminate the Cardinals as fast as possible.

With Albert Pujols in the lineup, the Cardinals will always have a chance to turn a series around with one swing, which is something the Phillies want to avoid.

By sweeping the Cardinals, the Phillies will give themselves a chance to set up their rotation for the NLCS. With only three games, they won’t even have to worry about a fourth pitcher.

They could have Roy Halladay pitch three times, and Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels could pitch twice. While they might not decide to do that, it is a distinct possibility. Does anyone think they could beat that rotation four times? Probably not.

Therefore, the Phillies need to sweep the Cardinals because they need to capitalize on good pitching performances, eliminate the underdog and set up their rotation for the NLCS. If they don’t sweep the Cards, they could be in for an early playoff exit.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies