NLDS - Phillies vs . Brewers
Phillies win 3 games to 1.
Next up: NLCS - Dodgers vs. Phillies
Rob’s Sox are hoping to avoid zigzagging the country while trying to advance to the ALCS. Meanwhile, my Phightin’ Phils deftly fended off any notion of a Brewer comeback by resolutely shutting down the Milwaukee lineup on Sunday setting up an East Coast vs. West Coast National League Championship Series with LA’s authentic team – the Dodgers.
The Dodgers and Phillies go back 125 years but history (of course) has heavily favored the Dodgers. Since the inception of the World Series in 1903, The Dodgers have won 18 NL titles (tops in the league) to Philly’s paltry 5 (last among the legacy franchises.) But hey, we have the edge since 1980; 3 pennants to 2! Of course, the Dodgers parlayed those two pennants into more significant accomplishments.
None of this ancient history matters now. Both teams were pegged as contenders before the start of the season but they took divergent paths to get to the NLCS. The Phillies NLCS roster will contain a few changes from opening day but no change compares to the change in LA. One man (not really sure if he is merely a man) alone has transformed the Dodgers from mediocrity to arguably the favorite to win the 2008 NL pennant. Rob is familiar with him. Question is, does Rob pine to see this man milling about in front of the Green Mawnsta? Manny will most assuredly be THE factor in the 2008 NLCS. The BBTN analysts John Kruk and Eduardo Perez pick LA. Krukkie cites the sinkerballers Derek Lowe and Chad Billingsly as the perfect 1-2 punch to counter the Phillies’ over-reliance on the long ball lately. Perez claims that LA’s lineup is a set thing while the Phillies will have to tinker with batting orders and starters and defensive replacements.
Me? I think it’s a tossup. The Phillies’ rotation was a huge question mark going into the NLDS. After the efforts put forth by Hamels, Myers, Blanton and even Moyer in the loss, the Phils have to feel pretty good. Each pitcher worked through the 6th with Hamels going 8 and Myers logging 7. As a result, the pen is rested and Brad Lidge is back on his game. I am worried about the return to the “wait around for the 3 run homer” offensive philosophy but I do know the Phillies are capable of small ball if necessary. I hope they are relaxed and are ready to get creative if necessary. Regardless, I sense this Dodger team is gelling and would not be surprised if they continued to coast right on by the Phillies on their way to the big show. While that would be disappointing, it would not be heartbreaking.
Finally, I am speechless when it comes to the demise of the Cubs. I have not spoken with my dad but I am sure he is not the least bit bothered by it. He is beyond that. I suspect most Cub fans are. When the Cubs do win someday, there will be joy and revelry but I am quite certain it will have been diminished by 100+ years of dulling the most ardent fans' senses. People are a bit different than dogs you know. They still remember the bad shit you did even when you finally do right by them. What a shame 1908 – 2008. It would have jump stared the economy with memorabilia sales. No sense of history, those damn Cubs!