How ’bout them Phillies?!
In advancing to their second consecutive World Series, the Phillies become the third NL team to reach the Series in an attempt to defend their title since the Big Red Machine did it in the mid-70s. Let’s look ahead to the World Series – assuming a neutral opponent, as the ALCS still has to finish – and see what the hot button issues will be surrounding the Phillies, and only the Phillies, in the 2009 Fall Classic.
1. Cole Hamels
The man’s not quite right. Sure, he’s still getting a few bad breaks, but his control in Game 5 was less than acceptable and his mistakes are getting put into the seats. Cliff Lee looks like he’s on a roll, but with a superior offense looming, regardless of which one it is, the Phillies need some certainty in their rotation.
2. The Offense
The only “superiority” the Phillies’ AL opponent would have offensively is being better than the Dodgers. This team can hit, and if Ryan Howard continues to have good at-bats against lefty pitchers, there’s no telling what this offense can do. It will need to hit, though, that’s for certain. I’m confident that it will.
3. The Bullpen
It looked solid at times, and maddeningly inconsistent at others. Brad Lidge looks good so far, but Madson hasn’t been great. Park and Durbin look good, Happ looks a bit uneasy. Will Happ and Blanton start the Series in the ‘pen? Will they be used?
Hey, I don’t know about you, but I want a dynasty. I want our own “Little Red Machine.” I want a brother banner for the ’08 cloth that flies above Ashburn Alley. I want a second parade. A part of me wants to just stick it to the Yankees. Really, though, I want it for Harry.
So get ready, American League. We’re coming.