Thursday, October 16, 2008

Your 2008 National League Champion Phillies!

This is the starting lineup that Charlie Manual mostly used throughout the post season so far.
Jimmy Rollins - Shortstop Jimmy was the National League MVP in 2007. He didn't have quite as good a season this year, 30 home runs last year, for example, but only 11 this year. He did hit .375 in the NLDS against the Brewers and hit a lead-off home run in the clinching game of the NLDS. He tailed off in the NLCS, but once again, hit a lead-off homer in Game 5. You should not underestimate the effect of hitting a lead-off homer in such a big game. He also played his usual stellar defense.

Shane Victorino - Outfield Manual seemed to switch Shane and Jayson Werth between the 2nd and 6th batting spots just about every game. Whichever spot they were in, it also seemed, that one of them had a big hit in just about every game. Shane hit a grand slam off C. C. Sabathia in the 2nd game of the NLDS. He also hit .357 in the series. Just like Rollins, he tailed off in the NLDS, but his 2-run homer in the 8th of Game 4, tied the game and set up the 2-run homer by Matt Stairs that won the game. Victorino played both center and right fields and made a number of fine catches.
Chase Utley - 2nd Base Unlike Rollins and Victorino, Utley got off to a slow start in the postseason, only hitting .133 in the NLDS. But he roared back in the NLCS, hitting .353. He hit a key home run in the 6th inning of Game 1 to help knock Dodgers starter Derek Lowe out of the game. He also helped turn 7 double plays in the DLCS, including an unassisted one where he caught the ball on his knees and crawled to second base to double off the base runner.
Ryan Howard - First Base Ryan got off to his usual slow start this season, but his slow start stretched out longer than usual. But, after a fabulous September, he finished the season with 48 homers and 146 rbis, good enough to lead the league in both categories. He finished with a .251 average. He didn't have much of an impact in either series, hitting no home runs and only getting 3 rbis. But he also walked 8 times (while striking out 7 times). He did bat .300 in the NLCS and scored 4 runs.
Pat Burrell - Left Field Pat can become a free agent at the end of the season and there is a lot of speculation that this is his last season with the Phillies. He has not always been a fan favorite but he is a solid player. He had about an average season (career-wise) with 33 homers, 86 rbis and a .257 batting average. He hit 2 home runs in the 4th game of the NLDS. In the NLCS, he hit .333 and a homer in the key sixth inning against Lowe in Game 1.
Jayson Werth - Outfield Jayson was a free agent signing after the 2006 season and a pretty cheap pickup at only $850,000. He hit 24 home runs this year (almost half of his 6-year career total) and hit .273. He hit .313 in the NLDS and had several big hits. He wasn't much of a factor in the NLDS.
Pedro Feliz - Third Base Pedro was a free agent signing after the 2007 season after 8 seasons with the Giants. He had a subpar year statistically compared to his career, but he was also hurt for part of the season, playing only 133 games. He played a solid 3rd base in the post season but did not contribute much offensively.
Carlos Ruiz - Catcher In his 3rd season with the Phillies, Ruiz only hit .219. But was caught just about every inning in the post season. He had a couple of big hits in the NLCS.

Cole Hamels - Starting Pitcher Cole was the Phillies 1st round draft pick of the Phillies in 2002. After three seasons with the Phils he is 38 and 23 and the unquestioned ace of the staff. He won Game 1 of the NLDS and Games 1 and 5 of the NLDS. He was named MVP of the NLCS. In 22 innings of NLCS work, he pitched 22 innings, walked 6 and struck out 22. He was never in any serious trouble. In Game 5 he kept the bases empty in front of Manny Ramirez, so that even though Manny was 2 for 3 with a home run and a walk, he wasn't a factor in the game.

Brad Lidge - Closer Lidge came to the Phillies in a trade with the Astros (my other favorite team) after the 2007 season. The Astros got Michael Bourn in return. At the time, it was a toss up as to who got the better deal. Lidge only saved 19 games for the Astros in 2007. He'd had a rough World Series against the White Sox in 2005, and in 2006 and 2007 he didn't seem like the same pitcher. But coming to Philadelphia seems to have resulted in a full recover of whatever ailed him. He was 41-0 in save opportunities during the regular season with an ERA of 1.95. In 7 games in the post season, he pitched 7.1 innings, and got 5 saves. He gave up 1 ER, 3 walks and struck out 10.


Anonymous said...

I see where one of ESPN's pundits says that the Rays make a better opponent for the Phils due to Tampa Bay's lack of left-handed pitching. With only one southpaw, the Rays could be vulnerable. Here's hoping that the Rays pull a Rockies landslide after a successful run getting to the Series (assuming, of course, that Boston has no more rabbits in its hat.

deal said...

Great Summary. good catch on the 7 DPs stat for Utley - he is very sound defensively and doesn't get enough credit for it. and it's is DP turns that have become especially impressive.

Can hardly wait till next week.

Go Phils