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Philadelphia Phillies MLB News - Phillies Baseball Blog » The World Series: Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees

The World Series: Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, The World Series by chinmusic on Wednesday 28 October 2009 at 11:40 am

This is truly a matchup between the best team in each league. The matchups are really close in this series as both teams have outstanding lineups and solid pitching staffs. Here is a breakdown position by position:

CATCHER: Jorge Posada is a solid catcher for the Yankees. In the post season he has played in 9 games in which he is 8 for 31 (.258 avg., .845 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 2 homers, 3 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Posada got a lucky draw in this series as the Phillies don’t run a lot outside of Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino which is good for him because he can’t throw like he used to anymore. Jose Molina will start behind the plate when A.J. Burnett is on the mound. He has played in 3 games this post season and he is 1 for 4 (.250 avg, .500 OPS) but he does a solid job defensively. Carlos Ruiz is the starting catcher for the Phillies and he is money in the bank in the post season as he plays better when the games get bigger. Ruiz has played in 9 games this post season and he is 9 for 26 (.346 avg, 1.000 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 1 homer, 7 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He is also a good thrower and handler of the pitching staff. EDGE: EVEN

FIRST BASE: Mark Teixeira of the Yankees has not played well in his first post season with the team. He has played in 9 games for the Yankees this post season and he is 8 for 39 (.205 avg, .580 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 1 homer and 5 RBIs. Teixeira does have the potential to break out any time as he is too good of a hitter to keep struggling like he is right now. He is also a great defender who saves the other infielders a lot of errors. Ryan Howard of the Phillies is simply the best hitting first baseman in baseball other than Albert Pujols of the Cardinals. Howard has played in 9 games this post season and he is 11 for 31 (.355 avg, 1.203 OPS) with 8 runs scored, 2 homers and 14 RBIs. Howard has also cut way down on his strikeouts this post season as he has only whiffed 8 times which explains his high batting average. While not in Teixeira’s class with the glove he is a tad above average. EDGE: PHILLIES

SECOND BASE: Robinson Cano has struggled this post season but like Teixeira he is still able to go on a tear at any minute. Cano has played in 9 games this post season and he is 8 for 35 (.229 avg, .713 OPS) with 5 runs scored and 5 RBIs. Chase Utley also is better than he has played this post season as he is 10 for 33 (.303 avg, .833 OPS) with 8 runs scored, 1 homer, 2 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Utley does have more power than Cano and that is the tiebreaker. EDGE: PHILLIES

SHORTSTOP: Derek Jeter is a money player for the Yankees. He is the player most likely to step up and carry the Yankees on his back in this series. Jeter has played in 9 games this post season and he is 11 for 37 (.297 avg, 1.029 OPS) with 9 runs scored, 3 homers and 6 RBIs. The Phillies will have to somehow keep him off the bases because he makes the Yankees’ lineup go. Jimmy Rollins is no slouch himself as he was the MVP of the National League a couple of years ago. He has played in 9 games this post season and he is 10 for 41 (.244 avg, .596 OPS) with 6 runs scored and 3 RBIs. The Phillies need to get Rollins on base more in this series if they are to beat the Yankees. EDGE: YANKEES

THIRD BASE: Alex Rodriguez has all of a sudden turned into Mr. October for the Yankees this post season. He has played in 9 games for the Yankees this post season and he is 14 for 32 (.438 avg, 1.516 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 5 homers, 12 RBIs and 1 stolen base. A-Rod has the potential to have a huge series against the Phillies whose pitchers are aggressive in the strike zone. Pedro Feliz of the Phillies is a defensive third baseman with some power. He has played in 9 games for the Phillies this post season and he is 5 for 31 (.161 avg, .567 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 1 homer and 2 RBIs. EDGE: YANKEES

LEFT FIELD: Johnny Damon is playing for a new Yankees’ contract in this series. He has played in 9 games this post season and he is 10 for 42 (.238 avg, .677 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 2 homers and 5 RBIs. Damon has got to get on base more often in front of the heart of the lineup because the Yankees are going to have to score a lot of runs to beat the Phillies. He is a average defensive player with a weak throwing arm which the Phillies will likely challenge. When in the American League Parks, Ben Francisco will start in left field for the Phillies. He has played in 7 games this post season and he is 0 for 4 (.000 avg). Francisco is a decent hitter but an outstanding left fielder defensively. When in the National League Park Raul Ibanez will play in left field. He has played in 9 games this post season and he is 7 for 31 (.226 avg, .720 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 1 homer and 9 RBIs. EDGE: EVEN

CENTER FIELD: Melky Cabrera has been very solid in the playoffs for the Yankees. He has played in 9 games in the post season so far and he is 11 for 35 (.314 avg, .740 OPS) with 4 runs scored and 4 RBIs. Cabrera is also a solid defensive player for the Yankees. Shane Victorino is one of the engines that make the Phillies’ offense go. He has played in 9 games this post season and he is 13 for 36 (.361 avg, 1.161 OPS) with 8 runs scored, 3 homers, 7 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Victorino gives the Phillies both speed in the outfield and the bases as he is a all-out player who is scared of nothing. EDGE: PHILLIES

RIGHT FIELD: Switch hitting Nick Swisher was solid during the regular season but he’s having big time problems in the bright lights of the post season. Swisher has played in 9 games this post season and he is 4 for 32 (.125 avg, .378 OPS) with 2 runs scored and 1 RBI. Those are terrible numbers and the Yankees need him to break out with the bat in this series. Jayson Werth has been the opposite of Swisher this post season as he has been the best hitter power wise for the Phillies in the playoffs. Werth has played in 9 games this post season and he is 9 for 32 (.281 avg, 1.207 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 5 homers and 10 RBIs. He also is a outstanding fielder with a very strong throwing arm. EDGE: PHILLIES

DH: Hideki Matsui almost always seems to come through in the clutch. But he is having a so-so post season. Just like Johnny Damon, Matsui is playing for a new contract from the Yankees. Matsui has played in 9 games this post season and he is 7 for 30 (.233 avg, .761 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 1 homer and 5 RBIs. Raul Ibanez will be the DH when the games are in Yankee Stadium. He has played in 9 games this post season and he is 7 for 31 (.226 avg, .720 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 1 homer and 9 RBIs. EDGE: EVEN

BENCH: The Yankees seem to have a better bench than the Phillies do and that will matter more in the National League Park. Brett Gardner has played in all 9 of the Yankees’ post season and he is 2 for 3 (.667 avg, 1.333 OPS) with 2 runs scored and 1 stolen base (he has been caught stealing twice). He brings speed and defense to the Yankees. Jerry Hairston can play everywhere but catcher and first base defensively. He has played in 3 games this post season and he is 1 for 2 (.500 avg, 1.000 OPS) with 1 run scored. Jose Molina is the backup catcher and he will get some playing time in this series when A.J. Burnett starts. He has played in 3 post season games and he is 1 for 4 (.250 avg, .500 OPS). Eric Hinske will be on the playoff roster in this series and he brings power to the bench. Freddy Guzman is also back in this series for his speed as he is only 0 for 1 in two games. The Phillies will have Ben Francisco on the bench when they play at home. He has played in 7 games this post season and he is 0 for 4. But, he is a good all around baseball player. Greg Dobbs can handle either corner spot on defense and he is a good hitter despite going 0 for 4 in 5 post season games so far. Matt Stairs is a veteran lefty swinging outfielder with some pop. He has played in 4 games this post season and he is 0 for 2 (.000 avg, .500 OPS) with 2 walks. Eric Bruntlett is a pinch runner/backup infielder. He has played in 1 game for the Phillies this post season and he is 0 for 0 with 1 run scored. Paul Bako is the backup catcher. He is good defensively but he can’t hit a lick. Bako will only play if Ruiz gets hurt. EDGE: YANKEES

STARTING PITCHING: The Yankees boast a very good top three in the starting rotation and they will be responsible for six starts if this series goes the whole seven games. C.C. Sabathia will start game #1 for the Yankees and he is 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP in 3 starts this post season. A.J. Burnett will follow Sabathia and start game #2. He has started 3 games this post season and he is 0-0 with a 4.42 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. He has no hit stuff but it’s above the shoulders that has been his problem in his career. The Yankees need him focused for this series. Andy Pettitte is used to big games so he should be up to the challenge that the Phillies bring. He has started 3 games this post season and he is 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. The Yankees are going to start righty Chad Gaudin in game #5 in Philly (if needed) and that is not good for them. Gaudin has pitched in 1 game out of the bullpen in the post season and he is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.00 WHIP.

Cliff Lee will be the #1 starter for the Phillies in this series. He has started 3 games for the Phillies this post season and he is 2-0 with a 0.74 ERA and a 0.70 WHIP. Lee has been unhittable in the playoffs as he has only allowed 14 hits in 24 1/3 innings while walking only 3 batters and whiffing 20. Veteran righty Pedro Martinez will be #2 in line for the Phillies in this series. He has started 1 game in the playoffs and he is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.29 WHIP. He only allowed 2 hits and 0 runs in 7 innings against the Dodgers in that start. Lefty Cole Hamels will be #3 in line for the Phillies. He has started 3 games this post season for the Phillies and he is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. The Phillies need him to come up big in this series as he has not pitched well all season for the team. Veteran righty Joe Blanton will start game #4 for the Phillies in this series. He has pitched in 3 games (1 start) this post season and he is 0-0 with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

EDGE: EVEN

CLOSER: The Yankees boast the Sandman, Mariano Rivera. Rivera has been on his game in the post season working in 8 games in which he is 0-0 with 3 saves, a 0.84 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. He is one of the very best closers in major league history both during the regular season and the post season. Brad Lidge has been excellent this post season for the Phillies after having a terrible regular season. Lidge has pitched in 5 games this post season and he is 0-0 with 3 saves, a 0.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. In 4 innings pitched this post season he has only allowed 1 hit with batters hitting .083 against him. EDGE: YANKEES

SET-UP MAN: Phil Hughes was nails in this role all season long but in the playoffs it appears that the bright lights are blinding him. Hughes has pitched in 6 games out of the pen this post season and he is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA and a 2.36 WHIP. There are likely going to be a lot of close games in this series so the Yankees need Hughes to step up. Ryan Madson of the Phillies has also had some issues in the post season and the team can’t afford him to have problems in this series. He has pitched in 7 games this post season and he is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP. EDGE: EVEN

LEFTY RELIEF: The Yankees have worked Damaso Marte and Phil Coke hard this post season and neither of them have given up a run yet. Marte has worked in 4 games and he is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Coke has pitched in 4 games this post season and he is also 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. The Phillies have had trouble from the lefty side of the bullpen but J.A. Happ and Scott Eyre both have potential to pitch much better. Happ has pitched in 5 games (1 start) this post season and he is 0-0 with a 7.36 ERA and a 3.00 WHIP. Eyre has pitched in 5 games this post season and he is 0-0 with a 3.86 ERA and a 2.57 WHIP. EDGE: EVEN

RIGHTY MIDDLE RELIEF: Joba Chamberlain will likely be heavily used in this series. He has pitched in 7 games this post season and he is 0-0 with a 2.70 ERA and a 2.10 WHIP. Chamberlain has the stuff to dominate but he better be careful as the Phillies’ hitters love a good fastball. Alfredo Aceves was outstanding during the regular season but not too good in the post season. He has pitched in 3 games this post season for the Yankees and he is 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA and a 3.00 WHIP. David Robertson has been very good for the Yankees this post season as he has worked in 3 games in which he is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. The Phillies will likely be bringing out Chad Durbin as the first righty out of the pen and he has been pitching over his head this post season. Durbin has pitched in 5 games this post season and he is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.00 WHIP. Chan Ho Park also could be used a lot in this series but that likely won’t be a good thing for the Phillies. Park has pitched in 4 games this post season and he is 0-1 with a 8.10 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Brett Myers is back on the Phillies’ roster for this series and he has pitched in 1 game this post season and he is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 3.00 WHIP. Rookie Antonio Bastardo has pitched in 2 games this post season and he is also 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 3.00 WHIP. EDGE: YANKEES

OUTLOOK: With the teams in this series being essentially even talent wise it could come down to the manager. In which case the Phillies have a huge edge especially when the games shift to the National League as Charlie Manuel has already won a World Series. I like the Phillies to win this series in 7 games as it will be a classic World Series.

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