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Philadelphia Phillies MLB News - Phillies Baseball Blog » 2010 » October

Game #1: San Francisco Giants 4, Philadelphia Phillies 3

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, The Playoffs by chinmusic on Sunday 17 October 2010 at 7:48 am

The Phillies got shocked a little bit last night by the pesky San Francisco Giants who beat Roy Halladay. Halladay pitched the first 7 innings of this game and he gave up 8 hits, 4 earned runs, didn’t walk anyone and he whiffed 7 but he was the losing pitcher. Ryan Madson worked a scoreless 8th and Brad Lidge worked a scoreless 9th which gave the Phillies a chance for a comeback but they couldn’t get anything going against Javier Lopez or Brian Wilson of the Giants. Jayson Werth was the hitting star for the Phillies last night as he was 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and a 2-run homer in the sixth inning that cut the Giants’ lead to 4-3. Carlos Ruiz was 1 for 3 with a solo homer for the Phillies last night. The Phillies are down 1-0 in this series with Game #2 later tonight.

N.L.C.S. : San Francisco Giants vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, The Playoffs by chinmusic on Saturday 16 October 2010 at 11:07 am

This sets up to be a classic National League Championship Series at the teams are more evenly matched than most people acknowledge. Here is a look at the matchups in this series:

CATCHER: Rookie righty swinging catcher Buster Posey has been incredible this whole year and he was at it again against the Braves in the first round of the playoffs. He played in all 4 games against the Braves and he was 6 fo 16 (.375 avg, .882 OPS) with 3 runs scored and 1 stolen base.

Carlos Ruiz is a money player for the Phillies. He always seems to play better in October than he has the other six months of the baseball season. He played in 3 games against the Reds and he was 2 for 8 (.250 avg, .875 OPS) with 1 run scored and 1 RBI. He has now played in 35 games in his post season career and he is 32 of 107 (.299 avg, .904 OPS) with 16 runs scored, 3 homers, 14 RBIs and 3 stolen bases.

EDGE: GIANTS

FIRST BASE: Lefty swinging Aubrey Huff has always been a better hitter in the second half of the year so he could have a big series. Huff played in 4 games against the Braves and he was 4 of 15 (.267 avg, .656 OPS) with 1 run scored and 1 RBI. This is the first time in his career that he has made it to the post season.

Lefty swinging Ryan Howard had a harmless series against the Reds as he was 3 for 11 (.273 avg, .657 OPS) in 3 games without scoring or knocking in any runs. Don’t let that fool you though as he can dominate at any time. Howard has now played in 35 games in his post season career and he is 35 of 129 (.271 avg, .898 OPS) with 20 runs scored, 7 homers and 27 RBIs.

EDGE: PHILLIES

SECOND BASE: Freddy Sanchez didn’t have a good series against the Braves. He played in all 4 games and he was only 2 for 16 (.125 avg, .347 OPS) with 2 runs scored. Sanchez has a .298 career batting average so he is much better than he showed against the Braves.

Lefty swinging Chase Utley continues to be one of the better clutch players in the post season. He played in 3 games against the Reds and he was 3 for 11 (.273 avg, .853 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 1 homer, 4 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Utley has now played in 35 games in his post season career and he is 32 of 126 (.254 avg, .915 OPS) with 28 runs scored, 10 homers, 23 RBIs and 7 stolen bases.

EDGE: PHILLIES

SHORTSTOP: Righty swinging Juan Uribe has not played too well in the post season in his career. He played in 4 games against the Braves and he was 1 for 14 (.071 avg, .205 OPS) with 1 RBI. Uribe has now played in 20 games in his post season career and he is 15 of 68 (.221 avg, .622 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 1 homer, 8 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.

Switch hitting Jimmy Rollins was awful against the Reds. He played in 3 games against the Reds and he was 1 for 11 (.091 avg, .322 OPS) with 1 run scored. Rollins has now played in 35 games in which he is 32 of 145 (.221 avg, .637 OPS) with 21 runs scored, 3 homers, 11 RBIs and 7 stolen bases.

EDGE: EVEN

THIRD BASE: The Giants are platooning lefty swinging Mike Fontenot and switch hitting Pablo Sandoval at 3B right now. Fontenot played in 3 games against the Braves and he was 1 for 6 (.167 avg, .667 OPS) with 1 run scored. He has now played in 8 games in his post season career and he is 3 for 14 (.214 avg, .571 OPS) with 1 run scored. Sandoval played in 2 games against the Braves and he was 1 for 6 (.167 avg, .452 OPS). The Giants expect more out of the Kung Fu Panda as he has disappointed them this year.

Veteran righty swinging Placido Polanco is still dealing with his left elbow issues and it has hurt his play. He played in 2 games against the Reds and he was 1 for 9 (.111 avg, .222 OPS) with 1 run scored. Polanco has now played in 27 games in his post season career and he is 25 of 90 (.278 avg, .640 OPS) with 8 runs scored, 8 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.

EDGE: EVEN

LEFT FIELD: Righty swinging Pat Burrell will be sky high in ready to play his old team in this series. Burrell played in 4 games against the Braves and he was 2 for 10 (.200 avg, .933 OPS) with 1 run scored, 1 homer and 3 RBIs. He has now played in 21 games in his post season career and he is 14 of 65 (.215 avg, .815 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 5 homers and 12 RBIs.

Lefty swinging Raul Ibanez hasn’t been very productive in the post season is his career quite yet. Ibanez played in 3 games against the Reds and he was 3 for 12 (.250 avg, .641 OPS) with 0 runs scored and 0 RBIs. Ibanez has now played in 27 games in his post season career and he is 20 of 83 (.241 avg, .698 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 2 homers and 13 RBIs.

EDGE: EVEN

CENTER FIELD: Switch hitting Andres Torres is a late bloomer for the Giants. They hope he’s better against the Phillies then he was against the Braves though. He played in 4 games against the Braves and he was 2 for 16 (.125 avg, .301 OPS) with 1 stolen base.

Switch hitting Shane Victorino is the Phillies’ version of the Energy Bunny. He played in 3 games against the Reds and he was 3 for 13 (.231 avg, .593 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 3 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Victorino has now played in 35 games in his post season career and he is 36 of 132 (.273 avg, .841 OPS) with 20 runs scored, 6 homers, 26 RBIs and 7 stolen bases.

EDGE: PHILLIES

RIGHT FIELD: Righty swinging Cody Ross is a solid player who brings a lot of energy to the Giants. Ross played in 4 games against the Braves and he was 4 of 14 (.286 avg, .905 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 1 homer and 3 RBIs. Ross is a throwback player how hustles and likes to get dirty.

Righty swinging Jayson Werth struggled against the Reds but he has been a big time player in the post season in his career with the Phillies. He played in 3 games against the Reds and he was 2 for 12 (.167 avg, .397 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 1 RBI and 1 stolen base. Werth has now played in 38 games in the post season and he is 37 for 135 (.274 avg, .987 OPS) with 27 runs scored, 11 homers, 21 RBIs and 5 stolen bases.

EDGE: PHILLIES

BENCH: The Giants have a veteran bench that was very productive in the first round of the playoffs. Whoever is not starting at 3B (Mike Fontenot or Pablo Sandoval) will likely head the bench bunch for the Giants in this series. Veteran righty swinging shortstop Edgar Renteria isn’t moping about losing his starting job at SS because he’s well paid and he has a job to do. He played in 2 games against the Braves and he was 2 for 2 (1.000 avg, 2.000 OPS). He has now played in 57 games in his post season career and he is 53 of 209 (.254 avg, .659 OPS) with 30 runs scored, 1 homer, 17 RBIs and 9 stolen bases. Righty swinging outfielder Aaron Rowand also lost his starting job (CF) this year. He played in 2 games against the Braves and he was 1 for 2 (.500 avg, 1.000 OPS). Rowand has now played in 17 games in his post season career and he is 14 of 59 (.237 avg, .682 OPS) with 9 runs scored, 1 homer, 4 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Lefty swinging outfielder Nate Schierholtz played in all 4 games against the Braves and he was 1 for 4 (.250 avg, .500 OPS) should get some P.T. in this series. Lefty swinging 1B Travis Ishikawa played in 3 games against the Braves and he was 0 for 2 (.000 avg, .333 OPS) with 1 run scored will also likely get to pinch hit a few times in this series. Backup catcher Eli Whiteside will only see the field if Buster Posey gets injured or to finish up a blowout game.

The Phillies will likely need to use the bench a little more in this series. With Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay both pitching complete game shutouts not many pinch hitters were needed in the first round of the playoffs. I expect that lefty swinging 1B/OF Ross Gload will get in on the action in this round despite not getting any action against the Reds. He is a good pinch hitter. Veteran righty swinging 1B Mike Sweeney got into his first playoff game of his career against the Reds and he was 1 for 1 (1.000 avg, 2.000 OPS). Sweeney is also a good veteran, professional hitter on the Phillies’ bench. Righty swinging outfielder Ben Francisco has struggled in the post season in his career so far. He played in 1 game against the Reds and he was 0 for 1. He has now played in 12 games in his post season career and he is 0 for 11 (.000 avg, .154 OPS) with 0 runs scored and 0 RBIs. Righty swinging infielder Wilson Valdez could get some P.T. for the Phillies in this series if Polanco’s elbow continues to be an issue. Valdez played in 1 game against the Reds and he was 1 for 3 (.333 avg, .667 OPS) with 1 run scored. Rookie lefty swinging outfielder Dominic Brown played in 1 game against the Reds and he was 0 for 1 with a run scored. Lefty swinging catcher Brian Schneider has yet to play in a post season game in his career but that might change depending on how this series plays out.

EDGE: EVEN

STARTING PITCHING: The Phillies’ rotation is getting all the hype but the Giants crew has been pretty darn impressive too. The Giants starting pitchers were 2-0 with a 0.93 ERA against the Braves in the first round of the playoffs. Righty Tim “The Freaky Franchise” Lincecum has a pretty impressive resume’ as he has won 2 of the last three Cy Young Awards in the National League. Yet he’s matched up against Roy Halladay and will be a underdog…..amazing. Lincecum was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.33 WHIP in his 1 start against the Braves. He gave up only 2 hits while walking 1 batter in shutting out the Braves! Oh, and he also whiffed 14 batters! Righty Matt Cain’s bad luck has continued into the post season. He is 0-0 in the playoffs this year despite having a 0.00 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. He threw 6 2/3 shutout innings before the bullpen came in and blew his lead. Lefty Jonathan Sanchez will be #3 in line for the Giants in this series and he might have the best stuff of any starting pitcher in this series. He, like Cain, got a no decision in his start against the Braves despite giving up only 2 hits, 1 walk and 1 earned run while whiffing 11 batters. Sanchez was 0-0 with a 1.23 ERA and a 0.41 WHIP against the Braves. Rookie lefty Madison Bumgarner will be the #4 starter for the Giants in this series. He was 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP as he won the closeout game against the Braves.

Righty Roy Halladay was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.11 WHIP against the Reds as he tossed a complete game, no hitter. He only walked 1 batter while whiffing 8 as he looked like he was throwing wiffle balls against the Reds. Halladay vs. Lincecum on National T.V., it doesn’t get any better than that. Righty Roy Oswalt will be #2 in line for the Phillies. He started 1 game against the Reds and he was 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Oswalt has now pitched in 9 games (8 starts) in his post season career and he is 4-0 with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. I expect that he will be better this time around. Lefty Cole Hamels was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.56 WHIP against the Reds in the first round of the playoffs. He also threw a complete game shutout against the Reds as he gave up 5 hits and he didn’t walk anyone while whiffing 9 batters. Hamels has now pitched in 11 games (all starts) in his post season career and he is 6-3 with a 3.36 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. Veteran righty Joe Blanton will be used in Game #4 in this series by the Phillies. He didn’t get to pitch against the Reds in the first round of the playoffs so he could be either rusty or very sharp because he’s well rested. Blanton has pitched in 8 games (5 starts) in his post season career and he is 2-0 with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

EDGE: EVEN

CLOSER: Righty Brian Wilson was a little shaky against the Braves but he still got the job done. He pitched in 3 games against the Reds and he was 0-0 with 2 saves, a 0.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.

Righty Brad Lidge had a solid comeback year for the Phillies and they trust him. He pitched in 1 game against the Reds and he was 0-0 with 1 save, a 0.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. Lidge has now pitched in 33 games (0 starts) in his post season career and he is 2-4 with 17 saves, a 2.45 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP.

EDGE: EVEN

BULLPEN: The Giants have capable, veteran arms in the pen but they didn’t pitch that well against the Braves blowing 2 games for starting pitchers (Matt Cain & Jonathan Sanchez). Righty Sergio Romo came into the post season as the Giants’ set-up man based on his great work during the regular season. But he was awful against the Braves working in 2 games in which he was 1-0 with a 40.50 ERA and a 4.50 WHIP. The Giants need him to get his act back together against the Phillies. Righty Ramon Ramirez also didn’t handle the pressure too well. Ramirez pitched in 1 game for the Giants against the Braves and he was 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA and a 0.50 WHIP. He has now pitched in 2 games in his post season career and he is 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Righty Santiago Casilla also has the stuff to succeed as he worked in 1 game against the Braves and he was 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.60 WHIP. Javier Lopez will likely be the situational lefty out of the pen and he looked good against the Braves. He pitched in 2 games against the Braves and he struck out the only two batters he faced. Lopez has now pitched in 10 games (0 starts) in his post season career and he is 0-1 with a 7.94 ERA and a 2.29 WHIP. Lefty Jeremy Affeldt and righty Chris Ray didn’t pitch against the Braves but they both have good stuff.

The Phillies have a very battle tested, solid bullpen. Righty Ryan Madson is the set up man for the Phillies. He pitched in 1 game against the Reds and he was 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. Madson has pitched in 24 games (0 starts) in his post season career and he is 2-0 with 1 save, a 2.63 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. Veteran righty Jose Contreras has really developed into a good relief pitcher for the Phillies this year. He pitched in 1 game against the Reds and he was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.00 WHIP. He has now pitched in 15 games (4 starts) in his post season career and he is 4-3 with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. Lefty J.C. Romero will be the key against Giants’ lefty swingers late in games. He pitched in 1 game against the Reds and he was 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.00 WHIP. Romero has now pitched in 24 games (0 starts) in his post season career and he is 2-2 with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Righty Chad Durbin will likely be the first guy in if the starters run into any trouble early in the game against the Giants. Durbin pitched in 1 game against the Reds and he was 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 3.00 WHIP. Durbin has now pitched in 14 games (0 starts) in his post season career and he is 2-0 with a 5.00 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP.

EDGE: PHILLIES

MANAGER: Bruce Bochy seemed to call the right shots against the Braves in beating them 3-1. I still have my doubts about Bochy though as he owns a 11-17 (39.3%) record in his post season career.

Charlie Manuel usually has had the better team. That happened again against the Reds and they swept them out of the playoffs. Manuel now has a career record of 25-15 (62.5%) in his post season career.

EDGE: PHILLIES

PREDICTION: I think this is going to be an epic series. But in the end I like the Phillies to win this series in 7 hard fought baseball games.

Game #3: Philadelphia Phillies 2, Cincinnati Reds 0

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, The Playoffs by admin on Monday 11 October 2010 at 9:52 am

The Phillies made quick work of the Reds last night finishing out a sweep.  Cole Hamels was dominating last night for the Phillies.  He threw a complete game shutout allowing only 5 hits, not walking any batters and whiffing 9.  He dominated by pounding the strike zone with his outstanding stuff as 82 of his 119 pitches went for strikes.  Carlos Ruiz (2 for 4 with a double) and Ryan Howard (2 for 4) both had solid games for the Phillies last night.  Chase Utley was 1 for 4 with a solo homer off of Johnny Cueto in the fifth inning which was all the runs the Phillies really needed last night.  The Phillies sweep the Reds in dominating fashion as they shut them out twice including no-hitting them once.

Game #2: Philadelphia Phillies 7, Cincinnati Reds 4

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, The Playoffs by chinmusic on Saturday 9 October 2010 at 1:22 pm

The Phillies probably should have lost this game if the Reds didn’t turn into the Bad News Bears from the bottom of the fifth inning on. But good teams like the Phillies make the opposition pay for walking 6 batters, hitting 2 of them and making 4 errors! Chase Utley made 2 errors of his own but he made up for them with the bat in his hands as he was 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored, 2 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Jayson Werth also had a solid game at the plate as he was 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored, 1 RBI and 1 stolen base. Raul Ibanez pitched in with the bat as he was 2 for 4 last night. Roy Oswalt had a rough start for the Phillies. He pitched the first five innings last night and he gave up 5 hits, 4 runs (3 earned) and 2 homers. J.C. Romero & Chad Durbin combined to work a scoreless inning in the sixth. Jose Contreras worked a scoreless, hitless 7th inning to earn the victory for the Phillies last night. Ryan Madson worked a scoreless 8th inning and Brad Lidge followed that up with a scoreless 9th inning to earn the save. The Phillies are now up 2-0 as the series shifts to Cincy.

Game #1: Philadelphia Phillies 5, Cincinnati Reds 0

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, The Playoffs by chinmusic on Wednesday 6 October 2010 at 10:47 pm

Roy Halladay made history today as he threw the first no-hitter in post season history since 1956 when Don Larsen of the Yankees tossed a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Halladay was a strike machine as 79 of his 104 pitches went for strikes! He only walked 1 batter and whiffed 8 showing how nasty his stuff was. Halladay didn’t stop there though as he was 1 for 3 with 1 run scored and 1 RBI in this game. Shane Victorino was a big time weapon for the Phillies in this game as he was 2 for 4 with a run scored, a double and 2 RBIs. Wilson Valdez started at 3B in place of a injured Placido Polanco and he was 1 for 3 with 1 run scored. The Phillies are now up 1-0 on the Reds in this series.

Cincinnati Reds (91-71) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (97-65)

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, The Playoffs by chinmusic on Wednesday 6 October 2010 at 4:06 pm

The Reds will be in the playoffs for the first time in quite a while but they have veterans like Orlando Cabrera, Ramon Hernandez and Scott Rolen who have a lot of post season experience. The Phillies however have won the N.L. Pennant the last two years in a row and they want to get back to the World Series to avenge their loss to the Yankees in 2009. Here is a breakdown of the positions in this series:

CATCHER: Ramon Hernandez is a veteran catcher with some power and he’s a solid defender behind the plate. He played in 97 games for the Reds this year and he was 93 of 313 (.297 avg, .792 OPS) with 30 runs scored, 7 homers and 48 RBIs. Hernandez has played in 22 games in his post season career and he is 15 of 69 (.217 avg, .589 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 1 homer and 6 RBIs.

Carlos Ruiz always seems to step up his game when they get big. But he really had a good regular season for the Phillies this year as he appeared in 121 games in which he was 112 of 371 (.302 avg, .847 OPS) with 43 runs scored, 8 homers and 53 RBIs. He has played in 32 games in his post season career and he is 30 of 99 (.303 avg, .905 OPS) with 15 runs scored, 3 homers, 13 RBIs and 3 stolen bases.

EDGE: SLIGHT FOR PHILLIES

FIRST BASE: Joey Votto is one of the favorites to win the N.L. MVP Award and that’s for good reason. Votto played in 150 games for the Reds this year and he was 177 of 547 (.324 avg, 1.024 OPS) with 106 runs scored, 37 homers, 113 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. He also bashed righty pitchers at a .347 clip this year!

Ryan Howard had a decent season but it was a down year for him. Howard played in 143 games for the Phillies this year and he was 152 of 550 (.276 avg, .858 OPS) with 87 runs scored, 31 homers and 108 RBIs. Most players would take those kind of numbers and be happy but not Howard. Howard has played in 32 games in his post season career and he is 32 of 118 (.271 avg, .921 OPS) with 20 runs scored, 7 homers and 27 RBIs.

EDGE: SLIGHT FOR REDS

SECOND BASE: Brandon Phillips had a down year for the Reds as his homers and steals were way down. Phillips played in 155 games for the Reds this year and he was 172 of 626 (.275 avg, .762 OPS) with 100 runs scored, 18 homers, 59 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. The Reds need Phillips to step up in the playoffs as they need him to produce near the top of the lineup.

Chase Utley struggled to stay healthy this year and it hurt the Phillies. He played in 115 games for the Phillies this year and he was 117 of 425 (.275 avg, .832 OPS) with 75 runs scored, 16 homers, 65 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. Utley has played in 32 games in the post season in his career and he is 29 of 115 (.252 avg, .920 OPS) with 25 runs scored, 9 homers, 19 RBIs and 6 stolen bases.

EDGE: PHILLIES

SHORTSTOP: Orlando Cabrera was signed specifically to give the Reds some veteran leadership and he has done that. He played in 123 games for the Reds this year and he was 130 of 494 (.263 avg, .657 OPS) with 64 runs scored, 4 homers, 42 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. Cabrera has played in 34 games in his post season career and he was 33 of 141 (.234 avg, .609 OPS) with 15 runs scored, 1 homer, 18 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.

Switch hitting Jimmy Rollins had a rough season as he just seemed to be injured most of the year. Rollins only played in 88 games for the Phillies this year and he was 85 of 350 (.243 avg, .694 OPS) with 48 runs scored, 8 homers, 41 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. Rollins has played in 32 games in the post season in his career and he is 31 of 134 (.231 avg, .663 OPS) with 20 runs scored, 3 homers, 11 RBIs and 7 stolen bases.

EDGE: SLIGHT FOR PHILLIES

THIRD BASE: Scott Rolen stayed healthy for the most part in 2010 and he really helped the Reds. Veteran leadership, a power bat and a Gold Glove type mitt is what you get with Rolen. Rolen played in 133 games for the Reds this year and he was 134 of 471 (.285 avg, .855 OPS) with 66 runs scored, 20 homers and 83 RBIs. Rolen has played in 32 games in his post season career and he is 26 of 114 (.228 avg, .742 OPS) with 17 runs scored, 5 homers and 11 RBIs.

Placido Polanco is a solid player but his left elbow is really bothering him which will likely effect his play. Polanco played in 132 games for the Phillies this year and he was 165 of 554 (.298 avg, .725 OPS) with 76 runs scored, 6 homers, 52 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Polanco has played in 25 games in his post season career and he is 24 of 81 (.296 avg, .684 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 8 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.

EDGE: SLIGHT FOR REDS

LEFT FIELD: Jonny Gomes got his first legit starting job this year and he played pretty well. Gomes played in 148 games for the Reds this year and he was 136 of 511 (.266 avg, .758 OPS) with 77 runs scored, 18 homers, 86 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Gomes probably has the most pure power of any player on the Reds so the Phillies will likely be careful with him.

Raul Ibanez had a off year for the Phillies. He played in 155 games for the Phillies this year and he was 154 of 561 (.275 avg, .793 OPS) with 75 runs scored, 16 homers, 83 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. Ibanez has played in 24 games in the post season in his career and he is 17 of 71 (.239 avg, .707 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 2 homers and 13 RBIs.

EDGE: EVEN

CENTER FIELD: Drew Stubbs won the starting CF job last spring and he put up solid numbers in his first year as a regular. Stubbs played in 150 games for the Reds this year and he was 131 of 514 (.255 avg, .773 OPS) with 91 runs scored, 22 homers, 77 RBIs and 30 stolen bases. He is just a solid all-around baseball player.

Shane Victorino is the heart and soul of the Phillies as he plays hard every single inning and his uniform is often pretty dirty. Victorino played in 147 games for the Phillies this year and he was 152 of 587 (.259 avg, .756 OPS) with 84 runs scored, 18 homers, 69 RBIs and 34 stolen bases. Victorino has played in 32 games in his post season career and he is 33 of 119 (.277 avg, .868 OPS) with 18 runs scored, 6 homers, 23 RBIs and 6 stolen bases.

EDGE: EVEN

RIGHT FIELD: Jay Bruce had the best season of his major league career which included the walkoff homer that put the Reds in the playoffs. Bruce played in 148 games for the Reds this year and he is 143 of 509 (.281 avg, .846 OPS) with 80 runs scored, 25 homers, 70 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Bruce is a very streaky hitter and he finished the year strong whacking 4 homers in the last week of the regular season.

Jayson Werth got off to a very fast start this year but his overall numbers were just good. Werth played in 156 games for the Phillies this year and he was 164 of 554 (.296 avg, .920 OPS) with 106 runs scored, 27 homers, 85 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. Werth often steps up on the big stage. He has played in 35 games in the post season and he is 35 of 123 (.285 avg, 1.044 OPS) with 25 runs scored, 11 homers, 20 RBIs and 4 stolen bases.

EDGE: PHILLIES

BENCH: The Reds have a pretty solid bench. Ryan Hanigan will back up Ramon Hernandez behind the plate and he’s a solid catcher. Infielder Paul Janish has the reputation of a defense only player but he hit the ball decent this year. Miguel Cairo can play anywhere on the infield as he’s a pesky hitter. Chris Heisey, Laynce Nix and Jim Edmonds are all solid backup outfielders with some pop in their bats.

The Phillies have a veteran look on the bench with Mike Sweeney, Ross Gload, Ben Francisco and Brian Schneider. But, infielder Wilson Valdez might be the most important player off the bench for the Phillies due to Placido Polanco’s bad elbow.

EDGE: EVEN

STARTING PITCHING: Edison Volquez was a interesting pick to head the rotation for the Reds. He was suspended for a good chunk of this season and he was also rehabbing quite a bit. He started 12 games for the Reds this year and he was 4-3 with a 4.31 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Volquez did whiff 67 batters in only 62 2/3 innings so it isn’t all bad with him. Bronson Arroyo will be #2 in line for the Reds. He pitched in 33 games (all starts) for the Reds this year and he was 17-10 with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. He has pitched in 10 games (2 starts) in the post season in his career and he is 0-0 with a 7.41 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP. Righty fireballer Johnny Cueto will be #3 in line. Cueto had his best year for the Reds in 2010. Cueto pitched in 31 games (all starts) for the Reds this year and he was 12-7 with a 3.64 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. It’s up in the air as to who the Reds would use if they need a #4 starter with Aaron Harang, Homer Bailey and lefty rookie Travis Wood all likely getting consideration.

The top three starters in the Phillies’ rotation are 30-4 against the Reds in their careers! Roy Halladay will be making his first appearance ever in the post season which is kind of hard to believe. He started 33 games for the Phillies this year and he was 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. He threw an amazing 250 2/3 innings this year and he only walked 30 batters! Roy Oswalt will be #2 in line for the Phillies. He pitched in 33 games (32 starts) for the Astros & Phillies this year and he was 13-13 with a 2.76 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. He only gave up 162 hits in 211 2/3 innings as he was masterful. Oswalt has pitched in 8 games (7 starts) in the post season and he is 4-0 with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Lefty Cole Hamels will be #3. Hamels started 33 games for the Phillies this year and he was 12-11 with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. Hamels had a big comeback year for the Phillies in 2010 as he whiffed 211 batters in 208 2/3 innings pitched showing that his stuff is all the way back. Hamels has started 10 games in the post season and he is 5-3 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. Joe Blanton likely won’t be needed in this round for the Phillies. Blanton pitched in 29 games (28 starts) for the Phillies this year and he was 9-6 with a 4.82 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. He has pitched in 8 games (5 starts) in his post season career and he is 2-0 with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

EDGE: HUGE FOR THE PHILLIES

CLOSER: Francisco Cordero started 2010 pretty well for the Reds but he wasn’t invincible as he blew 8 saves. Cordero pitched in 75 games out of the pen for the Reds this year and he was 6-5 with 40 saves, a 3.84 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. Cordero has never pitched in the post season so it will be interesting to see if he can handle the pressure.

Brad Lidge had some bumps this season as he blew five saves but overall I would say that he was a success. Lidge pitched in 50 games out of the pen for the Phillies this year and he was 1-1 with 27 saves, a 2.96 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Lidge has pitched in 32 games (0 starts) in his post season career and he is 2-4 with 16 saves, a 2.52 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP.

EDGE: EVEN

BULLPEN: Righty Nick Masset will be the Reds’ top set-up man in the post season. He pitched in 82 games out of the pen for the Reds this year and he was 4-4 with 2 saves, a 3.40 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Lefty Arthur Rhodes will likely be the Reds’ choice late in games. Rhodes pitched in 69 games (0 starts) for the Reds this year and he was 4-4 with a 2.29 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. Rhodes is the only Reds’ reliever with post season experience. He has pitched in 20 games (0 starts) in the post season and he is 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. Rookie lefty Aroldis Chapman will likely be throwing bullets for the Reds in this series. Chapman pitched in 15 games (0 starts) for the Reds this year and he was 2-2 with a 2.03 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. Chapman whiffed an amazing 19 batters in only 13 1/3 innings this year. Righties Logan Ondrusek (5-0, 3.68 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) and Jordan Smith (3-2, 1 save, 3.86 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP) will likely be working early in games for the Reds in this series, if needed.

Ryan Madson is one of the best setup men in the majors and he will work in front of Brad Lidge. Madson pitched in 55 games out of the pen for the Phillies in this season and he was 6-2 with 5 saves, a 2.55 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. Madson also has been very successful in the post season in his career. Madson has pitched in 23 games (0 starts) in the post season and he is 2-0 with 1 save, a 2.74 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Righty Jose Contreras also excelled in his first year as a reliever. He pitched in 67 games (0 starts) for the Phillies this year and he was 6-4 with 4 saves, a 3.34 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Contreras also has a lot of post season experience as he has pitched in 14 games (4 starts) in which he is 3-3 with a 3.80 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. J.C. Romero will be the top lefty in the pen for the Phillies. He pitched in 60 games for the Phillies this year and he was 1-0 with 3 saves, a 3.68 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP. He has pitched in 23 games (0 starts) in his post season career and he is 2-2 with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Righty Chad Durbin (4-1, 3.80 ERA, 1.31 WHIP) and lefty Antonio Bastardo (2-0 with a 4.34 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP) will round out the pen.

EDGE: SLIGHT FOR PHILLIES

MANAGER: Dusty Baker took his team to a new level this year. It will be interesting to watch him match wits with Charlie Manuel in this series. Baker has a career record during the regular season of 1,405-1,284 (52.2%) and he is 17-19 (47.2%) in the post season.

Charlie Manuel has led his team to the last two N.L. Pennants, winning one World Series (2008) and losing one (2009). He has a career record in the regular season of 764-619 (55.2%) and he is 22-15 (59.5%) in the post season.

EDGE: PHILLIES

PREDICTION: While the Reds are a great story I just don’t see them being able to deal with the Phillies who have an awesome starting rotation. I like the Phillies in 3 games.

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