Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Dogs may have the masters cornered but they’d better close out the show

Let this year be a testament to how difficult it is to not only repeat as champion but to even get an opportunity to do so. When the playoffs started the Yankees and Phillies were both the consensus and the odds makers favorite to get back to the show with the Phillies holding a slight betting edge everywhere except in the Tri-State area. However with just over ten days to go in October they both are one loss away from Winter vacation and we’re trying to figure out how everyone was so wrong. In the most poignant case of the NL, where absolutely NO ONE saw this coming and if you say you did you ether were smokin’ out in Haght-Ashbury or lying, the pitching outside of Tim Lincecum has been the surprise. Huge performances by an 11-loss pitcher in Matt Cain, and even Madison Bumgarner (7-6) got as far as they needed him too before “the Beards” could take over. So this is as good as an opportunity as there ever was for team that hasn’t won the World Series in a half-century. At home, with the two-time Cy Young Award winner on the bump, with a 3-1 lead so there isn’t the added pressure of lose or go home, and one win sends you to the show. Now, he does have a another blister issue on his throwing hand and the Phillies better hope it’s the size of a quarter. Conversely, if the Phillies can somehow get to ‘the freak’ and get into the pen, the Giants’ arms have been working overtime and it may not be such an open and shut (the door) situation. SF used four relief pitchers to close out game 4 and two in game 3, with of course Brian Wilson putting out the fire in both. So IF, and the size of that font could not be large enough, the Philly bats can get by TL going home for games 6 and 7 may not be that big of a stretch for the club with the best record in the League since the all-star break. I won’t go so far to say there is even 20% the amount of pressure on the Giants as the Phillies, but don’t think if Lincecum is taking slow walk to the dugout and the number on the top of the scoreboard is larger than the one on the bottom it won’t be in the back of everyone’s mind. Can Philadelphia pull off the miraculous comeback or can we slate one upset winner into WS?

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