As many of you may have noticed, the past few days have essentially been a Phillies love-fest in the local media. And for good reason. They are in the NLCS for the first time in 15 years, they have homefield advantage, and -- hey let's be honest -- the football team is 2-3.
But reality will hit tomorrow night around 8:30 p.m. And both statistics and instinct indicate this is not going to be an easy series.
I still haven't decided who I am going to pick in this series. I'm sure many readers out there have. I'll throw a post up later on tonight where everyone can put their predictions on record. But I'll say this: I think this series is going to come down to whether the Phillies' line-up can hit the Dodgers pitching. I think Cole Hamels and Brett Myers will give the Phillies an excellent chance to win at least three of the four games they pitch. But I also don't think there will be any shut-outs. Which means the Phillies will have to score.
When they were swept by the Dodgers from Aug. 11-14 at Chavez Ravine, they hit just .194 with a .274 OBP. They struck out 40 times in the four games, while drawing 13 walks. They scored 16 runs.
A week later, when they swept the Dodgers at CBP, they hit .278 with a .374 OBP and scored 27 runs.
Granted, Phillies pitching wasn't great at Dodgers Stadium, particularly the bullpen. The Dodgers hit .311 off the Phillies. They reached base in 40 percent of their plate appearances. The staff had a 6.06 ERA during that series.
So I'm not saying pitching won't be important. But I still think it will come down the the bats.
With that said, here are some key Phillies career numbers against the first three starters in this series.
Chase Utley: 5-for-14 (.357), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 K
Pat Burrell: 6-for-19 (.316), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 3 K
Jimmy Rollins: 6-for-20 (.300),. 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 K
Matt Stairs: 2-for-15, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 K
Ryan Howard: 2-for-16, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 3 K
Geoff Jenkins: 2-for-12, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 3 K
Greg Dobbs: 0-for-9, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3 K
Shane Victorino: 1-for-5, 0 HR, 0 RBI 0 K
Pedro Feliz: 5-for-23 (.217), 2 HR, 2 RBI, 7 K
PHILLIES TOTALS VS. LOWE: .205, 4 HR, 17 RBi in 151 AB
Chase Utley: 2-for-6, 0 HR, 1 RBI
Jayson Werth: 1-for-4, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Carlos Ruiz: 1-for-2, 0 HR, 0 RBI
REST OF TEAM: 0-for-30, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 12 K, 2 BB
Pedro Feliz: 4-for-12, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 K
Chase Utley: 2-for-5, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 K
Jimmy Rollins: 3-for-9, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
Pat Burrell: 3-for-10, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K
Ryan Howard: 2-for-6, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 K
Shane Victorino: 1-for-5, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 K
Jayson Werth: 2-for-4, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 K
Carlos Ruiz: 2-for-5, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 K
TOTALS VS. BILLINGSLEY: .290, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 15 K, 69 AB