The Phillies are the better team.
They should beat the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League division series, and advance to the NLCS. They have a better lineup. They finished second in the league with 799 runs scored, while the Brewers finished seventh with 750. The Brewers have a 3.87 ERA, while the Phillies have a 3.89 ERA. But while statistically speaking the Brewers have a better starter's ERA than the Phillies (3.86 ERA to 4.23 ERA), the Phillies have a better reliever's ERA than the Brewers (3.19 ERA to 3.83 ERA). And the Brewers right now have one solid starter: CC Sabathia. The Brewers certainly will try to squeeze a couple starts from Sabathia in the NLDS, but they also will have to pitch Jeff Suppan and Dave Bush at some point. Of course, the Brewers could have a wild card in righthander Yovani Gallardo, who pitched against the Cubs on Friday. He missed most of the season with a knee injury, but the Brewers rotation is in such shambles with Ben Sheets finished for the season that they probably will roll the dice and use him. And if the Phillies can knock out those guys early, they certainly would love to get into the Brewers bullpen (i.e. Eric Gagne and Co.).
The Brewers aren't sure how their rotation will set up, but the Phillies know Cole Hamels is pitching Game 1 at 3 p.m. Wednesday. (How come I get the feeling a lot of people who read this blog will be getting a cold on Wednesday and calling in sick?)
I'm guessing Brett Myers will pitch Game 2 because the Brewers struggle against righthanders and because it would allow the Phillies to split Hamels and Jamie Moyer. If the Phillies are up 2-1 going into Game 4, they might start Joe Blanton. If they're down 2-1, they could consider bringing back Hamels on short rest, although that's purely speculation on my part.
The Brewers partied. And partied. And partied.
In the Phillies Notebook: a look at the potential postseason roster. Greg Golson is headed to the Florida Instructional League today, which means he isn't expected to make the NLDS roster. Surprised? Maybe. He obviously would be an awesome pinch-runner, but I'm not sure Charlie Manuel wants to handcuff himself to a one-option player. Golson has struck out four times in six at-bats this month, so if the Phillies needed him in a pinch-hitting situation he probably wouldn't be able to provide a quality at-bat in a big situation. He also hasn't looked sharp in the outfield. So while Golson could win the Phillies a game with his legs, the same can't be said for his bat and glove. And I'm guessing that is why the Phillies likely are going with So Taguchi. Of course, I might sound crazy saying that because Manuel doesn't use Taguchi in the outfield and Taguchi has hit just .220 this season, including .091 (3 for 33) as a pinch-hitter. But that's my best guess on the Phillies' thinking there.
We also have word on Shane Victorino's leg injury and more.
John Gonzalez likes the fact the Mets collapsed again.