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Old 10-20-2008, 12:38 AM   #1
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Default For All the Marbles -- Rays v. Phillies

Here is a matchup that nearly no one would have predicted even a month ago. The Phillies have pitched, hit and fielded well this post-season and are a very good representative of the NL. The Rays have caught nearly everyone by surprise by the way they have hung in there this post-season. When the Red Sox won 3 in a row, many felt that the Rays were done and the Sox would prevail. They had the right guy on the mound tonight and shut the Sox down again.
I like this matchup.
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:14 PM   #2
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I gotta think the Rays have the advantage. That team is so balanced and can ebat you in so many ways. No doubt, the Phillies have talent, but I don't see them keeping up with the Rays.

I say the Rays in 6.
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Old 10-20-2008, 04:45 PM   #3
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Default 2008 WS: Phillies vs. Rays

I really can't believe this is happening. This series again matches to like teams. It should be a great one. I see this one going 6 or 7 again.

The crazy thing is in some ways the Rays can thank themselves for the home field advantage. Longo drove in the tying run in the bottom of the 8th of the All Star game. Then Kaz came off the bench and picked up the win with a scoreless 15th after Michael Young hit the game winner in the bottom half of that inning.
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Old 10-20-2008, 04:49 PM   #4
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Ooops didn't see this was posted all ready. Cat could you merge my thread into this one.
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themush View Post
Ooops didn't see this was posted all ready. Cat could you merge my thread into this one.
Everytime I try to do something, I find an easier way to do it.
As to this series, I truly think these may be the best 2 teams in their leagues. These teams have shown that they can play all facets of the game well and are very deserving of their places in this matchup.
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themush View Post
I really can't believe this is happening. This series again matches to like teams. It should be a great one. I see this one going 6 or 7 again.

The crazy thing is in some ways the Rays can thank themselves for the home field advantage. Longo drove in the tying run in the bottom of the 8th of the All Star game. Then Kaz came off the bench and picked up the win with a scoreless 15th after Michael Young hit the game winner in the bottom half of that inning.
Good point on the All Star game. :thumbup:
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:19 PM   #7
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I'm completely biased to the Phillies favor...I'm thinking Phillies in 5 just like the Dodgers series.

Of the first 5, the Phillies have the advantage in games 1,2,5. 1 and 5 because of Hamels pitching. 2 because they're facing a RHP with a DH. The Phillies lineup is better than the Rays to begin with, but putting in Dobbs just for the hell of it? That lineup in that situation is really good.

If the Rays beat Hamels in game 1, all of that goes out the window and I have no idea what happens.

Just in terms of breaking down the teams...

Phillies have the best pitcher in Hamels, Rays have the better depth in the starting lineup, although I love Moyer's matchup with the Rays. Phillies have the better bullpen and hit just as good. Fielding is probably an advantage to the Rays, but it's not by a ton.
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Old 10-20-2008, 11:44 PM   #8
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Although the Rays just came out of a much better Leauge, I see the Phillies closing it out here in six.
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Old 10-21-2008, 12:33 AM   #9
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Although the Rays just came out of a much better Leauge
This is the thing that is going to crush me completely. I absolutely hate watching AL games during the regular season, so I mainly stuck to just the Tigers games that I got locally because I needed baseball. But, yeah, obviously the AL is the much better league so in my head, watching both teams go, I think the Phils are just as good. But, just as easily the league power thing could take over and the Rays roll.

Beating Sabathia and Billingsley (twice), as well as Lowe twice, gives me way too much confidence, I think. I mean, they've beat better pitching than what they'll face from the Rays.

That said, if the Rays shock folks and go Kazmir-Price in the first two games of the series and win the first one, I think the Rays would win the Price pitched game.
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:52 AM   #10
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The Phillies lineup is better than the Rays to begin with
I'm not sure that is true...

"Better" could be quantified in many ways. I would personally take the Rays lineup over the Phillies. I think they can beat you in more ways. I think they can manufacture runs much better than the Phillies.

Now, I do think the Phillies have more pop in their bats, and more experienced hitters.

You also can't discount the leagues they play in. As a national league fan, it pains me to say this, but the AL is much more difficult to win in than the NL. The Rays faced tougher competition this year than the Phils.

While Hamels is great, a 3.09 ERA in the NL East is not as impressive (to me) as Shields' 3.56 ERA in the AL East

We could split hairs all day long, but I do think you need to consider "where they came from" when analysing this match up.
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Old 10-21-2008, 11:29 AM   #11
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I said that the League thing could completely floor.

But, aside from that, the Phillies scored more runs in the NL than the Rays did in the AL. Going through their lineups, I'd give the edge to the Phillies...even in manufacturing runs. Yeah, the team that did NOT bunt with JASON BARTLETT up, runners on 1st and 2nd 0 outs, LATE in a 3-1 game 7 is going to get talked about for manufacturing runs? Give me a break, that's just silly.

They can manufacture runs with everyone in their lineup except Pedro Feliz. They platooned Dobbs with Feliz a bit during the season, but keep Feliz in there because he flashes a nice glove. Still, I don't think Feliz alone means the Phillies manufacture runs less or with less success than the Rays.

Quote:
While Hamels is great, a 3.09 ERA in the NL East is not as impressive (to me) as Shields' 3.56 ERA in the AL East
Well, I personally believe ERAs in the AL can be deflated because pitchers can pitch more innings.

For instance, a pitcher scuffling a bit, that gives up 3 runs in a game, in the NL if he comes up to bat, he might come out after 5 even if he's gotten in a groove. In the AL, that pitcher will have more time to settle down.

I like James Shields and have followed him for two years now, probably longer than most Rays fans (sorry for the zinger, mush, just getting into battle mode a bit, I won't include you in the "most" part). He's been a great part of my fantasy baseball teams for 2 years. I watched him less the 2nd half of this season because MLB took off their watch archived games for free.

I just wouldn't put the two in the same class of pitcher.

On top of that, I don't really care about Hamels' ERA for the season because I felt in watching him this year that he was trying to do a lot of different things. His strikeouts were down and I think he was trying to work out of situations earlier in the year based on not relying on the strikeout. Which is something I think he was working with Jaime Moyer on to become a better pitcher overall. I think all of that came together in the first three playoff games.

Where the Rays are better is in the depth of their pitching. For the Phillies, Brett Myers, Joe Blanton, Jaime Moyer. All behind everyone the Rays will throw out there. And Garza is much better right now than any of them.
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Old 10-21-2008, 12:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HibachiDG View Post
Well, I personally believe ERAs in the AL can be deflated because pitchers can pitch more innings.

For instance, a pitcher scuffling a bit, that gives up 3 runs in a game, in the NL if he comes up to bat, he might come out after 5 even if he's gotten in a groove. In the AL, that pitcher will have more time to settle down.
It is kind of six of one half dozen of the other though isn't it? AL pitchers may have the advantage of pitching extra innings here and there when a NL pitchers get bumped in the 6th inning for a pinch hitter at times the NL pitchers generally get two or three free outs a game from facing the opposing pitcher while the AL pitchers have to get guys like David Ortiz and Jim Thome out instead.

However, a 2.99 ERA pitching at Citizens Park is pretty impressive though. Philly's stadium is not exactly the most pitcher friendly place to play.
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Old 10-21-2008, 12:45 PM   #13
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Doug, when pitchers throw more innings, they get tired. When pitchers are tired, their breaking stuff doesn't break as sharply. Their fastball loses some of its zip. They becime easier to hit, unless they are a sinkerballer or throw knuckleballs like Tim Wakefield does.
All this said, I like the Phillies pitching better in this series. Their starters are solid and they have a more established and defined bullpen. And then there is Lidge to close out games. He did not blow a save this year (he lost the all star game, costing the NL "home-field" in the series), and has his mental edge back.
I agree with you about Garza. He seems to be coming into his own. He could lead the Rays' staff for many years. I hope Maddon has settled on Price at the end of his bullpen. Wheeler doesn't have the grit to be a full-time closer, IMO.
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:05 PM   #14
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I have a feeling this series comes down to which bullpen performs the best. Wheeler is prone to blowing up in high pressure situations. Houston tried him as a closer in '07 and decided to go in a different direction. Over the last two seasons he has 15 losses and 12 blown saves. He is one of those guys who is just more suited to being a setup guy than a closer. However, given how well Price battled in Game 7 I think we will see him as the go to guy initially in this series. So it could very well come down to whether or not Price can handle the pressure and whether Lidge has truly exorcised his postseason demons.
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:19 PM   #15
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Doug, when pitchers throw more innings, they get tired. When pitchers are tired, their breaking stuff doesn't break as sharply. Their fastball loses some of its zip. They becime easier to hit, unless they are a sinkerballer or throw knuckleballs like Tim Wakefield does.
Yeah, agreed, I wasn't really referring so much to games where they were spending a lot of pitches, but rather games where someone comes out in the NL before they are tired, 80 pitches or so type of thing. I had this type of discussion a bunch with my roommate when the Tigers got Dontrelle and he figured his ERA would go down. Well, putting aside that Willis was terrible this year, the NL East opposition Willis faced the most scored more runs collectively than the AL Central did in 2007.

As well, other things that hurt ERA in the NL...and like doublee pointed out it comes down to the same thing packaged differently...take the situation where I mentioned Bartlett not bunting in a 3-1 game. You're going to have situations where in the NL managers play for the small inning a lot more, so teams scrap runs across on a pitcher a lot more than they do in the AL. Move a guy up, sac fly him in. It tends to even out and I also think what catman said comes in to play. I just don't buy that a 3.56 ERA is more impressive than a 3.09 just because of the league difference.
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