Wednesday, October 7, 2009

NLDS Preview: Rockies vs. Phillies

Pitching, pitching, and more pitching is what this series comes down to. The Phillies have one of the strongest rotations in the postseason with a couple of Cy Young winners, World Series MVP, and possibly a Rookie of the Year. However, the Rockies pitching is a lot more improved than it was in 2006. They're the only team in the majors to have all 5 starters reach double digit wins, and Jason Marquis continues his unlikely streak of playing in the postseason for 10 straight years but hasn't been looking sharp as of late. The Phillies have been a little shaky as of late, but definitely are ready to defend their title. The giant question mark is Brad Lidge who was perfect for saves last year, this year he's been anything but.

Rockies Player to Watch:

Ubaldo Jimenez, the Rockies need Ubaldo to step up big time and shut down the Phillies right away in Game 1. I'm thinking he will be the key to their postseason success.

Honorable Mentions: Troy Tulowitzski, Todd Helton

Phillies Player to Watch:

Brad Lidge, all eyes will be on Brad Lidge assuming the Phillies do indeed keep him in the closer spot for the postseason. I have a feeling he will be on a very short leash, don't be surprised if he gets yanked in favor of Ryan Madson if he finds himself in any kind of trouble. The Phillies know Lidge was one of the heroes of 2008 but they want to give themselves the best chance to win again in '09.

Honorable Mentions: Cliff Lee, Raul Ibanez, J.A. Happ

The Prediction:

The Rockies steal one away from the Phillies at The Bank and when Philadelphia travels to Denver, bullpen uncertainties eventually lead to their demise. The Rockies are damn near as hot as they were two years ago, and a large chunk of that team is still on the roster so they know how to win postseason games. The Phillies have the overall better lineup and rotation, but the Rockies will use clutch hitting and solid outings from starters to send the Phillies home.

Rockies in 4

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