Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The dreaded pick

I have mixed feelings about how the Phillies will fare in their NL Division Series against the Colorado Rockies.

On the one hand, the defending World Champions struggled down the stretch, winning just 5 of their final 13 games. The starting pitching was mediocre at best, the hitting was practically non-existent, and the bullpen at times was in shambles.

The only regular player who had good numbers in the season's final month was Ryan Howard. Chase Utley saw his batting average fall 20 points from Sept. 1, and Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino had trouble getting on base.

But on the other hand, the team did what it needed to get into the post-season. And their 11-3 record in the playoffs last year shows they know how to play when the pressure's on.

Plus, the Phils owe the Rockies from 2007, when in a similar situation, the Rockies one the first two games at Citizens Bank Park en route to a three-game sweep of the NL East champs.

So here goes: I like the Phillies to win the series in 4 games. I expect Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels to pitch well the first 2 games in Philly and give the team a 2-0 edge.

But if that doesn't happen, it could be a short visit to the playoffs for the defending champions.

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