World Series: Things to Think About

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, October 26, 2009 10:59 AM | Comments: 85
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

First pitch of the 2009 Fall Classic is roughly 58 hours away, meaning there is plenty of time to strip this series down to its core. While you wait, here are some early things to consider:

-Cliff Lee is just as good as C.C:

Though you might not know it through the media, just trust me on this one. Lee’s postseason numbers are better than Sabathia’s at this point, although everyone in America will tell you just how great C.C. is and what he has meant to the Yankees.

Lee’s ERA is nearly a half-run lower through three postseason starts, plus he has pitched 2 1/3 more innings. Sabathia has allowed three more hits and has given up a home run, something Lee has yet to do in the playoffs. So before you go thinking that the Phillies are scared seeing C.C. times three, consider that the Yankees may have to do the game with Cliff Lee.

-The Phillies should run, run, run:

Yankees catcher Jorge Posada has dealt with shoulder trouble in the past, and while that seems to be behind him, he can be run on. In the regular season, Posada threw out just 28 percent of would-be base stealers. The Phillies have stolen six bases in the playoffs thus far, but look for Charlie Manuel, along with his sidekick Davy Lopes, to send them when possible.

-Mariano Rivera is ridiculously good:

The guy still has it, even in the latter stages of an illustrious career. He throws a cutter that is virtually unhittable, one that tails in on lefties, which might be trouble. Rivera himself has caused the expansion of tree choppers, due to his penchant for breaking bats. Although he is still in top form, he can be had. The Phillies have shown great patience at the plate, and there’s no doubt that they’ve watched countless hours of tape on this guy already. They must continue that new found mentality, bringing it with them to the ninth inning.

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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1714 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 0 PhanAttic Will

    Go get em phils! I have so much phaith we can beat these yankees

  • Posts: 0 Chase Mutley

    Phillies fans going to the home games. You always make me smile with your “Eva” and “Hit the Showers” chants.

    Please remember:

    - Andy Pettite is on the Mitchell Report.
    - Alex Rodriguez is an admitted steroid user.
    - C.C. has a girl’s nickname and was blasted in the NLDS when he was reminded as such.
    - Mark Texieria is a mouth breather.
    - “Nice haircut” would be great for Nick Swisher at the plate.
    - “D.U.I.” would sound great in a repetitive chant with Joba on the mound.

    Looking forward to the home crowd repping our city well.

  • Posts: 0 Scotty

    C.C. is 6’7″ and 290. That’s a giant person with a humongous ass. I think we can get him if we’re patient, though.

    Money v. Heart. Despite the lovefest the media has for the Yankees, I know which winner would be better for the game.

  • Posts: 0 Tracey


    Turkey Hill makes a Phillies ice cream flavor and a Yankees ice cream flavor. The Yankees flavor is lite.

    I’m just saying…

  • Posts: 0 PhillieGuy

    First of off, I’m excited for this World Series. I do agree that Cliff Lee and C.C. both matchup well. But let’s get one thing straight, the NL is flat out weaker than the AL. Before the last game Vincente Padilla pitched he was leading all pithcers in the playoffs in ERA. This guy was a castoff for the AL Rangers. Other guys like John Smotlz and Brad Penny got completely smoked in the AL East before being utterly dominant in the NL. We can’t say Cliff Lee pitched better than C.C. because he was facing superior teams. The Rockies and the Dodgers don’t hold a candle to the caliber of the Angels. We all know it’s true. That said, I think the Phillies have more of an AL style offense, and it will be an evenly matched game 1 with what I expect to be a great pitcher’s duel.

    Also to address Chase Mutley, let’s not bring shame to our hometown in national television. Our no-class reputation as a fanbase is not something to be proud about.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    C.C. also had to face American League lineups .. while Lee got to pitch against the Rockies and Dodgers .

    I like our chances.. Yankees are good, but its not like they are unbeatable

    But lets not try to make up things trying to prove the Yankees aren’t as good as the Phillies .. they won more games, and played in the much tougher American League

    It’s going to be a battle, but C.C. Sabathia is arguably the best pitcher in all of baseball ..

  • Posts: 0 bob

    There is nothing to make up….on the field and on paper this teams are as close as you can get.

    -Both have great offense
    -Both have very good starting pitching, maybe an edge to Yanks
    -Yankees have the better pen
    -Phillies have the better defense

    Most likely this goes 6 or 7

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    If Cole just has that one more big game in him………

  • Posts: 0 Chase Mutley

    It’s sports and it’s entertainment and it’s fun. I will take our “no-class reputation” all day long with all of the good times that come with it over some stiff, entitled dorks in sweater vests with a Yankees golf-cap all day long. I’m not talking about violence, I’m not talking about crude, drunken behavior, I’m talking about good, old fashioned, getting on the away team.

    This whole “stay classy” media love-in that’s popped over the last few years in sports has got half of you ashamed of who you are. There is nothing wrong with chants and fun.

  • Posts: 0 Hugh Stacks

    Cliff Lee is not as good as CC Sabathia. To make that argument based on 3 postseason starts for each is absurd, not only because of small sample sizes but because CC is putting up his numbers in the much tougher American League. In his short stint in the NL, CC put up unheard of numbers that Cliff Lee has failed to match. Yes, the Phillies touched him up in the NLDS last year but that was coming after 5 starts in a row on three days rest. The Angels won the second most games in baseball and the reason was their offense and they couldn’t touch him. Some of you are in for a rude awakening, CC Sabathia is clearly a better pitcher than Cliff Lee, and to make an argument about the contrary is very close-minded and biased.

  • Posts: 0 bob

    “Derek Cheater” (clap, clap, clap).

    Probably not true at all and he’s a great player. But it would be hilarious.

  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Hugh Stacks: Consider this sample.

    2007 ALDS CLE vs. NYY: 5 inn, 3 ER, 6 BB, 5 K, 5.40 ERA
    2007 ALCS CLE vs BOS: 2 games, 0-2, 10.45 ERA, 7 BB, 9 K
    2008 NLDS MIL vs. PHI: 3.2 inn, 5 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 12+ ERA

    So up until this season, CC has been garbage in the playoffs. Yes, you can go back and find Cliff Lee’s stats from a few years ago when he ended up in the minors, but the fact is, they are closer than what you think.

    It’s close-minded of you not to recognize this.

  • Posts: 0 bob

    Guess what Hugh, we’re gonna find out. The Yankees may be the ones in for a rude awakening. We don’t have the “Sexy” pitching staff of the Yankees.

    Lee and CC are certainly in the same ballpark. The whole world saw what a Cole Hamels can do, when he is on. Pedro Martinez is showing some flashes of old and Joe Blanton was very quietly one of our most consisent starting pitchers.

    Note I think Cole Hamels will be the difference maker, one way or the other.

    The Phillies don’t have that appeal of the Yankees, the billion dollar stadium, the world wide fanbase. But they do have a damn good baseball team. They belong on this stage and THEY not the Yankees are the defending champions.

    Make sure you remember that last sentence going in. If the Yankees are better, so be it. Just because the Phillies play in an “inferior” National League, does not make them the inferior team

  • Posts: 0 bob

    And the Phillies may be able to throw JA Happ at the Yankees for a start as well. We have 6 capable starters to throw at a great hitting lineup that the Yankees have.

    Our bullpen has stepped it up lately and the offense has been great.

    Gonna be a hell of a series

  • Posts: 0 Hugh Stacks

    All I said was clearly the better pitcher, nothing more. I did not say that the Yankees are locks to win the series or that Cliff Lee won’t pitch well. The lead sentence of this post says “Cliff Lee is just as good as CC” which is wrong. Would anyone like to disagree with me? If so, step up and explain why. It is without a doubt going to be a great, entertaining series and no matter the result CC Sabathia is still the better of the two aces.

  • Posts: 0 Hugh Stacks

    All I said was CC is clearly…*

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    Things to think about: Off-season surgery for Raul Ibanez?

    From Philadelphia inquirer:

    “Phillies leftfielder Raul Ibanez might need off-season surgery on a small muscle tear near his abdomen.

    “I don’t know, we’ll see what happens,” Ibanez said reluctantly yesterday when questioned about an article in Sports Illustrated that reported that Ibanez put off surgery in late June.

    Ibanez would not say that the lingering injury has affected his play.

    “No, I’m fine,” Ibanez said. “I’m doing fine. That’s all stuff that’s in the past. I spoke to that [reporter] but that’s stuff in the past. I don’t even think about it. I’m fine right now.”

    The SI report said Ibanez was given the choice to have surgery in June or go on the disabled list to rest and play through the injury for the remainder of the season.

    Ibanez reportedly visited a neuromuscular specialist in Toronto and a surgeon in Philadelphia before making the decision to go on the 15-day disabled list. At the time, Ibanez was also battling a sore left groin.

    Ibanez was asked many times this summer about the nature of his injury and he repeatedly declined to describe it.

    Ibanez was batting .312 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI in 62 games before he went on the disabled list June 18. After his return July 11, he hit .232 with 12 home runs and 34 RBI in 72 games.

    In the playoffs, Ibanez is hitting just .226 but ranks third on the team with nine RBI.

    Ibanez, 37, is in the first year of a three-year, $31.5 million contract. He would not rule out potential surgery in the off-season.

    “I don’t know, we’ll see what happens,” Ibanez said. “I’m not thinking past today, right now. And I’m not thinking back the other way either. I’m doing fine. I’ve been fine for a while.”

  • Posts: 0 CZ

    Ok…so you are saying that a guy with a 3.37 ERA on the season is better than a guy with a 3.22 ERA on the season?

    Stop this nonsense. I’m not going to try and prove either one is better, they both have very recently won Cy Young Awards and they are both dominant pitchers. They are both having equally dominant post seasons.

    Just stop…Cliff Lee is just as good as CC.

  • Posts: 0 JM

    “Posada threw out just 28 percent of would-be base stealers.”

    And Ruiz even less at 27%…..so I guess the Yankees will be run run running too:)

  • Posts: 0 bob


    Guess the experts think CC is better, 9 of 10 have picked the Yanks to win.

    Lets be real for a minute, neither one of these teams are here without their respective aces. Both are really good, pretty damn close to even.

    CZ is 100% right, they are both dominant pitchers.

    The wildcard is Cole Hamels, the Yankees don’t have that 2nd pitcher who is capable of shutting a team down completely like Cole Hamels has the ability to do. The Phillies have 2 starters that are capable of locking down games in this series.

    The Yankees have 2 very good starters in Burnett and Petitte after CC, but I personally would not look at them as “lockdown” like I would CC, Lee and yes Hamels.

    Maybe it’s a bit of a stretch to ask this of Hamels but he’s done it before. This can be the Phils advantage and key to a repeat.

  • Posts: 0 Ari E-B

    Another thing – Yankee stadium with that short right field. (318 feet according to Wikipedia). I can’t wait to see what Howard/Utley/Ibanez do up there.

  • Posts: 0 Tiajuana

    Cole hamels stinks this year. He will make a big difference and the Yankees will pound the Hollywood out of him. I just think the guy will have one of those real short careers. Why not start J A Happ? This will be one tough series to win. I love the Phils and hope they can pull it out.

  • Posts: 0 bob

    And I know, I know it’s a BIG IF with Hamels returning to 2008 form….just thinking that we have that factor in our favor. I said a few times this year I will take Lee and Hamels against anybody. Even if Hamels doesnt pitch until Game 3…

  • Posts: 0 Tiajuana

    Chase Mutley — You are a horse’s ass. A dumb nerd and a classless punk. I am really tired of reading your assinine blurbs. Soak your head.

  • Posts: 0 Rob in CT

    I’d say CC is better, but not by much. They’re both really good, and both will face tough lineups. I’d be surprised if it isn’t a tense, close game won/lost by the bullpens.

    There is no sense in evaluating CC and Lee based on a handfull of starts. They both have long track records that tell you a whole lot more about them. Burnett and Pettitte good #2/#3 starters. Hamels, to me, is a very good #2 who happens to be struggling. I note the K/BB remains excellent. Pedro… heh, hi there old friend. With the extra rest I expect him to be good. Happ > any Yankees 4th starter (Gaudin, most likely. Eek).

    Lineups are both solid, with an edge to NY except if/when the madness of starting Molina persists. A Melky-Molina-Pitcher bottom of the order would be an absolute black hole. Philly has the defensive edge. The Yankees have an edge in the ‘pen.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    The teams that CC faced in the post season are not much differently offensively than the Rockies or the Dodgers…in fact the Dodgers and the Angels are very similar and without checking any stats., the Rockies have more offensive prowess than the Twins.

  • Posts: 0 Rich

    Hugh, on what grounds is C.C. so clearly better? There resume are similar, they’re both top ten in the game starters, and both are hot right now. Making the argument that one is better than the other is silly. And I don’t want to hear this “we had it easier” stuff, coming through the NL. The Rockies were a far better team than the Twins, and the Dodgers were at least in the same ballpark, if behind, the Angels.

  • Posts: 0 Rich

    Their resumes*

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Rich – great minds think alike…

  • Posts: 0 bob

    I would think about starting Happ one of the game to. But if we wanna win this series, we will need something close to the Cole Hamels of old. And he is capable of it. It’s kinda what’s up with Lidge. The stuff is still there.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    The only edge in the pen is Rivera, other than that our middle relief has returned to form and all have WS experience.

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Personally I like the Yankees rotation over the Phillies. C.C has been dominant, as has Lee. So that’s a wash.

    Then what are you left with?

    Burnett/Pettitte and Hamels/Pedro/Happ/Blanton.

    Pedro looked great in his one start. Happ has not done well in the post season, Blanton has been pedestrian at best and Hamels? Pretty inconsistent.

    To say the Yankees don’t have another lock down starter is simply not true. Andy Pettitte is the all time leader in post season victories as well as game clinching victories. Regardless of how long he has been doing it, he has been doing it. At this point, given what I have seen so far. I would take C.C and Pettitte over Lee and whoever the Phillies have right now. I’d love for Hamels to give us one solid game, I pray that he does. I think Pedro can and will come up huge if given the chance but I still think the Yanks have an advantage in the rotation.

    We may have more guys to potentially start but that doesn’t mean anything unless those guys are all solid. During the regular season which is 162 games long its more about quantity than quality as guys will get hurt. But in a series such as this, where its all on the line. I’ll take quality over quantity.

    Lee has never pitched on short rest and Hamels has always refused to do so. Two big X factors right there. At least with C.C, we have seen what he can do on short rest. He was money for the Brewers last year down the stretch. He bit it in the playoffs because he was clearly fatigued from going on 3 days rest for like a month. This year that wasn’t the case. I’ll take what I have seen him do, good and bad over the unknowns of Lee and Hamels.

    To think the Phillies starting pitching is a huge advantage for them is crazy talk. If anything I would give a slight edge to the Yankees but edge aside. The Phillies have the heart. That is not something you can replicate and it certainly isn’t something you can buy either. Let the Yankees spend their money, that’s their right and I guess they see it as their obligation. They win with money, we win with Manuel.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Hamels FB velocity was in the 88-90 mph last game. With a straight arrow four seamer that just won’t do and futhermore makes his change-up less effective. Barring a miraclous mastery of a third pitch he needs to get that FB up to 92- 94 otherwise those patient Yankee batters will sit on that 88 mph FB cause they know the change-up is his only other pitch.

  • Posts: 0 Chase Mutley

    Thank you Tiajuana for taking time out of your day to address me specifically. Considering I haven’t posted on this blog since almost 2008, it’s nice to know that I made such a long lasting impression for you to rattle off insults like the angered high school wrestling coach in jean shorts that I’m going to classify you as.

    When Yankee Stadium is chanting “Who’s Your Daddy?” at Pedro Martinez, I’ll be sure to come back to remind you that you’re a total p*ssy.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Pettitte looked pretty damn good last night….Was it “lockdown”??….not sure about that….but 2 runs given up into the late stages of the game…against a very good lineup….is pretty good.

  • Posts: 0 Phlorida

    I just wish I was able to get the radio signal down here, because its going to be such a Yankee jerkoff love fest with the announcers on the TV broadcast. Joe Buck would get on all fours for NewYork and everyone knows it. The only way to shut them up is with the good guys ending up with more runs. This is the WS i wanted, two of the oldest teams, notorious stadiums and fans (all those chants above sound great to me). Who cares about all this CC><=Cliff crap, what happened to CC last year when he pitched againest the Phils, oh yeah, the Flyin Hawaiian hit a grand slam and we sent them packing.

  • Posts: 0 JM

    CC has the slight edge with a 1.15 WHIP to Lee’s 1.22. Really no difference there but Lee’s WHIP while in the AL was 1.30

    CC has given up 18 HRs, Lee 17.

    I’m calling it a wash. What I do know is that the Cleveland Indians have no clue what they are doing letting both these guys go.

    I think the key for both teams is how Burnett and Hamels do.

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Thanks Chuck, it might not have been the best performance ever but he shut down the Angels in a must win game. To me, that’s lock down. Wasn’t lights out, but it was lock down.

  • Posts: 0 JM

    Ya gotta be kidding…..Buck and McCarver are so anti Yankee it’s ridiculous. Buck sounded like he was in mourning with the last out last night and McCarver started his broadcast career with the Phillies. So sit back Philly fans and enjoy the pro Philly broadcast. I’ll be listening to the radio.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Its great for all of us Phillies fans to be confident ..

    but to say that Cliff Lee is just as good as C.C. Sabathia is incorrect ..

    Which pitcher would you rather have on the Phillies (regardless of salary or anything else) ..

    I can’t really think of too many pitchers that are better than Sabathia ..

    If I have one game to win.. I’m taking Roy Halladay on the mound, after him it would be C.C. Sabathia …. then Santana, and a couple others before the name Cliff Lee rolls around.

    He’s VERY GOOD.. and I’m very glad he’s on the Phillies.. but Sabathia is better..

    Doesn’t mean that Lee can’t outpitch Sabathia.. or that the Phillies can’t out-hit the Yankees .. that is why they play the games on the field, not on paper!

    Sabathia last year was making like his 4th start in 12 days or something when we beat him .. so MAYBE there is a confidence boost for us. and MAYBE a lack of confidence for him ? … or MAYBE last year was last year.. earlier this season was earlier this season.

    All that matters is who steps up now on the big stage!

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Not sure if anyone read this but I find it to very very inaccurate. There is so much wrong with this article I can’t even begin to go into it all:


  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Ed R. – I think the Angels made both Burnett and Petite look alot better than they pitched. Petite’s stuff last night was pretty flat looking to me and Burnett arm looks like it’s being held on by epoxy….Also CC might have been fatigued when we saw him as a Brewer, but that doesn’t explain his other horrid play-off starts as an Indian. CC I’m sure has some gas left in the tank but Burnett and Petite look like they’re fading. What the Angels did last night at the plate was nothing short of pathetic . Actually the Angels played some of the worst post season baseball in this series that I’ve ever seen. Now all of this doesn’t mean we’re any better….now, if we had a glimmer of ’08 Hamels then of course all bets would be off for the Yanks. Also I agree about Happ…I think that oblique is still an issue….I saw an interesting study done with some pitchers (from the pirates) which found that pitchers who were unable to maintain proper pelvic tilt pitched significantly worse than those who had good pelvic stability. An oblique strain is the type of injury that due to the surrounding muscles shortening to protect the oblique could comprimise Happ’s pelvic stability and therefore his control. Could also explain Condrey’s struggles. Also Myers, perhaps even as far back as last year since the the amount damage that Myers’ labrum sustained requires alot chronic use over a long period of time since baseball isn’t a contact sport. I say this because this injury is diagnosed primarily with exploratory surgery and the evidence of his injury was substantial enough be to gleened from an MRI.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Ed R. – I just had to read the intro to know Keith Law is off the mark….this team has taken things to the next level, all scouting reports are off because this team is a different animal….and the bull pen has against all odds has risen to the occasion. The only question mark is Hamels.

  • Posts: 0 Joe

    @Phlorida –

    For $19.99 to mlb.com, you can get Scott and Larry calling the games as God intended them to be heard. It takes an inning, but eventually they sync up with standard def TV.

    (Upon reflection, I would have thought that God intended Harry Kalas to call the games, but it’s not for us mortals to understand.)

  • Posts: 0 joe

    it’s not like Clifford has never faced an AL team before…


    phils need good at bats. good patient at bats like they’ve been having all post season…

    this could be an epic World Series

  • Posts: 0 Ari

    You could tell last year that Longoria was a little shaken by the constant “Eva” chants, and I doubt manny appreciated the “you took steroids” chants either. I certainly don’t think breaking out a few steroids chants for A-rod is out of the question. Rattle him and it goes a long way to getting the Phils the W.

  • Posts: 0 Grrrumpy Miner

    Whats funny is….all of the A-Roid/Whose your daddy chants esp this little feud with Tijuana and Mutt-ley.I am at the point where I feel like the 1986 Yankee fan.At least 4 more game til my season of misery is over and Hot Stove begins.Good luck to both teams.OH and I still wear my Mets cap with PRIDE! LETS GO METS! Oh and finally 108 more days til Pitchers and Catchers.

  • Posts: 0 joe

    Cliff faced the Yanks twice this year…

    he pitched at Yankee stadium… went 6 inning, gave up 1 run… no home runs.

    only 6 innings because he had command issues during that time, walked a bunch of guys

    then he faced them in Cleveland…6 innings, 3 runs. (walks again got him)

    granted… A-rod was not there yet…

    but he’s locked in right now..

    Philly v. New York
    Cliff v. CC
    Jimmy v. Jeter
    A-Rod v. Howard
    Lidge v. Rivera
    Pedro v. The Yankees

    wow….just wow

  • Posts: 0 Chris.I

    If anyone caught Mike and Mike this evening on ESPN, they did a poll on who will win the world series, and the results

    Yankees 53%
    Phillies 47%

    Also Buster Olney was on the show and he predicted the Yankees to win in 6. But said that this will be one of the better matchups in world series history in years.

    One thing I agree with Buster is…It will definitely be one of the better world series in a very long time. One thing I HAVE to disagree with is the Yanks winning in 6, I think its the Phillies in 6. It’s going to be clash of the titans, power vs power, pitching vs pitching. Broad street vs broadway (great slogan). The Phillies are going to shock the world this year, and put a venemous bite into the Yankees rotation.

  • Posts: 0 Yankees27

    To Pedro my son ,

    Dear Son I am sorry I neglected you and was not around to see you grow up to be a Baseball Star . I sure could use some of that huge green you have been buying up the old neighborhood La Domenica with .

    You may have been an accident the result of too much rum and a hot evening , but I am coming down to Philly to give you those spankings you apparently tried to get from Don Zimmer .

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