Phils Clinch Out West
Well at least the Phillies gave us some drama in an otherwise boring first round of the playoffs. For the first time since 2001 neither wild card team advanced to the 2nd round of the playoffs. And while all four series had at least one game that was decided in the final innings, the Phillies-Rockies series had three games that went down to the wire. Giving baseball fans something fun to watch, and Philadelphia fans something to give them an ulcer.
The good news for for the Philly faithful, is that their troubled bullpen held firm in the close games down the stretch. Giving up a total of two runs in the 7th-9th innings. And their much beleagured closer Brad Lidge, who was awful during the season, had a very good series, collecting saves in games three and four.
Now if a starter not named Cliff Lee (how brillant is that deadline deal looking now for the Phils) can throw a quality start for Philadelphia, the Dodgers could be in some trouble in the NLCS. Lee has been brillant in the Phillies first and last win against the Rockies. The Phillies lineup is tough, they have a solid bench, and now their bullpen is showing why they won the World Series last season. Now Cole Hamels, AJ Happ, and Pedro Martinez need to step up and follow Lee’s lead. Its unfair to lump Martinez in here since he didn’t pitch in this series, but he’ll be counted on against his original team (bet the Dodgers wish they could have that trade back). Whatever happens it should be an entertaining series to watch, and more exciting than some of the first round snoozers.