A Preview of World Series Proportion

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 ·

This is it. We are one day away. We're a little more than 24 hours away from watching the Phillies play their first World Series game in 15 years. 80-08 seems to be what the Philly faithful hopes reverses the Philadelphia-Tampa trend. Will the simple reversal of dates reverse the past?

For those who don't know, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Eagles and Flyers on route to their first ever World Championships. However, both the Eagles and Flyers won the first ever postseason meetings between the respected Tampa teams. Which trend will hold?

The Phillies have the opportunity to stop the city's 25 year drought without a championship. Instead of the "It has to end at some point" mentality, I'd like to use the "It will end in 2008."

Now, it is time to evaluate the teams playing in this Fall Classic. Also, mark my word, this World Series will play out better than anything the Red Sox and Dodgers could have offered. Thank the Phillies and the Rays outsiders. They're the reason that you may be able to tolerate Joe Buck for entire World Series.

Offensively, during the regular season, the Phillies scored more runs in the NL than Rays scored with a DH in the AL. They did all of this without using a DH. As a whole, I like the Phillies better than the Rays. Both teams lacked a player hitting over .300 in the season, but they did hit a lot of home run (214-180 Phillies edge).

During the postseason, the Rays averaged 5.8 runs per game compared to 4.44 for the Phillies. Both teams relied heavily on the long ball to move to continue their postseason run. Hey, when you have power in the lineup, why is that a bad thing? Both teams strike out a lot and both teams have a tremendous amount of speed on the basepaths. The Phillies are also the best in terms of stealing bases effectively at an 84% rate.

In terms of experience, the edge still goes to the Phillies. The Rays are a young team and a veteran guy like Jamie Moyer might be able to use that to his advantage. However, it is the World Series and it is hard to judge how the hitting will be when both teams have barely, if at all, faced the opposing pitchers.

When it comes to the rotation, the Rays have the better staff. While Hamels is easily the best pitcher in the World Series, Shields, Garza, and Sonnanstine are better than the rest of our staff. Brett Myers can be good, but you never know what he'll give you. He can throw 8 quality innings or three innings of bad pitching. He is one guy that will show you what he has in the first or second inning to give you an idea on how the night will fair. James Shields is a far more consistent pitcher and has practically become the Rays "ace."

The game 3 match-up is probably the most lopsided match-up of the series. Matt Garza, the ALCS MVP, will face off against a struggling Jamie Moyer. Garza has been great this postseason, but he will walk a few guys here and there. The Phillies will have to try and do what the White Sox did and be patient with him. Make him pitch to them. Jamie Moyer has a good career track record against Tampa Bay and pitching against young Florida teams in general, but that doesn't mean shit right now. Moyer will have to step it up in game 3. He could be the difference maker in the series.

In game 4, we'll likely see Andy Sonnanstine against Joe Blanton. They're both virtually the same style of pitcher. They're flyball pitchers who rely more on their defense than striking guys out. They've both pitched well this postseason for being at the backend of the rotation. With the game being in Philly, the wind and cold could expect how the game plays out.

If the series does extend past 5 games, the Rays will have a significant advantage in games 6 & 7, especially in Tampa. Pitching in the NL, the Phillies allowed 3.2 runs per game. The Rays allowed 3.72.

Both teams have a good bullpen, but I'll give the back end of the bullpen advantage to the Phillies. It is really hard to compete with Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge right now. They've been a great 1-2 punch to close out game for the Phillies. The Rays will likely rely on J.P Howell and David Price to close out games, and it'll be hard to score late on them. It'll be interesting to see if the whole "pitching in Philly" mirage gets in the head of their youngsters.

In the postseason, the Phillies entire staff allowed 3.2 runs per game. The Rays allowed 3.72. We're dealing with two good lineups and two good pitching staffs. So, we're without the Sox. We're without Mannywood. We're without Torre vs. Francona. In this series, it is set up to see some very good games that will keep the attention of even the casual fan.

So, I will leave you with this Philadelphia fans. This team will either be the start of a new era or just another story shelved in the library of disappointments. Whatever happens, keep your head up with this team. I know, it sounds very hypocritical coming from me, but keep your head up. Take it all in stride. Everyone is picking against us. No one outside of the "City of Brotherly Love" understands how much we need this. My gut instincts say we'll finally get the final prize.

This song was created by Philadelphia's own Canadian Invasion. The vocalist could use some work, but I like the tune.

...and we'll sing come on Phils, come on Phils, come on Phils, come on Phils, fight.


A small introduction...

We Hate to Lose began in October 2007. The initial purpose of the website was to provide news updates and commentary on all four major sports teams in Philadelphia. Because of time-constraints, in April of 2009, I decided to post only on my first-love, the Philadelphia Phillies.

My name is Justin Evans and I hope you enjoy the site.

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