NLCS Time: Dodgers or Phillies?
The NLCS starts tonight as the Dodgers and the Phillies square off. Only a trip the World Series is at stake. Most seem to be favoring Los Angeles in hopes of seeing Manny and Joe go against the Boston Red Sox, the other presumed favorite. In fact, thanks to Tim McCarver and Manny Ramirez, the Phillies have been all but forgotten.
Never mind the fact the Phillies had a better record than the Dodgers did, post Manny trade. This suits Philadelphia fans just fine. On the other side of the coin, some Dodger fans are worried about being jinxed with all the attention on Manny.
What to Watch For
The Phillies pitching staff versus Manny Ramirez. If the game’s in the balance, you almost have to walk him.
Ryan Howard versus the left-hand pitching of the Dodgers. If the Phillies are going to go to the World Series, Howard needs to produce some offense, lefties or not.
The Dodgers were the best pitching team during the regular season and Philadelphia had one of the best offenses. Something has to give, although, Philadelphia’s pitching staff wasn’t too bad in their own right.
Starting Pitchers for Game 1
Cole Hamels for Philly and Derek Lowe for LA. Hamels pitched masterfully in his outing against Milwaukee, while Lowe was simply “good” against Chicago (2 earned runs and seven hits in 6.0 innings).
Going against the grain here — Phillies in seven.