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    NLCS Preview Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers

    Playoff Preview – NLCS Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies - Cybsball20

    Thursday, 10/9 @ Philadelphia
    LA – Lowe Phi – Hamels

    Friday, 10/10 @ Philadelphia
    LA – Billingsley Phi – Myers

    Sunday, 10/12 @ Los Angeles
    Phi – Moyer LA – Kuroda

    Monday, 10/13 @ Los Angeles
    Phi - Blanton LA – Lowe

    Wednesday. 10/15 @ Los Angeles
    Phi – Hamels LA – Billingsley

    Friday, 10/17 @ Philadelphia
    LA – Kuroda Phi – Myers

    Saturday, 10/18 @ Philadelphia
    LA – Lowe Phi – Myers


    Results This Season
    At Los Angeles
    8/11 Dodgers 8 Phillies 6
    WP Lowe LP Kendrick

    8/12 Dodgers 4 Phillies 3
    WP Kuo LP Romero

    8/14 Dodgers 7 Phillies 6
    WP Broxton LP Condrey

    8/15 Dodgers 3 Phillies 1
    WP Kuroda LP Myers

    At Philadelphia
    8/22 Phillies 8 Dodgers 1
    WP Kendrick LP Maddux

    8/23 Phillies 9 Dodgers 2
    WP Hamels LP Kershaw

    8/24 Phillies 5 Dodgers 2
    WP Durbin LP Beimel

    8/25 Phillies 5 Dodgers 0
    WP Myers LP Billingsley

    About the Dodgers

    The Dodgers reached the NLCS after a quick three game sweep of the Cubs. Against the Cubs, the Dodgers took advantage of stellar starting pitching, timely hitting, and Cub miscues. By finishing early, Torre was able to rest Derek Lowe to start him in game one. The Blue were led again by Manny Ramirez, who torched the Cubs to the tune of a .500 average, two home runs, and 11 total bases in only 10 at bats. Aside from Ramirez, only Russell Martin and Rafael Furcal hit over .300 in the series. Even with the small sample size, Furcal’s .467 OBP in the series is a very good sign for a team struggling to find a leadoff man with Furcal missing most of the year to a variety of injuries. James Loney and Russell Martin each had home runs to add to Manny’s two.

    Here is a look at the lineup we will likely see as the series kicks off in Philadelphia.
    Furcal (.333 BA, .467OBP, 4R)
    Martin (.308, HR, 5 RBI)
    Ramirez (.500, 2HR, 1.743 OPS)
    Ethier (.100, 4BB)
    Loney (.214, HR, 6 RBI)
    Kemp (.154, 2 2b)
    DeWitt (.273, 2 2b, RBI)
    Blake (.273, 2R, 2 RBI)

    The Dodgers could go with Kent at second base against the Phillies’ two left-handed starters, but Kent’s nagging injuries and the current team chemistry may relegate the former MVP to pinch hit duties. Kent, Juan Pierre, and Angel Berroa were the only bench players to see time. Pierre and Berroa will both be used as speed off the bench and defensive replacements.

    Starting Pitchers Lowe, Chad Billingsley, and Hiroki Kuroda were all solid, surrendering only three runs in 19 innings. The Bullpen was equally impressive with the exception of Takashi Saito who gave up three hits and 2 runs without getting an out. Saito will not be on the NLCS roster. With Saito not joining the team in the NLCS the club will likely add hard throwing lefty Hong-Chih Kuo to help battle the power bats in the middle of the Phillie lineup. Dodger Manager, Joe Torre is planning to bring game one starter back on three days rest for game four. Not only does Lowe have a brilliant postseason resume (5 wins, 3.31 ERA) but he is 2-0 with a 2.55ERA in three starts at Citizens Bank Park and 4-1 record and a 3.02 career ERA against the Phillies. If he is unable to go, the Blue will likely go with young left-hander Clayton Kershaw. If all goes to plan, Greg Maddux will see time late in games, perhaps even setting up Jonathan Broxton. Torre likes Maddux’s experience and durability, but the luxury that the 42 year old can get ready in a matter of seconds instead of minutes might be the most important in a tough spot.


    About the Phillies

    The Phillies were almost as impressive as the Dodgers in their four game series win over the Brewers. The dangerous Phillie offense swatted five home runs against the thin Brewer pitching staff, none of which came from Chase Utley or Ryan Howard. The top of the lineup was wreaking havoc at the top of the lineup all series. Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino combined for 11 hits, 11 runs, and 4 stolen bases. The Flyin’ Hawaiian would love nothing more than to come back and bite the team that left him open to the rule five draft not once, but twice. Another former Dodger, Jayson Werth, is also coming into the NLCS hot, hitting .313 with a home run in the NLDS. For the Phillies to compete they are going to need either Ryan Howard or Chase Utley to step up, preferably both.

    Dodger pitchers should face a lineup something like this…
    Rollins (.357, .1100 OPS, 2 2b, HR)
    Victorino (.357, .1257 OPS, 3 SB, HR)
    Utley (.133, 2b, 2 RBI)
    Howard (.182, 5 K, 5 BB)
    Burrell (.250, 2 HR, .1107 OPS)
    Werth (.313, SB, 3 2b)
    Feliz (.231, 2b)
    Ruiz (.071)

    Greg Dobbs could also see some time at third base and Manuel will use the trio of left handed hitters in Dobbs, Matt Stairs, and Geoff Jenkins as pinch hitters late in games.

    The Phillie pitchers held the potent Brewer lineup in check for the majority of the series, holding the crew to two runs or less in each of their three wins. Hamels was solid as always, going 8 inngings and allowing only 2 hits in a game one, 3-1 win. The 24-year old Hamels has thrown a ton of innings this year (227) but has had success against the Dodgers with a 2.57 ERA this year. Manuel had no idea what to expect out of game two starter Brett Myers after his struggles at the end of the year. But, the big righty came up with a big “boom, outa here” with seven solid innings, also only allowing two hits. Myers has also had success against Los Angeles with a 1.93 era and win this year. The ageless wonder, Jamie Moyer was just ok in game three before Joe Blanton gave the Phillie bullpen all they needed with six solid innings and a lead. The usually solid Phillie bullpen looked a little shaky against the Brewers, but closer Brad Lidge is still yet to blow a save.



    Key Players and Pitchers

    Los Angeles Dodgers
    Key Pitcher – Jonathan Broxton – The 24-year old will have a big weight on his broad shoulders. With the absence of Saito, Broxton will assume the role of closer for the NLCS and perhaps remainder of the post season. Broxton is familiar with the closer role, with 19 carreer saves (14 this year) but the postseason is a completely different story.

    Key Player – Andre Ethier – The Phillies have said they won’t be opposed to walking Manny Ramirez if the situation presents itself. That means that the 26-year-old Ethier will be counted upon to produce with men on base. Nobody has benefited more from Manny joining the team than Ethier and Dodger fans are hoping the trend continues.

    Philadelphia Phillies
    Key Pitcher – Brett Myers – Myers came up big in the NLDS but struggled at the end of the regular season, surrendering 14 earned runs in his last 8 1/3 innings. The Phillies need Myers to continue to perform at his peak in this roller coaster ride of a season. The increased media presence will no doubt present another set of issues for the firery right-hander. [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2p-Ee1hdKcc"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2p-Ee1hdKcc[/ame]
    Key Player – Chase Utley – The Phillies are going to need Chase Utley to break out of his slump, especially if Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino keep tearing up the bases. Sure, a run here and there is nice, but to keep the Dodgers away the Phillies will need sustained rallies and that means Utley needs to step up.


    Game Preview and Predictions
    Game One – Lowe vs. Hamels in Philadelphia 7:22 PM
    This one has pitching duel written all over it and doesn’t disappoint. Lowe continues his post-season dominance and hands it off to the pen after seven solid innings. Despite the small yard, the Dodgers win this game by manufacturing runs and playing great defense behind Lowe. Dodgers win 3-1.

    Game Two – Billingsley vs. Myers in Philadelphia 3:35 PM
    This could be the biggest and best game in the series. Myers and Billingsley both come out throwing gas but a couple of early mistakes by Billingsley come back to bite him and the Phillies carry a 1-0 lead into the late innings. Both teams add a run late, Phillies win 2-1.

    Game Three – Kuroda vs. Moyer in Los Angeles 7:22 PM
    Moyer baffles the young Dodger hitters through the first five, surrendering a couple of big hits to the veterans. Kuroda cruises through the Phillies lineup and the game goes to the bullpens tied at 2. Dodgers win this battle late 3-2.

    Game Four – Lowe vs. Blanton in Los Angeles 7:22 PM
    The Dodgers stick to their strategy of starting Lowe on three days rest but he isn’t sharp and gives up a few cheap runs. Blanton battles and keeps his team in the game. Both offenses start to hit and the Phillies win 6-4.

    Game Five – Hamels vs. Billingsley in Los Angeles 7:22 PM
    Both pitchers come out sharp but Billingsley tires early. The Phillies capitalize on the early call to the pen score a few in the middle innings by the long ball. Howard finally wakes up with a big game and the Phillies take the series back to Philadelphia, 5-3.

    Game Six – Kuroda vs. Myers in Philadelphia 7:22 PM
    Dodgers come out swinging in a big way and this one is never close. Myers gets knocked out in the fourth and the Dodgers win 8-3.

    Game Seven – Lowe vs. Moyer in Philadelphia 7:22 PM
    In a long, offensive, tightly played game, neither pitches out of the fifth as both managers play it very safe nor it becomes a battle of the bullpens. The Dodgers get good outs out of Maddux but Kershaw struggles and the Phillies head to the series behind a 6-4 win.



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    Re: NLCS Preview Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers

    Dodger fans must be really nervous or quietly confident since they aren't blasting my predictions...



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    Re: NLCS Preview Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers

    Dodgers fan here. I would never blast you - your posts are always well reasoned and respectful. Plus, you have info the rest of us don't and I appreciate hearing it.

    I honestly have no idea how this series will go. I was much more confident with the Cubs because I've followed them all year. I haven't followed the Phillies.

    A question for you. If the Dodgers should come out of game 3 with a 2 - 1 lead, and either Kershaw or Maddux are rested, do you think Torre would start either of those guys?

    I also wouldn't be surprised to see Ethier back in the 3 spot with Manny at the 4. His production has dropped notably batting behind Manny and Loney seems to be getting key hits.

    The thing I'm most nervous about is the layoff. The Dodgers were on a roll, but haven't played since Saturday.


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    Re: NLCS Preview Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers

    Good write up!

    I see some higher scoring games than you do but not by much. Also think Moyer will get rocked. Just a feeling I have



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    Re: NLCS Preview Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers

    From what I have been told, Lowe is a near lock for game four. Maddux may be used as the primary set up man because of his experience and the contrast to Broxton. I think Torre is also trying to protect Kershaw as much as possible.



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    Re: NLCS Preview Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers

    Fantastic preview, there will be ALOT more runs scored though, IMO..



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    Re: NLCS Preview Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers

    Quote Originally Posted by cybsball20 View Post
    Dodger fans must be really nervous or quietly confident since they aren't blasting my predictions...
    Maybe with the young team, we're all just happy to finally win a post season series after 20 years. It's hard to know how young kids will react as the pressure builds up.

    Great analysis! Don't know too many analysts who predict not only the winners, but the the winning scores too...


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    Re: NLCS Preview Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers

    Quote Originally Posted by cybsball20 View Post
    Dodger fans must be really nervous or quietly confident since they aren't blasting my predictions...
    I'm a little of both if that's possible. I'm always nervous as a fan (afterall, I am a Cyclone fan too), but I'm also quietly confident. I honestly had no idea or reason to believe they would sweep the Cubs. I hoped they would win the NLDS in 4 or 5 games, but a sweep never crossed my mind until after Game 2. This team has been very streaky this year. See August 22-September 7: 16 games, 8 straight losses followed by 8 straight wins, and that's WITH Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake (the first four losses on the 8-game losing streak was to Philadelphia in Philly by the way). I've never been able to be very comfortable with this team all year. They've been very inconsistent for a lot of reasons, and I can only hope that they've turned the corner at just the right time here in October.

    All that being said, I don't know how any Dodger fan can't be at least a little confident after sweeping a team with the best record in the NL. Granted, the Cubs have been choke artists in the post season this century, but it doesn't take away from how well the Dodgers played in that series. They are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now and hopefully they can ride the wave for another 8 wins.


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    Re: NLCS Preview Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers

    As I'm thinking about this, game 1 is absolutely critical for the Dodgers. Game 2 starts Billingsley. As good as he's been, when he has trouble it's usually in the early innings when he's overthrowing. He's going to start game 2 on 8 days rest - which means he's very likely to be "too strong" and overthrow. Then Kuroda starts game 3, and he's been 50/50 all season, although the long layoff will likely help him.

    If L.A. does not get game 1, any confidence I have will go to pure nervousness. Lowe needs to be the man tonight.


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    Re: NLCS Preview Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers

    Quote Originally Posted by djkent01 View Post
    As I'm thinking about this, game 1 is absolutely critical for the Dodgers. Game 2 starts Billingsley. As good as he's been, when he has trouble it's usually in the early innings when he's overthrowing. He's going to start game 2 on 8 days rest - which means he's very likely to be "too strong" and overthrow. Then Kuroda starts game 3, and he's been 50/50 all season, although the long layoff will likely help him.

    If L.A. does not get game 1, any confidence I have will go to pure nervousness. Lowe needs to be the man tonight.

    Agree 100% on all points...



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    Re: NLCS Preview Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers

    Torre fooled all of us. Batted Ethier at #2. Paid of in 1st inning. But still in front of Manny versus LH pitching.


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    Re: NLCS Preview Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers

    I love seeing LA this deep in the bullpen in what the 3rd inning. Man these last two days have been great, hope tomorrow has a much better feel to it.


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    Re: NLCS Preview Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers

    A little fire between these teams, I love it!



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    Re: NLCS Preview Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers

    Quote Originally Posted by cybsball20 View Post
    A little fire between these teams, I love it!
    Why would Manny be so stupid to risk an ejection/suspension.



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    Re: NLCS Preview Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers

    I think its funny that it was former Dodger Davey Lopes doing all the talking on the Phillies side...



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