Tomorrow is the day that baseball fans have been waiting for. The fall classic is here and even more outstanding is it starts in the Bronx. Let’s take a look at some of the critical factors involved in the upcoming series.
1. Starting Pitching
There is a chance that CC Sabathia for the Yankees, and Cliff Lee for the Phillies can both start games one, four, and seven in the World Series. This gives a decided advantage to the Yankees. The rotation behind Sabathia consists of AJ Burnett and Andy “big game” Pettitte. Burnett has been shaky at times this post season but has pitched well overall. Pettitte is arguably the best playoff pitcher of all time. On the flip side the Phillies will throw Pedro Martinez in game two and Cole Hamels in game three. Pedro is thirty-eight years old and is right handed. This gives the Yankees switch hitters an opportunity to take advantage of the short porch in right field. Pedro is also the type of pitcher that the Yankees feast on. He is a fast ball pitcher with a change up. He used to throw 98mph with a 75mph change. That is just not the case anymore. He is throwing 89-90 now. He is crafty and a good pitcher without a doubt, but I feel he is a poor matchup in Yankee Stadium. Then again what do I know.
2. Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard
Both guys are beasts. Both tied Lou Gehrig’s record for 8 straight post season games with an RBI. Their play in my eyes will determine who is World Series Champions. Alex Rodriguez has hit .438 with 12RBI and 5HR so far in the post season. That ladies and gentlemen is disgusting. It is also a complete turn around for A Rod compared to his dismal past postseason performances. Of course don’t choke on your cheeses steaks Phillies fans you guys have Ryan Howard. Howard has hit .355 with 15RBI and 2 dingers. If one of these two guys falters in the postseason surely their team will suffer.
3. Mariano Rivera and Brad Lidge
Let’s talk about apples and oranges. Mariano Rivera is the pillar of the postseason. Rivera has a postseason ERA of 0.77. Seriously, that’s what the man’s ERA is. I mean that would be a skewed stat for a reliever in the postseason, you know, if he hasn’t pitched in 28 postseason series. I mean that is just laughable. In 128 innings pitched he has let up eleven earned runs. He is a rock solid player and gives the Yankees a serious edge. In the other dugout Brad Lidge is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In the regular season this year he blew 11 saves. However, in the postseason this year he has three saves in five games and is yet to let up a run. I don’t know which one will show up for the Phillies but the Fanatic is praying to Jesus that it’s the Lidge from this years ALDS and ALCS.
4. Charlie Manuel and Joe Girardi
Charlie Manuel has the distinct edge in this matchup. Joe Girardi has only managed a team in two postseason series. Charlie Manuel is a World Series Champion. There is something to be said for someone who has been there and done that. Granted Girardi is no rookie to the World Series stage. He was a huge part of the Yankees World Series Championships in the late 90’s. There is a big difference between playing in a World Series and managing one. Girardi has been second guesses already in the playoffs. He is often accused of over managing. On the other hand, Charlie Manuel is a gut manager much like Joe Torre. The greatest example of Charlie Manuel’s style is the way he has stuck with Brad Lidge in the postseason after his wretched regular season.
No matter how the cookie crumbles in this World Series one thing is for sure, it will be entertaining. It is the first time in a long time the two most talented ball clubs from their respective leagues are facing off against one another. Enjoy the World Series, I know I will.
By Michael “Genevosey” Genovese