The Commish Online www.thecommishonline.com
October 17, 2010
Cincinnati ran into a bulldozer known as Roy Halladay and company, while Atlanta did themselves no favors in booting the ball, and the series, away against San Francisco. The focus of the ALCS will be on impressive lineups 1 through 9, but the NLCS figures to be all about the pitching matchups.
San Francisco vs. Philadelphia
San Francisco made some timely additions to its lineup with Pat Burrell and Mike Fontenot, but make no mistake, the NLCS is a matchup of hitting and pitching in Philadelphia against (only) pitching in San Francisco.
Winning one-run games has been a habit for the Giants, but against the Phillies, it will be important just to stay within striking distance. Buster Posey and Aubrey Huff are solid hitters, but they can't compare to the punch of Utley, Werth, Howard, and Ibanez, not to mention Victorino and Ruiz, both whom always seem to come up big in the playoffs.
Add the trio of Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels to the mix, and it seems impossible for San Francisco to win four games. Fortunately for the Giants, Lincecum, Sanchez, and Cain are capable of outpitching anyone on a given day. Keep in mind that as impressive as Roy Halladay was last week, he did lose 10 games in the regular season.
If San Francisco is going to win the series, plenty of timely hitting will be needed. The problem with timely hitting is that you can't count on it. You can count on talent, but timely hitting is as random as untimely hitting.
Before it's all said and done, Lincecum and Cain are just too talented to let San Francisco get swept, but Philadelphia beats out the Giants in just about every category that matters. San Fran will find a way to win a couple close games (don't expect more than one-run victories), but it will be Philadelphia's offense, not its pitching, that will carry the Phils to the World Series.
Prediction: Philadelphia in 6