|Musing on the Playoffs||| Print ||
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on October 23, 2010
Ok, I've been silent for a couple of weeks as I've watched the underdogs take shots at the overwhelming favorites.Â As I write this, both the Phillies and Yankees are down 3 games to 2.Â One of them I believe will make it back to win their series and I don't think it's the Yankees.
That's because, while the Giants have the pitching, I don't think they have the offense.Â And I do apologize to all my Giants loving friends, but I think the Giants would make for a terribly boring World Series as I'd expect the Rangers or the Yankees to essentially run roughshod over them.
Even if Cliff Lee was not looming for a potential game seven, I think the Yankees are in deep trouble and that the 2011 Yankees will look very different than the 2010 ones do.Â Should the Yankees lose today, they'll do baseball fans a favor by setting up the potential for the best matchup that could possibly happen in the postseason -- Halladay vs. Lee in Game One of the World Series.
Sorry Yankees fans: that would be far more exciting than a game seven in the ALCS.
Of course the Yankee and Giants would both have to cooperate for that to happen and the Phillies are showing some of the same cracks that the Yankees are.Â They too are an older team by baseball standards.Â Of their regular position players only Shane Victorino is less than 30.Â Admittedly their pitching has a lot more depth than the Yankees does, but the Phillies are another team who'll need to transition either for 2011, or by 2012, if they want to remain a relevant postseason team.
The Giants are an obstacle and a fairly big one for the Phils even without an offense that matches up against any of the remaining contenders.Â That's because they too have great pitching depth and two great starters left as bullets in their NLCS arsenal.Â It only takes one pitcher on a good night to shut down even the most potent of offenses.Â Either Jonathan Sanchez or Matt Cain could easily send the Phillies home to start their transition for the future by Saturday afternoon.
And it's possible that the Yankees could actually wake up too.Â Missing Mark Teixeira should hurt them, but considering his lack of hitting that might not really be such a big loss at this point. Teixeira was 0 for 14 in the ALCS, the longest oh-fer in one postseason series. New York's pitching on the other hand, and the Texas hitting could be a big issue.Â The Yankees no longer have a Roger Clemens ready to bean the opposition's best hitter and knock him out of the Series as they did back in 2000.
That makes the Rangers a very scary team, and one which would match up well with the Phillies.Â On paper that would make the most exciting World Series of the bunch, even if it wouldn't get the highest television ratings.
And Halladay v. Lee, what a match up that would be.