By Matt Curry, WSOE Sports
Well its about time; the time to find out if your season was a success. For one team, the year will be a success, and the other, missing the goal by one final step. The Yankees and Phillies will start their final bid at success this Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
Now, how did each team arrive in the series? The Yankees dismantled the Twins in the ALDS and then beat the unrelenting Angels in the ALCS. The defending champion Phillies defeated the Rockies in the NLDS and the Dodgers in the NLCS for the second straight year.
Lets start off by looking at the keys to a Yankee victory. The main point is the pitchers must be on their game and keep this powerful Phillies lineup out of the game. As a Mets fan, I have seen what the Phillies can do when you give them pitches to hit. The Yankees starters need to hit their spots on the corners and pitch this team low to ensure some ground ball outs. The bullpen must also look to be ready to sub in at any time. Look for Girardi to use pitchers for one or two batter late in the game against Utley and Howard, as he tries to hold the lead until Mariano Rivera enters the game. As for the Yankees offense, it all starts with the leadoff hitters getting on base for the big bats of Texiera and Rodriguez. A-ROD is looking for his first ever World Series ring, and look for him to be an impact player throughout the series.
The Phillies have to do what they did this year against the Yankees in interleague play, in which they took two of three games from the Yankees. They need their pitchers to hold off the most powerful offense in baseball. Look to hit some spots on the inside corner of the plate and jam the big hitters, otherwise stay outside because anything in the middle will be a home run. The Phillies bullpen will be huge in what I expect to be a high scoring series. Lidge struggles throughout the season, but has come out strong in the Post-Season, and he will need to be tough against the Yankees if they Phillies want to have a chance to close out the game. The Phillies offense will be facing a tough rotation and will look to Rollins to set the tone for Utley and Howard. Look for Werth and Victorino to be huge factors as they have been breakout players for the Phillies all year.
This Wednesday is the start of what should be an amazing World Series. The Phillies will throw Cliff Lee on the road at The Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia. This will be an extremely important game for each team because it will set the tone for the rest of the series. Look for this to be a close game, but nothing is assured with arguably the two greatest lineups in the MLB playing in this series.
With all the above stated, I think it is time for some predictions to be made. I look for the Yankees to win, in what will be a very entertaining series for guys like me who like to see a lot of runs. The series will probably go six games, with the Yankees celebrating on their field at Yankee Stadium. As for MVP’s of the series, look for A-ROD, Texiera, or C.C. Sabathia to be the top candidates.
Get Ready, Get Excited! This is what MLB fans have been waiting for the last five months. Lets see if the Phillies can defend their title!