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NLDS Preview: Cardinals vs. Phillies

Sep 29, 2011, 12:30 PM EST

Roy Halladay

You can’t predict baseball, but you can at least lay out the parameters. So let’s take a look at what the Phillies and the Cardinals have in store for us in the National League Division Series.

The Teams

St. Louis Cardinals (90-72) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (102-60)

The Matchups

Game 1 Saturday in Philadelphia: Kyle Lohse vs. Roy Halladay
Game 2 Sunday in Philadelphia: Undecided vs. Cliff Lee
Game 3 Tuesday in St. Louis: Cole Hamels vs. Chris Carpenter
Game 4 (if necessary) Wednesday in St. Louis: Roy Oswalt vs. Undecided
Game 5 (if necessary) Next Friday in Philadelphia: Undecided vs. Undecided

Analysis: I think Tony La Russa is leaning way too hard on Undecided here.  His arm is really gonna be sore at this rate.  My guess: he goes with Jaime Garcia — a groundball pitcher — for Game 2 in the cozy confines of Citizens Bank Park, and then Edwin Jackson — a flyball pitcher — at home in Game 4 at the more pitcher-friendly Busch Stadium, but La Russa could flip-flop those guys around.  Carpenter, who threw a shutout Wednesday night, is a lock for Game 3. As for the Phillies, Oswalt in Game 4 is an assumption. If the Phillies found themselves down 2-1 going into that game, I have this feeling we’d see Doc Halladay again.

The Storylines

  • It might be tempting to say the Phillies will simply steamroll the Cardinals, but the Cardinals took six of nine from the Phillies head-to-head this season;
  • One of the reasons: Jaime Garcia. He has been brilliant against Philadelphia for the past two years, allowing one run against them in 15 innings in 2011;
  • Another reason to give the Cardinals a puncher’s chance: the best offense in the National League. If anyone can touch the Phillies’ dominant starting rotation, it’s these guys;
  • That said, Matt Holliday and Rafael Furcal are both banged up.  Allen Craig has been hot lately and will take over for Holliday, but if Furcal can’t go, it’s a big falloff to Nick Punto;
  • Both of these teams have seen high drama — not the good kind — from their bullpens in late innings. The Phillies crew is the more talented bunch, but they’ve had their bad moments. The Cardinals blew 26 saves this year. It’s safe to say that a lot of these games will be decided late.
  • Quite a study in contrasts with these two managers too. Charlie Manuel is the epitome of no-nonsense. Tony La Russa is nonsense personified. Expect a lot of tight closeups of these guys blowing bubbles and looking concerned during playoff broadcasts.

Prediction

Despite the in-season advantage the Cardinals had and despite their potent offense, it’s pretty hard to say that they can beat Halladay, Lee and Hamels. Heck, hard to say they could beat two of those guys.  Remember: the 2010 Reds had the best offense in the NL and they just got steamrolled by Philly in the first round themselves. Tony La Russa always has a trick or two up his sleeve, but I don’t think it’ll be enough to overcome the Phillies.

PHILLIES WIN THE SERIES 3-1.

  1. cardsfanindelaware - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    The Philadelphia Phillies history of the past couple of years…

    2008 World Series Winners
    2009 World Series Losers
    2010 NLCS Losers
    2011 NLDS losers

    The Phillies should have just rolled over for the crippled Braves in the last series so they could have made their playoff run a lot easier… but we are talking about Philadelphia here, so I understand their lack of mental capacity to figure that out…

    GO CARDINALS!!

    • bigxrob - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:39 PM

      If it wasn’t the Cards, it would have been the D-backs. You might be selling Arizona a little short.

    • cardsfanindelaware - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:41 PM

      by the way, Craig’s love for Philly is definately showing… The Phillies winning the series 3-1?? MWAHAHAHA!!

      The Phillies will win 1 at home and that will be all she wrote…

      ’nuff said.

      • firedude7160 - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:50 PM

        Thank you for showing us all that you just arrived here in these parts. You may be the first person to say that Craig loves Philly

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:49 PM

      Is that the extent of your analysis or will you bring actual reasons as to why the Cardinals will win the series?

    • andrewlondon22 - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:53 PM

      Hey idiot, the Phillies would have had to play Arizona if they rolled over and let the Braves win. That would of only helped out Milwaukee. Now the only case that rolling over would have helped Philly is to force a one game playoff so that St. Louis would of had one less day of rest. Either way, like Craig said, Philly will dismantle the Cards just like the Reds last year. Enjoy the lack of performance from Pujols and the inflated contract he will get next year.

      • mobblogic - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:03 PM

        Hey idiot yourself..I guess sometimes you really can’t see the forest for the trees.You don’t have to like Pujols to appreciate his talent. Were his numbers off this year? Sure, .First time in 10 years he hasn’t hit .300, 100 RBI 30HR….oh yeah that’s right he hit .299 with 99 RBI and 37 HR. Hell, most MLB playes would take that “off year” for a career. And if he hadn’t had the hot Sept. he had, the Cards would not be in the playoffs. Come on…give credit where credit’s due.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:10 PM

        Please know I do not want Delaware’s ignorant comments to reflect badly on Cardinal Nation as a whole.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:13 PM

        “Lack of performance from Pujols.” WTF? I can only assume you are knew to the game of Baseball.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:13 PM

        “Lack of performance from Pujols.” WTF? I can only assume you are new to the game of Baseball.

    • Jonny 5 - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:58 PM

      Actually, the mental capacity was more like.

      Attain team record of 102 wins. Check.

      Attain team record for most wins for a manager. Check

      Worry about the Playoffs when the playoffs begin. Check

      cardsfanindelaware,The Phills are coming to get your Cards. Just like in “The Grudge”. They can’t stop it, and they can’t hide, they will come and get anyone standing between them and that hideous trophy with all the little flags circling it. They are “the Grudge”.

      • aceshigh11 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:33 PM

        Wear your grudge like a crown of negativity.
        Calculate what we will or will not tolerate.
        Desperate to control all and everything.
        Unable to forgive your scarlet lettermen.

        Clutch it like a cornerstone. Otherwise it all comes down.
        Justify denials and grip it to the lonesome end.
        Clutch it like a cornerstone. Otherwise it all comes down.
        Terrified of being wrong. Ultimatum prison cell.

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:38 PM

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:40 PM

        TOOL ROCKS!!!

        I was compelled, sorry.

      • aceshigh11 - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:06 PM

        I thought you were the TOOL fan, and would enjoy that. :)

    • gstthe3 - Sep 30, 2011 at 11:41 AM

      Lack of mental capacity. Wow! If they let the Braves in, the Phils wouldn’t have to play them (the Braves) in the first round. Instead they would have to play the Diamonbacks. No thanks, I’ll take the Cards, the Phils starters can handle this lineup.
      Bottom line…..The Cards have to play their best to win, while the Phillies have to be at their worst to lose.

  2. horpythemad - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    Game 3 Tuesday in Milwaukee: Cole Hamels vs. Undecided

    I just don’t think it’s fair for the Cardinals to play a “home” game in Milwaukee. I know they’re a wild card team but that seems a little extreme.

  3. kopy - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    Game 3 Tuesday in Milwaukee:”

    • kopy - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:41 PM

      It’s just as well somebody beat me too it since I posted before I finished the comment.

    • bigxrob - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:42 PM

      We need to give Craig a pass on that, he had a rough night.

      • paperlions - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:58 PM

        I can’t believe there hasn’t been a serious “Of course, Bud Selig finds a way to host more playoff games in Milwaukee since he owns the Brewers” comment in response to the error.

  4. cur68 - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Ask and ye shall receive! Playoff predictions and matchups are coming in, boy oh boy. Our boy Craig is still suffering from his partial catatonia in the Lair, hence the “Milwaukee” but all else looks cogent

    Well, lookee here, the Phills beat the Cards 3 games to 1? Is that a prediction or did you read my mind? Because Harry LeRoy Hallday III will win, as will Cifton Phifer Lee and Colbert Michael Hamels. In fact I have it as a sweep. Much tougher to handicap, Yankees/Tigers & Rays/Diamondbacks. Lookin’ forward to that.

    • jimbo1949 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:43 PM

      Our boy Craig is still suffering from his partial catatonia in the Lair, hence the “Milwaukee” but all else looks cogent
      .
      Much tougher to handicap, Yankees/Tigers & Rays/Diamondbacks.
      .
      People in glass houses :-o

      • cur68 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:57 PM

        Guilty!

  5. paperlions - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    I am pretty sure Garcia will be pitching game one…that will put him on “normal” rest, he’s better than Lohse, and luckily he’s left-handed…meaning LaRussa will almost certainly start him in game 1 so that he could also go in game 5 (if there is one).

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:53 PM

      I would absolutely start Garcia in Game 1. He has always pitched well against the Phillies and has the potential to be dominant. I wouldn’t feel confident if I were a St. Louis fan if the Lohse is pegged to start 2 games against Halladay.

      • paperlions - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:56 PM

        I wouldn’t be confident if Lohse is pegged to start two games against Blanton

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:59 PM

        That is a bit of hyperbole.

      • paperlions - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:00 PM

        Guilty.

      • cur68 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:27 PM

        By the way ‘lions, let me just say how thrilled I am that your rooting interest remains in the dance. I look forward to your critique and analysis of Tony LaRussa’s management style and ability. Don’t hold back now, y’here? I’m trying to round out my vocab for scath and between you and Old Gator I think I’m nearly set to embark on my career of Literary Criticism. Gonna be a great series.

      • fearlessleader - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:29 PM

        The smart money would save Garcia for game 3 or 4, given that he’s far more effective at home. Lohse isn’t a big name, but he’s been terrific in September, and if he (like Edwin Jackson and….well, all of them) can avoid getting hit early, the Cards have a chance. Maybe not a big chance, but a chance!

      • Nick C - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:21 PM

        I do believe that Lohse just beat Halladay on 9/19. And the Phils started every regular except Howard (who had a foot ouchy and BTW Holliday did not play and he’s better than Howard). Lohse’s line: 7.1, 7 hits, 1R, 0ER, 1BB, 5K. Halladays line: 8, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 4BB, 6K.

        Also, Garcia has absolutely dominated the Phils in his career to the tune of: .174/.254/.248 against.

        And the Cards took 6 of 9 from the Phils this year.

        Oh and the Cards hung a loss on Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Oswalt this year.

        So maybe this just might be a competitive series.

      • Nick C - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:23 PM

        fearless – The smart move would be start Garcia in game 2 because he is a groundballing lefty who has dominated the Phils regardless of where the games are played whereas Jackson is a flyball pitcher who would benefit from the larger dimensions of Busch III.

    • thefalcon123 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:40 PM

      I think LaRussa may still be a little gun shy about starting a young, talented lefty in game 1 of the postseason.

      • Nick C - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:37 PM

        I see what you did there.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:43 PM

        Dead on Falcon. And Jaime’s splits have not been good all year long. In fact, (other than the Phillies)…he has essentially been lights out at home…and flat dead on the road. As nervous as Lohse makes me by starting game one that is who I would start. We gotta’ have a split the first two games.
        Soooo…
        Game #1 = Lohse
        Game #2 = Carp (on short rest)
        Game #3 = Jaime
        Game #4 = Jackson
        Game #5 = Bob Gibson

  6. jshamrock - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Rollover! Maybe in St. Louis teams rollover. Not in Philadelphia. The Phillies would never rollover. Why should they? They’re the best team in baseball and they spent the last six months proving it. As far a Craig liking the Phils, he’s a Braves fan. Further he was generous to the Cards, they aren’t going to win a game. They backed into the playoffs compliments of the Phillies and now they’re going to get knocked out by them. I’ll be surprised if the Cardinals score a run. Enjoy Pujols last games in a Cards uniform.

    • paperlions - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:12 PM

      You make Philly Phans proud with your stereotypical ignorance (finishing the year 23-9 is the polar opposite of backing into the playoffs), over-confidence (the Cardinals were 6-3 against the Phils, beating Hamels, Lee, and Halladay along the way….of the big 3, only Lee had a W against StL), and douchebaggery (reveling in the potential of a team losing an iconic player to free agency). Don’t ever change stereotypical Philly Phan, it is a comfort knowing what to expect from you.

      • jshamrock - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:29 PM

        Hey Einstein, if the Phillies don’t sweep the Braves to end the season, your Cards don’t back in. Fact. Just say thank you and get back on your meds.

      • cur68 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:39 PM

        jsham: ease up there bubba. The Braves collapsed and the Cards played well, very, very well. They didn’t back into anything. The earned it the hard way combined with a Braves cave-job.

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:43 PM

        Take it easy there PL, there are plenty of Phills fans that are reasonable. No need to paint with such a wide brush there buddy.

        Jshamrock, the Cards deserved it more than the Braves, plain and simple.

      • Alex K - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:48 PM

        I would like to cosign everything paper said. And I’m a Cubs fan!

        Also, jshamrock…doesn’t backing in mean that they played badly down the stretch and made it in spite of themselves?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:51 PM

        I would like to agree with everything Cur said…not only in this post but ever.

      • cur68 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:59 PM

        Aww shucks ‘army. You keep writing stuff like that and I’m going to have to learn to blush. I’d rather not; looks painful.

      • gostlcards5 - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:09 PM

        I think what ‘lions is saying is that shamrock’s comments are what gives some Phillies fans a bad reputation on here. Clearly, I think we all know that is not the case with all of them, and I wouldn’t paint them with such a broad brush. I’m just looking forward to a great series! :)

      • paperlions - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:21 PM

        I know Johnny, that is why I phrased it that way (stereotypical as opposed to typical)….I do realize that all fan (and phan) bases have a great deal of variety…but the outspoken nature of the stereotyped Philly Phan has undeservedly earned that reputation for all Philly Phans….which is why I tried (unsuccessfully, it turns out) to refer to this guy as the stereotypical phan, because all of the negative traits unfairly applied to all Philly phans are manifest in his comment.

        The first comment by a Cardinal fan up top was embarrassing to me….gave me a little taste of what it would be like on a daily basis to be a Philly Phan….in that context, I should have been more careful/sensitive…sorry.

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:35 PM

        PL, my skin is thicker than the skin residing on the ass of Dumbo’s Mom. Growing up in New Jersey will do that to a person. No harm, No foul. I know you were just venting. We’re cool as usual. Actually I expect a fair amount of trash talking now that the playoffs are beginning, and I will not only expect it, but I’ll welcome it as well. I must admit I do hate being lumped together with other fans who give us all bad names though. It’s the one thing that really gets my goat, “stereotypes”. Because if you will accept a stereotype as having merit, what’s to stop you from giving merit to all the other stereotypes floating around out there? It’s a sore spot for me.

        Now, let’s talk about how the “Country Bumpkin” is about to outmanage TLR by undermanaging the Phills.. :P

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:35 PM

        PL, my skin is thicker than the skin residing on the ass of Dumbo’s Mom

        And that’s a visual I won’t get rid of for quite some time. Thanks!

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:26 PM

      Shamrock: Backed in to the playoffs? They went something like 5 – 1 against the Braves (sweeping them the last series). They were 10 1/2 games back on August 25 and went 23 – 9 the rest of the way. 23 and freaking 9! This would equate to the biggest comeback in the History of the game. The games been around of few years. I point this out as your ignorance reflects a lack of baseball acumen. Then you somehow manage to surprass your idiotic comments by openly seeming to revel in AP potentially leaving the team. A “true” Baseball fan would NEVER hope for that. Hell…Brewers, Redlegs and Cubs fans have stated they would like to see him finish with the Cardinals. Why? Because it’s good for the game of Baseball. You Sir…are a Moron.

  7. kandh2004 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    @cardsfanindelaware u just wrote what u wish the cards could have done in the same time period. What have the cards done since they won in 06 nothing same as this year. Anyway anybody saying something from a state that is smaller then my driveway doesn’t really count anyways

    • thefalcon123 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:41 PM

      Wow! You’re driveway is bigger than Delaware? You much be rich! Either that or you just really talented at marking retarded metaphors.

    • chrisdtx - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:55 PM

      What have the Phillies done since they won in 08, nothing same as this year.

  8. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Berkman has actually tagged the Philly starters pretty well, but the rest of the team, not so much.

    • gostlcards5 - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:02 PM

      I think you should check your facts. Pujols hit somewhere around .380 against the Phillies this season, I believe.

      • gostlcards5 - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:19 PM

        Sorry, I hate to guess and not be informed… — .385 / .577 / 1.005 was Pujols’ line against the Phillies this year.

  9. deep64blue - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    This preview shows why we need to change the structure – to ensure the Wild Card is a difficult route compared to a division winner.

    What benefit do the Phillies get from being a Winner – one more home game.

    There should be a one game playoff tomorrow night with the winners starting the NLDS at 1pm in Philly Saturday afternoon.

    • gostlcards5 - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:12 PM

      I agree with you, ‘blue. There should be some kind of penalty for wild card winners. 2-1-2 format, maybe? There is barely any advantage to winning the most games in the league, especially in baseball, where home-field advantage doesn’t mean as much as it did in the 70’s and 80’s.

  10. thefalcon123 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    VS Cards:

    Halladay, 2 games, 0-1, 3.21 ERA, 14 IP, 11/6 k/bb
    Lee: 2 games, 1-1, 1.76 ERA, 15 IP, 7/7 k/bb
    Hamels 1 game, 0-1, 5.14 ERA, 7 IP, 9/0 K/bb

    • gostlcards5 - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:07 PM

      Yep. The Cards have hit Hamels very well the past few years. They hit Halladay OK this year. It’s really Lee that has provided problems for St Louis. I’d like to see Lee lined up against Carpenter for 2 games in the series, but it won’t happen. Would be like the Schilling/Morris matchups in (what?) 2002. And the Cards lost that series, but man, it was a heck of a lot of fun to watch!

    • Joe - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:59 PM

      Halladay was relatively ineffective against the Reds in the 2010 regular season, but had a pretty good outing against them in the NLDS, if I recall. Not discouting the Cards, but this isn’t the same flat Phillies team that went into the playoffs last year.

      • thefalcon123 - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:38 PM

        Look man, the Phillies rotation is absurd and I need to cling to whatever small-sample size data I can find to help me cling to even a little bit of hope here.

      • gostlcards5 - Sep 30, 2011 at 2:23 PM

        Clearly, you are right, Joe (nice name, btw…we share that). It just should be pointed out that the Cards have hit both Halladay (decently, >3.00 ERA) and Hamels (very well, >5.00 ERA), so they have the chance to score some runs. The Cards largest potential problems are:
        – starting pitching, which has been pretty good most of the year and very good in the last 6 weeks
        – bullpen, which has been spotty all season

        The Phils entire pitching staff is better than St Louis’s, for sure, but the only one that really has been a thorn to the bats is Lee. If he ends up inking 2 wins for Philly, then you’d have to think their chances are great to win in 4 or 5.

        No matter what, like I said earlier, I hope that Philly’s pitchers don’t steamroll the Cards, and I expect that it will be a great series, no matter which team wins. :)

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:31 PM

      Let’s hope that continues!

    • sportsdrenched.com - Sep 29, 2011 at 5:49 PM

      I’m not putting too puch stock in the head to head statistics for a playoff series. Playoff series’ have minds of their own and start with what happens in game 1.

      Cards have better hitting, Phillies have better pitching. Trends in the post season say pitching beats hitting, but those are trends. As we saw last night that thing that has a 1.1% chance of happening, might happen.

      But I’m thinking Phillies in 4.

  11. kellyb9 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    LaRussa must have a lot of confidence in Undecided to have him pitch in both game 4 and game 5.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:34 PM

      Hahaha! Yeah…he throws serious darts while requiring very little recovery time. LOL! Classic!

  12. thefalcon123 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Don’t underestimate the Cards! A USA today reporter famously wrote off the Cardinals WS chances in 2006, writing that the Tiger’s would win “in 3″ and that their biggest obstacle would be not laughing too hard.

    He then added: Short of the Tigers pitchers making errors every came that lead to runs being scored, there’s no way in hell the Cards could win. 1 pitcher making an error in one game…it’s possible. Same with 2 pitchers making errors. 3 games in which errors by a pitcher lead to a run…highly unlikely, but you never. 4 errors in four game! highly, highly doubtful. 5 errors in 5 games leading to runs…HA! I’d like to see that!

  13. artisan3m - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    Too many people are considering this the “Cliff Lee Series.” We had him last year (Rangers) and he lost two playoff starts. The Cards may have peaked at just the right time ~ ~ with a lot of help. The Phillies have been peaked all season, and that can’t last forever. Plus, the Cards obviously can get it done ~ they went 6-3 against Lee & Company this season.

  14. cakrywyj - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    I’m already tired of both sides using convenient stats to back their team. Like using the season record? The last 4 game series was played after the Phils won a division with 2 weeks left to play and the lineup you got wasn’t even comparable to what you’ll see in the playoffs… The series in April? No Hunter Pence. Check the record when Pence plays… It’s a much different team. Pay attention to it all and not just what makes the butterflies in your stomach go away

    • Nick C - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:27 PM

      This is not true. 2 of the games were played before the clinch (1-1 record). Also go back and look at the lineups. The only regular missing was Howard.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:51 PM

      Not true. You guys clinched against us in with the win during our last 4 game series with you guys. If memory serves…you were missing Ibanez…and that’s about it. In the words of Charlie Manuel “any coach worth a crap is going to field his best team against a contender.” Hence…you guys playing everyone against us and the Braves. But it’s a new season now.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 29, 2011 at 4:15 PM

        Wow…a thumbs down for stating facts. Understandable…facts tend to get in the way. Tough crowd.

      • dwil12 - Sep 29, 2011 at 5:23 PM

        either way stlouis1 you could see it just by the phils on field demeanor that they were just coasting after clinching. which included the final 2 games of that series. so tell yourself what you want to make yourself feel better about this matchup but the fact of the matter is the phillies are the better baseball team. the only 2 players that actually scare me from the cards are pujols and garcia. so im gonna go phils in 4

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 29, 2011 at 4:58 PM

      The season series records are useless when deciding what might happen in this series. Strictly from the Phillies perspective, because that is what I am most familiar with: The first two games were played without Utley…despite his poor numbers the team averages a run more a game with him in the line-up. The next 3 games, the Phillies won 2 or 3. They split the first two games in the last series then went into the tank after they clinched. I’m sure St. Louis has a similar story of changing team dynamic and injury as well. Bottom line, it should be a good series but those using a 6-3 season series advantage to prove that are misguided.

      • gostlcards5 - Sep 30, 2011 at 3:26 PM

        doc, I agree with you, save one thing. One thing that can provide relief at facing that freakish lineup of Philly’s pitchers is confidence. The 6-3 record (and the ERA, which is what I point to as a telling stat), shows the players that they have a better chance than what I think most analysts are giving them credit for.

  15. materialman80 - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    I have been a Cardinal fan all my life and I’m sure glad they got in, but they certainly have their hands full here. Anything can happen, and that’s why they play the games. Go Redbirds!

  16. dbick - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    I don’t really have any stats as to why the Phils will beat the Cardinals, but I do have this: Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Oswalt. Phils win.

  17. sasquash20 - Sep 29, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    It doesn’t matter how either team got to the post season, both of them are in the post season. Its a new season so I’m not even looking at the regular season numbers. It should be a good series. Phillies have the better pitching, starting and relief. The Cards have the better line up. The fun part starts now when we get to watch it all unfold. My prediction Phillies in 5. But I’m a total homer with that pick. I would have rather played the Braves or Arizona but to be the best you have to beat the best.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 29, 2011 at 4:13 PM

      Well said Squash. Good luck!

  18. kvanhorn87 - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    Still waiting patiently. Most wins ever. Most total wins by any manager in Phils history. 25 articles and counting today. Ho hum!

  19. shinjodun - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    You’re predicting Phillies beat St. L 3-1?

    LOL. Wasn’t 3-1 the result of their series 2 weeks ago in Philly? Oh, yeah it was. But St. Louis is the one who won that.

    I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss results from 2 weeks ago, especially when the “dominant” team was the home team and got rolled.

  20. rjb23 - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    Game 1 and 2 SPs:

    STL: Lohse & Jackson
    PHI: Halladay & Lee

    That is all.

  21. readhed - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    Tony LaRussa is “nonsense personified” you must have him mixed up with someone else. He’s hard as nails and about as no nonsense as you can get. Don’t write about people you don’t know anything about. GO CARDS!!!

  22. pujuice4u - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    Nonsense = finding creative ways to win; ie setting up the rotation so that Carp would be there to win 162 if it came down to it. Tony is the best.

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