It’s playoff time, and thankfully, just before a heart attack set in, the Giants dispatched the Braves to move on to the NLCS. They now face arguably the best team in baseball in the Phillies, but you have to beat the best to be the best. Here are some playoff thoughts as we head deep into October baseball.
Phillies vs. Giants
Speaking of the Phillies against the Giants, could you possibly construct a scenario more interesting than the presumed Game 1 matchup of Halladay vs. Lincecum? Let’s go to the tale of the tape.
Age, Height, Weight
Halladay: 33 years old, 6’6″, 230 lbs
Lincecum: 26 years old, 5’11″, 170 lbs
ERA, WHIP, K/9, K/BB, BAA
Halladay: 2.44, 1.04, 7.86, 7.30, .245
Lincecum: 3.43 1.27, 9.79, 3.04, .242
Halladay: Tall, lanky and the possessor of one of the most versatile arsenals in the game, Halladay can beat you pretty much any way you can think of. If he needs a strikeout he can pick one up, and he is never going to beat himself with the free pass. When he is “on” you will be hard pressed to see someone who can control both sides of the plate any better, and he simply gets filthy movement on his pitches to constantly mess with the hitters line of site. There is no better “pitcher” in the game today.
Lincecum: He couldn’t be any different than the Phillies’ ace. While Halladay has the prototypical pitchers build and a smooth flowing motion, Lincecum is all arms and legs as he seems to propel himself plate ward with every pitch. No bigger than the guy you just ran into in line at Starbucks, Lincecum generates tremendous whip with his arm, and it allows him to hurl the ball harder than he should for a man his size. While he can certainly “pitch,” Lincecum is the type of dominating hurler that when he is “on” batters give each other high five’s if they merely manage to put the barrel on the ball.
If I had to some it up I would say this. Halladay quietly retires the side over and over while Lincecum does the same while striking fear into the hearts of batters.
It should be a wonderful matchup.
Thanks to Jeff Fletcher of AOL for the following Tweets:
* Roy Halladay- Roy Oswalt-Cole Hamels vs SF this year: 1-2, 6.12;
Tim Lincecum- Matt Cain- Jonathan Sanchez vs PHI: 2-1, 1.96
* OK, here’s one you won’t believe: Slugging pct: Phillies .413; SF Giants .408.
* Since 9/1 Phillies scored 167 runs (most in MLB), SF Giants allowed 60 runs (fewest in MLB).
Tupac or Biggie? I’ve always been a huge Tupac fan, and that will never change, but as time wears on I’ve been giving Biggie a second look and the dude is growing on me. Just thought I would throw that in there.
Rays vs. Rangers
Heading into Game 5 of the the ALDS – here is one stat line you need to keep in mind; Cliff Lee is 5-0 with a 1.32 ERA an a 0.80 WHIP in the playoffs.
The Rays hit .123 through the fifth inning of Game 3. Since then they are batting .362 with four homers in 58 ABs.
The Yankees lost 17 of their last 26 games entering the playoffs before the went out and swept the Twins three games to none.
The Twins, they have lost 12-straight postseason games since 2004, one short of the all-time record set by the Red Sox (1986-95). The last nine loses have all come against the Bronx Bombers.
Some more bad news Twins fans? How about the fact that the Yankees have won the last four playoff matches between the clubs as they have outscored the Twinkies by the score of 69-36. That’s about as ugly as it gets.
By Ray Flowers