Saturday, October 01, 2011

Phils and Cards kick off the NLDS today

    CSN Philly talks about the NLDS with the Cards and the Phillies

The Phillies and the Cardinals kick off the postseason this afternoon for the 2011 NLDS. The magical 2011 regular season is now over and now is when it all really matters at 5:07 PM today.

The Cardinals come into this series on a high, they edged out the Atlanta Braves for the Wild Card spot and the Cards are overdue for success in the postseason. The Cardinals finished with a 2011 season record of 90-72 and ended up in 2nd place in the NL Central. The Milwaukee Brewers took the NL Central with a record of 96-66 and will play the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS that starts off today in Milwaukee at Miller Park.

The Phillies have the best pitching staff in the playoffs, that is without a doubt. Can the offense get sparked and produce the runs needed to win this series? We’ve seen the Phillies aces have great games this year, and the team really should have had at least one of the aces make the 20 wins mark, but when the offense can’t produce, you usually have a tough time winning ballgames.

The Cardinals have one of the smartest managers in the game, Tony La Russa. In the 9 games that the Phillies and the Cardinals played against one another in 2011, the Phils were only able to come away with 3 wins. That has to stick in the minds of the players as the series starts off today. It is a totally fresh series, so this might not be an indicator of what we’ll see in the series.

Countering Tony La Russa will be Charlie Manuel for the Phillies. Manuel just broke the record for most wins by a Phillies manager, and his style is different from LaRussa in the sense that he doesn’t like to make moves that greatly affect the game. Pitching around players is not Manuel’s style. Albert Pujols is no ordinary player, and the idea should be to minimize his effect in this series. We’ll see if Manuel has any moves to try to help the Phillies do that.

Home field advantage has got to be beneficial to the Phillies. Forget about the 8 game losing streak, of which 6 games straight were played in front of the home field fans in Phillly in the last 12 days of the season in 2011. Playoff baseball will be different in Philly, the atmosphere is electric. prediction is the Phillies in 4 games in this series. Again, it’s just the Division Series, but you have to win it to move on. Isn’t October to perfect month to see baseball in the Philly area?

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