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The Phillies will win if...

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In an attempt to look at the World Series from the opposing viewpoint, The Good Phight's Peter Baker and myself will examine the matchup, but from the side we're not used to discussing.

So while he writes a 'The Yankees will win if...' story, here's mine on the Phils.

The Phillies will win if:

1. CC Sabathia comes back to earth. His postseason ERA in three starts is 1.19. He can't sustain that long term. It will eventually start to move up again, and it's bad news for the Yanks when it does.

2. the Yankees' LOOGYs can't do their job. The Phils lineup is great, but is held together by three extraordinary lefties: Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and (to a lesser extent) Raul Ibanez. They're going to get their fair share of big ABs in close games. It's the job of Phil Coke and Damaso Marte to neutralize them (though Utley and Ibanez have actually been better vs. LHP, so it'll be interesting to see what Joe does).

3. Cliff Lee continues his postseason excellence. As good as Sabathia's been, Lee has been even better (.74 ERA in 24.1 ip).

4. Brad Lidge has truly 're-found' himself. Despite a terrible year as Philly's closer, he has yet to allow a run in the playoffs (4 ip, 1 H, 3 BB, 4 K).

5. A-Rod comes back to earth. His 1.516 OPS is unsustainable, and he has been the only Yankee to hit significantly better in the playoffs than the regular season. Even if he only goes back to his normal OPS (.965), it may not be enough unless other batters step up.

6. Chad Gaudin can't pitch at least moderately well. The Phils have better back-end starters, no question. J.A. Happ and Joe Blanton are better than Gaudin, so game four is not looking good at this point.


Ugh. Now I'm depressed for having written this. I definitely think the Yankees are a better team - they just have to play like it.