February 21, 2007

The Underdogs

So the Phillies are now the team to beat in the NL East. That's fine with me. I prefer being the underdog. I personally wouldn’t have it any other way. If I wanted to feel like coming in first place every season was my birth right, I would go over to the dark side. So with the Philies proclaiming that they're the team to beat and some sports analysts agreeing with them, I have a couple of points to make.

Although the Phillies do have 6 starters ready to go this season, they're headed up by Freddy Garcia. Not the best kind of pitcher, but solid none the less. Unless you have Tom Glavine and after the All-Star Break, a healthy Pedro Martinez. Garcia had an ERA of 4.53 last season. Not exactly something to be proud of if you’re considered the ace of the staff.

In order for the Phillies to even think of contending with the Mets, they first have to get behind the Altar and pray that Cole Hamels will remain healthy all season. The kid isn’t well built. He stands at 6 foot 4 inches and weighs 195 pounds. He had problems last season staying healthy. The Phillies had better hope he doesn’t turn into a Mark Prior.

The Phillies don’t have the fire power to match the Mets. Let's compare the number of phillies that hit around 20 or more home runs to the number of Mets that did the same (Phillies: Howard – 58, Utley – 32, Burrell – 29; Rollins – 25) (Mets: Delgado – 38, Wright – 26, Alou – 22, Carlos Beltran – 41; Reyes – 19). How about speed? No question. Well then clutch? All the Phillies have in the clutch is Howard and Utley. You could put any one of the Mets up in a clutch position and I would and I would gladly take them over Burrell (one of your home run threats).

The Bullpen. Simply put, they Mets had the best pen in the NL last year and it's only gotten better. The Phillies are resting on an aging converted closer in one Ben Gorden, who melted down as the season pressed on.

I don't think I need to go on. You get the point. So before you go and put the Mets out on the curb, think aboutwhat you’re assessing a team on. There's just a little bit more to a team than it's starting rotation.


Prior said...

"There's more to a team than starting pitching." Were you saying that from 1991-2005?

The Phillies have three starting pitchers better than your ace. I'll tell you what, I'll send you some Phillies jpegs and you can change your blog to one that covers the 2007 NL EAST Champs!!!!

John Young said...

I'll tell you what...

When you find out your team's starting lineup (3rd, catcher; entire outfield all a ?) than come back and we'll have a meaningful conversation on how, just because you obtained Garcia, it doesn't make you 12 games better than last season.

If you remember the Mets had to lean on pitchers like Gonzalez and Lima las year. Guess what? There not here anymore and the Mets have more than a fragile lefty waiting to break into the rotation who won't break down because the wind blew the wrong way.

So keep hoping and dreaming, but if I were you I'd quit baseball this year and stick to hockey. At least they have a better shot to take their confrence than the Phillies.

By the way, tell Brett Myers to stay away from the Mets wives when he's at Shea.