In about an hour, the MLB will kick off the postseason with Game 1 between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Colorado Rockies. The game is scheduled to start at 2:37pm ET at Citizens Bank Park. It will be the Phillies Cliff Lee on the the mound, against Ubaldo Jimenez of Colorado.
In a 5-game series, Game 1 is very important. If the Phillies can take this game, they will have the clear edge and home-field advantage.
Cole Hamels was the first pitcher announced to start this ball game, but then Charlie announced that mid-season addition Cliff Lee would be on the hill for Game 1, with Hamels pitching Game 2. I thought the start should have gone to Cole, and not just because of last year. Hamels had been improving and improving late in the season, and I believed he should have gotten the nod.
It doesn't really matter much who starts for the Phillies, it matters who closes. The Phillies bullpen has been erratic all year. If their going to be able to repeat, they need to be able to hold the lead in tight situations. Charlie Manuel has rather foolishly kept his faith in Brad Lidge. We will see if that is the right decision.
Weather will be a factor in this game. It is really windy here in Philly, the wind gusting out towards right field. With the Phillies plethora of lefty sluggers, don't be surprised if quite a few balls fly out of the park this afternoon.
Charlie Manuel: "I look at our starting pitching as very good. I think it's as good as any team in the National League, and I think that our starting pitching will play up big in this series." The starters must pitch deep into games, so that Charlie can avoid going to the bullpen as much as possible.
So is this the start the repeat?
Ryan Madson: "The taste is still in our mouths and we want to taste it again."