Phillies Set Their Playoff Rotation

29 09 2008

King Cole is the Phillies Ace.

King Cole is the Phillies Ace.

By Mike Gill

With the Phillies and the Brewers all set to meet on Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park, there was a little chess match about who the starting pitchers will be.  The Phillies made the first move by announcing that lefty Cole Hamels will get the game one nod.  Hamels was certainly the ace of the staff, but was somewhat ordinary in the final month of the season. 

Meanwhile, the Brewers will counter with Yovani Gallardo who is 0-0 this season.  He missed most of the season with a torn ACL that he suffered back in spring training.  Gallardo did come back to pitch in September and threw four innings and struck out seven on September 25, allowing one run on three hits in four innings before leaving after 67 pitches. The Phillies have seen Gallardo before, once last season, when he held them to one run on four hits in 6 2/3 innings on August 3rd.

In game two, the Phillies have decided on Brett Myers. He has been one of the best pitchers in the majors during the second half of the season and since his recall from his journey through the minors. One of the reasons he is getting the call, his numbers at home have been much better then on the road. At the unfriendly confines of Citizens Bank Park, Myers is 7-5 with a 3.01 ERA in 14 starts. Meanwhile, on the road, he is a less-than-stellar 3-8 with a 6.21 ERA in 16 starts.

That gives Jamie Moyer the ball in game three in Milwaukee. On the flip side of Myers home/road splits are Moyer’s. He has been much better on the road then at home. At the Bank this season, Moyer is 6-4 with a 4.61 ERA in 16 starts. When he sleeps in a hotel, he is 10-3 with a 2.92 ERA in 17 starts.

The Brewers have not announced the rest of their rotation, but you would have to figure that CC Sabathia will pitch in game two. Sabathia is like a little league pitcher in that whenever he pitches, nobody gets a hit and he completely dominates the game. However, the rest of their rotation is very suspect with Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan options for game three.

My gut feeling is that Gallardo will keep the Brew Crew in the game for about five innings, but he hasn’t pitched more then that for a long time and has never pitched in a post-season game. I think game one is paramount for the Phillies to win. You don’t want to get stuck facing Sabathia in game two, down 0-1. You do have to wonder though, how effective can Sabathia be pitching on three days rest for the fourth time in a row.

Another thing you would have to wonder is if he dominates again under thoses circumstances, why don’t more pitchers do it? Regardless, if I am the Phillies, this is not a scenario I want to explore.

I think the Phillies made the right move to start with Hamels and I think the Brewers made the right choice with Gallardo. Is Gallardo a risky play? Sure, but I like it. But the key factor to me is, The Phillies have been here before and expected to be here. The Brewers remind me a lot of last years Phillies. A franchise that hadn’t been to the playoffs for a long-time (1982), and is just excited to be there with a lot of young, first time playoff players on this roster.




2 responses

29 09 2008

Saw that game last August 3rd @ Miller Park, and Gallardo certainly can be electric.

30 09 2008
Michael DeLuca

I had mentioned several times in the past tht this was what I feared about having to face the Brewers. Even in the back of my mind during our four game sweep of the Brew Crew, I kept thinking Gallardo will be back for the postseason. On the flip side, Sheets is out and I’m much more comfortable going up against Suppan. I feel pretty good about this series, but I’ll agree, game one is paramount. Not to mention that winning game one will get the bad taste out of our mouths after getting swept last year. Should take some pressure off. All in all, I’m pretty jacked up. Go Phils!

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