The Los Angeles Dodgers led by Manny Ramirez and Joe Torr... Oh wait thats right there is still a series to be played. The Philadelphia Phillies have become the forgotten team. Has this ever happened before, a team with more wins and home field advantage is never mentioned? The Fightin Phils boast a lineup with two MVP's (only Dodger MVP is on the bench) and a possible third in Chase Utley, yet they are an after thought. No one expects them to win this series. They expect Manny Ramirez and Joe Torre to walts into the World Series.
This is exactly a position the Phillies should be in because of one key thing: NO PRESSURE. The Phillies have not been in the national spotlight since the playoffs started. All the talk is about Los Angeles, this can only help the Phils.
This series is filled with story lines:
1) Joe Torre's quest to go to the World Series while the Yankees are at home.
2) Manny's possible matchup with the Red Sox in Boston... We know Fox is going to do anything to get this to happen (not that we really believe TV exec's can determine the outcome.)
3) Larry Bowa returning to Philly in a Dodger Uni
4) Manny attacking the short porch in left... The all time postseason hr leader has a great chance to add to it.
5) How do the Dodgers handle Ryan Howard and Chase Utley... And can Utley and Howard finally get some postseason hits?
6) Has Brad Lidge forgotten the 2005 playoffs and Albert Pujols homerun and is ready to prove he is a big time closer, just as his big 2008 season proved?
As all playoff series come down to pitching, defense and clutch hitting this one will be no different. If you factor the managers into the equation the nod has to go to Joe Torre over Charley Manuel, unless we are weighing them, then Manuel scales tip in his favor. If Cole Hamels can pitch a great game and help the Phils steal game one the pressure will really be on the Dodgers and the Phillies could be on their way.
Predection: Dodgers in 6. Manny continues his hot streak and Derek Lowe proves he is a big game pitcher.