Here are the National League teams from a Yankee fan’s point of view. Once again listed in no particular order.
PART 2 – THE NATIONAL LEAGUE
The Phillies are the defending World Champs and would love to repeat. The team works very well as a unit because players pick each other up in games when someone is struggling.The Phillies closer Brad Lidge has been far from the dominant closer he was in 2008. Skipper Charlie Manuel has shown confidence in Lidge but by keep ing him in his job but it has not paid off. Lidge blew 10 saves as of September. This will be a position likely to be filled by Brett Meyers. Meyers did well in the post before the season’s end. Lidge’s services will be utilized in less-pressuring situations, at least to open the playoffs. The closer component is vital to any baseball team’s success. Skipper Charlies Manuel has been around long enough to know what it takes to win. I am not to worried how the Phillies will handle this.Picking up Cliff Lee at the trade deadline (for scarcely anything considering what Lee’s arm is worth) to join Cole Hamels in the rotation. They are as reliable as a team one and two starters can get.The tandem with Joe Blanton most likely as the third will be a solid rotation.Phillies line-up is still very good with Rollins, Utley, Ibanez, Howard.
Are the defending champs good enough to repeat? That is a different story; guess we will find out soon.
2. St. Louis CardinalsThe Cardinals are could be the best team in the National League. Albert Puljos is the NL MVP and perhaps the best in the entire majors. He is what Jeter is to New York but in St. Louis. The Cardinals have two Cy Young Award possibilities in Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright. This is the only team to have a one and two be Cy Young contenders. The mid season snatch of Matt Holliday to hit clean-up behind Puljos have both guys slugging over .600. Gold Glove catcher Yadier Molina is the brother of Yankees catcher Jose and is one of the best catchers. Yadier is the best-defensive catcher in the game. Runners do not attempt to steal as often and to score off a single from second base is out of the question when Yadier is controlling the game.
The Cards support it all on paper. Whether it gets used properly and effectively is another story.
3.Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have Manny. Manny needs to go back to being just that, Manny. Joe Torre, even as mad as Yankee fans might be, cannot challenge his managerial capacity. Especially in the playoff situations, Torre has thrived as a playoff skipper for years.
The Dodgers by baseball standards do not have an ace. Chad Billingsley having only 12 wins is the team high. Strangely, their pitching staffs ERA is 3.41 overall. It leads in all of baseball. Isn’t it odd?
The programme for the Dodgers is not expecting more than five or six innings from their starter and then out it in the hands the bullpen. The extent of their bullpen gives Torre plenty of options which include Brendan Donnelly, Troy Percival, Scot Shields, Ben Weber and Scott Schoeneweis, Francisco Rodriguez.
Torre has won with this method in the past and the team does have the most wins in the NL. I still think the Cardinals are the better team.
Try to just imagine Yanks and Dodgers in the World Series? Yankee fans would love to beat the Skipper that betrayed them.
The Rockies had a second-half surge that lead the team on October 1st to clinching the NL Wild Card. It’s hard to imagine that the Rockies trailed by 15 1/2 games on June 3 in the NL West.First round they are playing the defending Champs, it will be interesting to see how the Rockies fair.The Rockies biggest asset is in there pitching. All five pitchers establishing themselves throughout the season and look very good. Ubaldo Jimenez will be the game one starter against Cliff Lee.
The first issue is the Rockies struggle against left handed pitching. Young outfielder Seth Smith is the team’s most reliable bat off the bench but the line-up has not as much impact as the other teams.