Phillies over Reds the majority choice of Daily News writers

Phillies closer Brad Lidge gets in some work yesterday while standing in front of a lighted sign at Citizens Bank Park.
Phillies closer Brad Lidge gets in some work yesterday while standing in front of a lighted sign at Citizens Bank Park.
Posted: October 06, 2010

BILL CONLIN:

WATER SEEKS its own level, running downhill to the nearest lower body of water. A lot of people whose basements flooded recently will confirm that. But will H2O do the same?

Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, Charlie Manuel's version of waterboarding, will have to flow uphill if the Phillies are to advance to the next postseason level.

The Reds are a formidable island in the stream. They eliminated the Central Division-favored Cardinals days before the Phillies took out the Braves. And the Phils' 5-2 edge in the season series is deceptive. After losing two of three at Great American Ball Park, they swept Dusty Baker's confident, young team, 4-0, at the Bank. But three of the games went extra innings, and the last two were tense, 1-0 escapes.

The sweep that took the Phils to the All-Star break with momentum foreshadowed a second half in which they trailed the Braves by seven games on July 21 and jailbreaked to a seven-game lead on Sept. 24. I see three tough NLDS games. But H2O will defy physics and flow uphill.

Phillies in 3

--

SAM DONNELLON:

In the end, the big three will buy enough time for muscle memory to kick in for some of the Phillies' October heroes, i.e., Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.

But the left arms in the Reds bullpen and a lineup not at all unlike that of the 2008 Phillies will make this a knock-down, drag-out series, and that fifth game at home will finally come in handy.

Phillies in 5

--

PAUL HAGEN:

The Phillies, to steal from Jimmy Rollins, are clearly the team to beat. They have the best starting pitching. They finished the season by winning 27 of their final 35 games. They have their lineup intact for one of the few times this season.

There are potential pitfalls. The NLDS is a best-of-five series, and that creates the best scenario for an underdog. The Phillies must guard against overconfidence. The Reds can play loose; few expect them to win.

Still, it's hard to imagine the defending National League champions not advancing.

Phillies in 4

--

MARCUS HAYES:

With a 2-5 record against the Phillies this season and a 3-23 record against Game 2 starter Roy Oswalt lifetime, the Reds seem simply overmatched. Think again.

The Reds crushed Oswalt July 24, his last start as an Astro - a dead-arm start, but still . . .

The Phillies' bullpen is anything but reliable. The offense is inconsistent.

And the Reds led the National League in runs scored on the road; that's right, they're the NL's best road offense, with the best road slugging percentage. Which gives them a legitimate chance.

Reds in 5

--

RICH HOFMANN:

The temptation, when they give you a platform, is to pontificate. In this case, there is no need.

Halladay.

Oswalt.

Hamels.

Halladay.

Phillies in 4

--

DAVID MURPHY:

Two key points for the Phillies: Over the last 2 years, they have not lost the first game of a playoff series, and they have not lost a decisive Game 5 or Game 7. Both could change this year, thanks to a tough matchup against Edinson Volquez, who starts Game 1 and a potential Game 4. The Phillies are heavy favorites, but this is their toughest first-round opponent yet. They will prevail, but it won't be easy.

Phillies in 5

--

JOHN SMALLWOOD:

On paper, this looks like the Phillies. The New Red Machine has the advantage in experience, lineup and, most important, starting pitching.

This is why Roy Halladay came to Philadelphia, why general manager Ruben Amaro acquired Roy Oswalt and invested so much faith in Cole Hamels. The top of this rotation seems invincible, and with this series stretched out over 8 days, the Reds are unlikely to see anyone but H2O on the mound.

Cincinnati can swing the bat, so the Reds have a slugger's chance, but if the axiom of good pitching beating good hitting holds true, I can't see these starters losing three games.

Phillies in 4

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|