These playoffs have reaffirmed what I thought I already knew about baseball. A lot of times the loss goes to he who screws up first, often, or both. Either a closer will throw a changeup out over the plate, or a shortstop will flub a double play, or Matt Holiday will try to run and catch at the same time. More often than not these mistakes turn into game changing blunders. Looking to the National League match-up on Thursday, I have decided who will screw up least.
Both teams boast solid defenses. Dodger faithful may even have images of gold glove infields of yester year. Likewise, the Phillies have nary a hole to hit to. This would almost be a complete tie on defense if it weren’t for the Manny in left field. I know it’s coming. It hasn’t yet. But it will. There will be a gaffe of such epic proportions as to end the Dodger hopes in one foul swoop. Things have been too easy out there for him. Sure every fly ball looks like it wants to come out of his glove. Sure every gaper is chased at walking speeds. But a big one is coming. Set the DVR to record.
As for rotations I have to give the “most likely to get rocked” award to either Randy Wolf or Brad Lidge. One constant with Wolf is that when he takes the ball, you know the opposition will score three runs. You can take comfort in that it will not be more than that but either way he will leave the game with three runs having been scored. As for Brad Lidge, I mean, come on, even Brad Lidge was holding his breath when Brad Lidge was pitching the ninth inning on Monday. He really only had one pitch he was comfortable with and that was his slider. Lucky for Lidge, Troy Tulowitzki was fond of swinging at pretty much anything that night.
Now what hitters will go completely absent for the next week? Smart money is Pedro Feliz. This guy wasn’t exactly raking the ball against Colorado. He went 3 for 13 but still scares me. He has a Scott Brosius thing about him. He could easily go 1 for 20 in the next series but that one could be the game-winning walk off single.
So which team will screw up least to take this thing? My guess is the defending champs…then again it could be the Dodgers. I’ll let you know after I see how many fastballs Padilla can throw without Chase Utley hitting the pavilion.