With many baseball fans expecting to see the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Mets, Dodgers and Angels in the World Series, the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays instead meet in tonight’s opening game of the World Series.
Both have taken different paths to get here, however their paths have been well deserved. The Phillies are bolstered by an outstanding bullpen led by Brad Lidge who is still perfect in save opportunities this season and an offensive trio of Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. The Rays on the other hand were backed by an impressive young staff in Scott Kazmir, Andy Sonnanstine, Matt Garza, and James Shields.
Now with the stage becoming even bigger in the World Series, fundamentals will become the single most important aspects in determining this year’s champion. Starting pitching, bullpen success, defense, and coaching will be the major factors to separate the Phillies and the Rays.
And with a better starting staff especially in games three and four, a coach in Joe Maddon …
Bye Week: Vikings, Broncos, Bears and Packers
Matt Cassel (Pats) vs. Rams- Cassel played efficiently on Monday night against the Broncos throwing for three TDS and completing 18-of 24 passes. He also did not throw an interception something he has not done since Week 2 against the Jets. The Rams are allowing 232 passing yards per game. Cassel should continue to find Randy Moss and Wes Welker.
Trent Edwards (Bills) vs. Dolphins- Edwards has his best game of the season last week against the Chargers completing 25-of-30 passes for 261 yards and a TD. The Dolphins defense only has three interceptions in six games and are allowing 235 passing yards per game. Rookie QB Joe Flacco had a solid game last week against the Fish passing for 232 yards and a TD….
Much is being made of the less-than-anticipated matchup of the Rays vs. the Phillies in the World Series. In a recent survey of things Americans are craving, that showdown came in right behind: a recession, more movies by the two Coreys and another season of Joey. But there’s a bigger problem. If the Series goes seven games, with each game lasting about three-and-a-half hours, that’s 24-and-a-half hours. So that means I have to be locked in a room listening to Tim McCarver and Joe Buck for 24-and-a-half hours. That’s punishment I wouldn’t wish on anybody. I think I’ll watch Drinking and Driving With the Stars over on ABC instead. Upcoming guests include Joba Chamberlain and Tony LaRussa. (The answers to the quiz will be posted tomorrow.)
1. What year was the first World Series played?
2. Who has hit the most World Series home runs?…