Tuesday, October 4, 2011

NLDS Moves to St. Louis

Today, the National League Division Series matchup between the Philadelphia Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals moves to Busch Stadium in St. Louis. What have we learned from Games 1 & 2 and what can we expect for Games 3 & 4?

Game 1 & Game 2 Summary:
Game 1 in Philadelphia started out with an unexpected bang off the bat of Lance Berkman. The shock was not about Berkman, but that his three-run homer was hit off Cy Young Award candidate Roy Halladay. Halladay would settle down and throw seven shutout innings after the first. The Phillies' bats woke up in the sixth inning with Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez going deep off Cardinals' starter Kyle Lohse.

Game 2 started exactly as one would expect with Philadelphia starter Cliff Lee getting staked to an early 4-0 lead. What was not expected was Lee coughing up the lead in the 6th inning and then putting the Phillies behind in the 7th on a triple by Allen Craig and a single by Albert Pujols.

Game 1 & Game 2 Statistical Notes:
  • The Phillies 1 through 6 hitters in the lineup are hitting a combined .422
  • Phillies 7 through 9 hitters in the lineup have a total of 1 hit in the series
  • Phillies are 9 for 16 with RISP in the series
  • Cardinals relievers tossed 6 innings of 1 hit ball in Game 2
Games 3 & 4 Expectations:
Phillies Game 3 starter Cole Hamels is no stranger to pitching in pivotal playoff games. His opponent on the mound Jaime Garcia however will be making his first postseason start. Both pitchers have induced more ground outs versus fly outs with ratios of 1.50 for Hamels and 1.67 for Garcia. In Game 4, the Phillies send up veteran pitcher Roy Oswalt to face vagabond pitcher Edwin Jackson. Oswalt has battled injuries most of the season and Jackson has been very effective since the All-Star break (7-2, 3.19 ERA). The Cardinals were not really fazed by the Phillies two Cy Young candidates in Games 1 and 2, so they must feel good psychologically about their chances against Hamels. The Cardinals need to get quality starts so their bullpen does not get over worked.

Stats courtesy of MLB.com

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