Jun 15, 2010
Just the Medicine: Roy Halladay Will Be Key to Phillies-Yankees Series
Philadelphians have been in a shroud of disbelief over the team's current struggles, what with the Flyers' recent success clouding their thoughts, and have ignored the team and brushed off the much-needed panic.
Some call it a slump, some call it midseason woes, but if they Phillies don't right the ship quickly, we can all call it missing out on the playoffs.
For the Phils, nothing seems scarier in the midst of a slump than interleague play. The team is currently ranked 29th in crossover play, and this year's struggles have been tragic examples.
The Phillies were shelled in the first two games of their recent romp in Boston and barely escaped game three with a win.
Now the Phils have to head to the hallowed grounds of the Bronx to take on the Yankees. Despite the fact that the wounds from last year's World Series are still healing, the Phillies will have their biggest test in months in NYC.
The series is a three-game set, but when we look at the matchups, we can all agree that game one will be key. Roy Halladay will take the mound for the Phillies, and the Yanks will hope to trump the hype of Halladay with CC Sabathia.
Both of these men have been juggernauts in their careers and hope to set the tone for a possible (and hopeful) World Series matchup in Game One.
Despite last year's World Series, the Phillies don't have a huge history against Sabathia. In fact, only three players (Placido Polanco, Raul Ibanez, and Juan Castro) have had more than seven at-bats against Sabathia.
Polanco is a career .326 hitter against the Yankees ace with only one HR and three RBI. Ibanez is the only player close to double-digit RBI, but he only has 11 hits in 40 ABs.
As far as the Doc Halladay v. Yankees matchup, this one has a bit more to it. Halladay was a nightmare for the Yankees when he was in Toronto. The only player on the Yankees lineup that is even arguable against Halladay is A-Rod.
Rodriguez is hitting .299 against Halladay and has seven doubles and 14 RBI. A-Rod is expected to start but could be a game-time decision due to the fact he missed all three games of the Astros series with a bruised hip.
If you look at the Yankees' big four (Derek Jeter, Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Nick Swisher), they have a staggering 52 K's and are hitting only .243 against Halladay.
It seems even more exciting for the Phillies when you notice that Halladay is 18-6 with a 2.81 ERA in 35 games against the Yanks and is 8-1 in his last 10 games against the Bronx Bombers.
This is the third meeting between Halladay and Sabathia, as they split their first two meetings.
We all know the pitching is going to be key, but if the Phillies are to have any chance in the series, they will need to improve with their bats. The team is currently last in run production since the end of May, and since they began interleague play this season on May 21 they have only scored a pitiful 53 runs.
As you can see, the pitchers will take the spotlight in game one, but if the Phillies expect to make a run at seeing the Yanks in the postseason, the bats are going to have to do the talking from here on out.
Let's just hope the team is listening.
The Phillies have had luck with the long ball against the Yanks. In last year's World Series the Phillies had 11 long balls—the Yankees only six. Chase Utley had five HRs in the series... Utley is currently hitting .256 and was a combined 1-for-9 against the Red Sox.