Wednesday, October 28, 2009

World Series Q&A: The 700 Level

Since the Yankees and Phillies haven't met since May and I don't generally watch
Minor National League baseball, we've decided to bring in a little outsider perspective for the World Series. We turned to Enrico and Matt over at The 700 Level to give us a little insight on their club. Sure they're Phillies fans, but Enrico is a fellow BC guy so they can't be all bad. Our thanks to them for agreeing to participate.

Sadly, there were no photoshop jobs trying to embarrass the competition nor were there any wagers involving cheese cakes, cheese steaks, or a even a milksteak (with a side of raw jelly beans). There was however a question and answer exchange in an effort to know thy enemy. Our answers to their questions are up at The 700 Level. Here are their answers to ours:

Fack Youk: The Phillie bats have been very hot this post-season while the Yankees have gotten by largely on the strength of their pitching. Something's gotta give here. Who has the advantage on this one?

The 700 Level: It's tough to keep the Phillies' bats silent for long. They also have a fairly decent track record against CC and hit Burnett pretty well the one time they faced him this season. At this point, I have no reason to doubt the Phillies' bats.

FY: Ryan Howard has been on fire throughout the NLDS and NLCS. Should the Yankees even pitch to him, and if so, how? Or should they be more concerned about the powers of Chooch-tober?

700: I think you pitch to Ryan Howard very carefully. The thing that is most amazing about his post season thus far has been his plate discipline. He's been able to layoff some of the breaking stuff that he'd typically strike out on in the regular season. Carlos Ruiz is more of a silent killer. He comes out of nowhere when you least expect it. Ryan's the guy you have to be very careful with.

FY: What do you see the Phillies benefiting from more: being able to DH Ibanez and play Ben Francisco in left field at Yankee Stadium or getting Hideki Matsui's bat out of the line up a Citizens Bank Park?

700: The Yankees being forced to send their pitcher to the plate in Philadelphia should help the Phillies a bit more. I mean, have you seen Joe Blanton and Cliff Lee's batting numbers in the playoffs? Francisco did make a ridiculous catch in the NLCS during a late inning replacement of Ibanez that I don't think Raul could have made. So his defense in left will help us, but Raul's bat will be in the line up regardless.

Cole Hamels was dominant in the 2008 post-season, being named MVP of both the NLCS and the World Series. His numbers took a dip this season and he has pitched poorly in his three post-season starts. Which Hamels do you expect to see in the World Series? Do you prefer him or Pedro in Game Two? (editor's note: question exchange was done prior to the announcement that Pedro would start Game Two)

700: Hamels is a head-scratcher. I'd say his ego and temperament is a bit more fragile than Pedro's so I'd like to see Hamels throw at home in Philly. Pedro is one confident guy. He eats this stuff up. I think Hamels will pitch fine in his first outing, keep the Phillies in the game. I could see him being the hero if he goes in game seven though.

FY: What is the state of the bullpen these days? How confident are you in Brad Lidge? If you need an out in a big spot, who are you calling in from the pen?

700: The Phillies pen has kind of morphed back into their typical roles during the playoffs after being kind of a mess for most of the season. Chan Ho Park has stepped in as a 7th inning guy with Madson and Lidge going in the eighth and ninth. That said, I think Madson is Charlie's go to guy for one big out.

FY: Lastly, if you were going to send some chick to run out on the field and hand off a note you authored to your favorite Phillies player, expressing your admiration and your desire to play catch with him, which player would it be?

700: Just like Mac in "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," I'd pick Chase Utley. But it'd be after they beat the Yankees in the '09 World Series and it'd say "Thanks for another World Fucking Championship."

FY: That remains to be seen, and as you know, we frown upon vulgarity here. So what's your prediction for the Series?

700: Should be a great series featuring the two best teams in baseball. While the Yankees are stacked and are most definitely the best team the Phillies will face this season, I find it impossible to pick against our Fightin' Phils. This team has amazing character and intangibles. I'll go Phils in six with Chase Utley stepping up big for the first time this postseason and bringing home the hardware.

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