Friday, October 22, 2010

It's Almost Midnight, Cinderella

In the minds of many baseball fans around the country, the thought of both the Yankees and Phillies not making it to the World Series is delicious. First, as a country, there is something about our make up that roots for the underdog. And both teams with 3-2 records in the championship seasons were certainly underdogs coming into this post season. The Phillies have been in the last two World Series. The Yankees are the Yankees and the reigning champs. The Rangers and the Giants both improbably took commanding 3-1 series leads. But these two Cinderella teams couldn't put the ugly stepsisters away in Game 5. The clock is getting towards midnight in a hurry.

If the Phillies and Yankees can manage to stay alive and win Game Six in their respective series, Game Seven will be a crap shoot where anything can happen. And let's face it, if only one of the Cinderella teams make it to the World Series, it won't nearly be as good a story. If the Yankees and Phillies can get to a Game Seven, they will have Hamels and Pettitte, two of the most experienced post season pitchers ever.

But the Cinderella teams are still in good shape at the moment. Colby Lewis versus Phil Hughes is pretty much a wash. Lewis allows the Yankees to field their best line up including Berkman batting from his good side. The Rangers love the fastball, which is Phil Hughes' best pitch and they certainly got to Hughes the first time around. The Giants get Oswalt in Game Six. Oswalt is very good, but he is not as good as Hamels or Halladay. Sanchez is the same as Hughes. If he is on, he is lights out. But he has to find the plate regularly to win.

Both the Rangers and the Giants have to win Game Six. Teams like the Phillies and the Yankees are too experienced and have too long a history to risk a Game Seven. All the pressure right now is on the old teams. A Game Seven erases that and puts the pressure on the two Cinderella teams not to blow what was once a promising scenario. Despite top dogs like Lee and Cain ready for that eventuality, again, anything can happen, especially if the teams can get beyond the starters and it becomes a bullpen game.

Just about everyone besides fans in Philly and New York will be thrilled at a World Series that features the Rangers and the Giants. That would truly be the glass slipper event of the season. But these ugly stepsisters aren't going to roll easily and unlike the movie, there is always a possibility for the bad guys to win in the end.

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