Tag Archives: Cliff Lee

Red Sox at Phillies, June 28, 2011

28 Jun

As a Red Sox fan in a National League city (Philly), I like to take advantage of the Red Sox coming to visit. They seem to make the trip every year, and I’m not complaining about it. Tonight I had standing room only tickets, which basically lets the home team say, sure, we’ll take your money, but you don’t get a seat. So, me and my buddy Ryan¬†got to the game early enough to get front row out on the centerfield patio.

The Phillies won 5-0, and I’ll just leave it at this – Cliff Lee is a very good pitcher. And the Red Sox National League line up isn’t very good. Put those two together, and it doesn’t bode well for the team I want to see win.

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Red Sox vs. Phillies – Positional Breakdown

15 Dec

With the Red Sox signing Carl Crawford and trading for Adrian Gonzalez, and the Phillies signing Cliff Lee, clear favorites have emerged in the American and National Leagues. With all due respect to the Yankees (read: eff them), the lineups and rotations the Red Sox and Phillies have are the class of their leagues. I personally can’t wait for the season to start (or for their match up June 28-30), so I wanted to take a look at how these two teams stack up against each other.

Red Sox Logo Phillies Logo

First Base
Phillies: Ryan Howard

Red Sox: Adrian Gonzalez
Edge: Slight Edge Red Sox
Both of these guys are fairly even in what they bring to the table, but I’ve got to give a slight edge to the Red Sox on this one. Gonzalez’ power numbers came in spacious Petco Park, and he hits for a better average, along with bringing better D to the table.

Second Base
Phillies:
Chase Utley

Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia
Edge: Slight Edge Phillies
Two perennial MVP candidates, but I have to give the edge to the Phillies, with Pedroia coming off of such a major injury.

Third Base
Phillies:
Placido Polanco

Red Sox: Kevin Youkilis
Edge: Red Sox
When you have a guy who could win a Gold Glove at two positions, hits for power and average, and gets on base with regularity, they get the edge. No, I’m not talking about Polanco.

Shortstop
Phillies:
Jimmy Rollins

Red Sox: Marco Scutaro
Edge: Slight Edge Phillies
Neither guy was a huge asset last year, but also not a detriment. Rollins hurt the Phillies only because he hit leadoff, but if he gets back to form, he’s a better player than Scutaro.

Left Field:
Phillies:
Raul Ibanez

Red Sox: Carl Crawford
Edge: Red Sox
Not too many players in the league can get you 25 home runs and as many stolen bases as RBI. In fact, Crawford may be the only one. Edge Sox.

Center Field
Phillies:
Shane Victorino

Red Sox: Jacoby Ellsbury
Edge: Phillies
I give it to the Phillies, since Ellsbury missed all of last year. If Ellsbury comes back in full force this year, then it moves back to even, but at this point, Victorino gets the nod.

Right Field
Phillies:
Dominic Brown/Ben Francisco

Red Sox: J.D. Drew
Edge: Red Sox
A platoon or J.D. Drew. A weak spot for both. It’s never a good thing when J.D. Drew is the better option.

Catcher
Phillies:
Carlos Ruiz

Red Sox: Jarrod Saltalamacchia/ Jason Varitek
Edge: Phillies
The Red Sox don’t know who their starter will be come April, and I think Carlos Ruiz is the Phillies most underrated player. He really stepped it up last year, especially in the playoffs.

Starting Pitchers
Phillies: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton/Kyle Kendrick

Red Sox: Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Dice-K
Edge: Really?
The Red Sox have a great starting rotation. Their top four would be an ace on the majority of teams, and Dice-K can be brilliant at times. But the Phillies, just wow. That’s a historic starting rotation. They could conceiveably not have a losing streak reach three games. You’re just not going to go through that rotation without at least one of them winning a game for you. All four are potential 2o game winners. It’s incredible and I’m actually excited to see where this rotation could get them. In the regular season, at least.

Bullpen
Phillies: A bunch of guys and Lidge

Red Sox: A bunch of guys, Bard and Paplebon
Edge: Slight Edge Red Sox
Middle relief is always iffy – could be great one year, and horrendous the next, even with the same guys. Papelbon can’t possibly be as bad as he was last year, but there’s always Bard waiting as a back up plan. Lidge has a history of being great; he also has a history of collapsing. Both teams will more than likely add to their bullpens before and during the season, so judgement will have to wait on this one. At the moment, however, I have to give it to the Red Sox.

Final Judgement
Overall, with the rotation the Phillies have, I think they will end the season with the best record in baseball. They will feast on their division, especially the Nationals, Marlins and Mets. The American League East cannibalizes each other, with three of the best teams in the league playing each other 18 times. The National League as a whole is much weaker, and the Phillies will end the season looking like the best team in baseball.

A seven game series, however, is a different story. The Red Sox pitching, while not as stellar as the Phillies, wouldn’t have to go through as tough a line up. However, as the Giants proved this year, pitching can shut down a superior lineup. It pains me to say this, but at the moment, I’d have to say the Phillies pitching gives them the edge. The gap between the two teams is small, and the Red Sox match up well with the Phillies. If a team has what it takes to take down the Phillies, it’s the Red Sox, but the way things are looking now, the World Series trophy will be coming back to Philadelphia.

Edge: Phillies


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