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Q&A with Peter Baker of The Good Phight

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Same exercise, new person. Peter Baker of TGP, home of the NL Champions. Check out TGP over the next day or so to see my take on their questions.


It appears that Joe Blanton and Jamie Moyer are ripe for the picking, how have the Phillies won two series with these guys starting?

You'll note that the Phillies have lost two games this postseason,
both of Jamie Moyer's starts. He certainly isn't helping. Blanton was quite good in the Game Four clincher versus Milwaukee, and really mediocre in Game Four against Los Angeles (a game the Phillies won anyway, Matt Stairs be praised). So how have the Phillies won? Cole Hamels, and timely hitting -- As good a recipe as any.

We all know how good Chase Utley is, but who are most Rays fans overlooking?

Greg Dobbs, the Phils' likely Designated Hitter in St. Pete. Led the league in pinch hits in 2008. Scott Kazmir will probably flummox him, but he's put up an .846 OPS against right-handed pitching this year. Unlike lots of National League teams in the World Series, the Phillies really have a geniune, credible bat the put in the DH position.

 What's the one thing about the Rays that should scare the Phillies the most?

At the risk of sounding totally hacky and indecisive, their consistency. I've been asked by friends who are casual fans what to make of the Rays -- I tell them that the Rays are a relentless team that, with the possible exception of defense, does not do any one thing amazingly well, but does everything pretty well. It's a team without any real tangible weaknesses, they don't make many mistakes, and they have strong bats at nearly every position.

 On a scale of 10 how awesome is Cole Hamels?

Cole Hamels = Nigel Tufnel's amplifier.

Hamels was drafted in 2002, when the Phillies online community/blogosphere was just starting to coalesce. He has been tracked, followed, obsessed over, and cheered throughout the minors and since the beginning of his big league career. It's been supremely satisfying to see someone who was "our guy" for so long rise from relative obscurity to the pinnacle of the sport.

What will hold the Phillies back in this series?

Consistent starting pitching. It's looking more and more like the wheels are falling off the Jamie Moyer Express, and Brett Myers is as mercurial a pitcher as there is. If Myers can pitch like he did against Milwaukee in his Game Two duel with CC Sabathia, the Rays will be in trouble. If he lets his nerves get the best of him, well, Flags Fly Forever in St. Petersburg.