I asked a few questions to Peter Baker of the Good Phight. You can see my end of the conversation here:
Do the Phillies have much hope if Hamels has a bad outing or two?
Frankly, no. Although Brett Myers and Joe Blanton both came through with terrific starts during the Division Series against the Brewers, the Phillies are absolutely relying on Cole Hamels to pitch big in this series. With over a week's rest since Game One against the Brewers, Hamels should be fresh and hopefully poised to dominate.
Even though Brad Lidge was perfect this season, does he still scare the hell out of you?
Far too often, yes. Particularly since he was (Clint) Hurdle'd in the All-Star Game (forced by the Colorado manager to warm up multiple times during the marathon Midsummer Classic), he has not seemed particularly fresh, often allowing multiple baserunners and frequently requiring over 20 pitches to close out a game. Still, the numbers are great and he has yet to blow a game, so it's hard to quibble too much... although my nervous system may disagree.
Do you think of anyone on the Dodgers except Manny as any kind of threat?
Andre Ethier has been an absolute monster since mid-summer. A lefty hitter who kills righties (.953 OPS), Ethier is likely to feast on the likes of not just Myers and Blanton, but righty relievers Condrey and Durbin as well. Russell Martin, as well, is a terrific and scary right-handed hitter, not to be taken lightly.
Additionally, and not very rationally, Phillies fans have seething hatred for Juan "F." Pierre, who as a Marlin in 2003 seemingly devastated the Phillies all season long. At least anecdotally, the influence of Pierre on the Phillies' decisionmaking process was long-term, detrimental, and two-fold, and led to both a counterproductive fixation on stopping Pierre himself, and to the ill-advised acquisition of Endy Chavez to be "our Juan Pierre" in 2005.
Any kind words for handing you two thirds of your outfield?
As far as Jayson Werth goes, thank you. It was a case of misfortune on his and your parts that his wrist injury abbreviated his Dodgers career.
With regard to Shane Victorino, the Dodgers had the opportunity to take him back when the Phillies failed to keep him on the 40 man roster for the entirety of the 2005 season. And the Dodgers could have had him back, but for their decision not to pay the $50,000 it would take to get him back. $50,000 versus Andruw Jones salary. I can't make too much fun, however; the Phillies are on the hook for about $8MM for Adam Eaton next season.