Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, who has been covering baseball for three decades, gave his Power Rankings of the remaining four teams in the MLB playoffs. Where do the Phillies rank? Third.
Fine, he doesn't think they're the best team. But who does he think is the best? The Giants. With horrible reasoning to boot (the Rangers are fourth):
Note: we would pick on San Francisco publications, but their coverage of the series has been downright awful.
1. Giants (1): Take away Cody Ross' home runs, and they have spent the last week looking like they might never score another run. But they've got the deepest starting rotation among the four teams playing and find ways to win close games. If they can win two of the next three at AT&T Park, they'll win the World Series.
2. Yankees (2): They entered Game 3 against Texas as the only one of the four teams averaging five runs per game, a feat in this pitching-rich autumn. The question, of course, is starting pitching. Through five games their starters had a 5.46 ERA, and only Minnesota had been worse in these playoffs. Joe Girardi hopes that CC Sabathia was so shaky in Game 1 against Texas only because he was off rhythm, working on eight days' rest.
3. Phillies (3): Roy Oswalt put them back on track after Roy Halladay lost to Tim Lincecum in Game 1. The underproducing lineup hinted at a return to form in Game 2 but faces a big challenge going against Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Lincecum in a pitcher's park. A poor outing by Cole Hamels in Game 3 would make it difficult for them to get the series back to Philadelphia.
Clearly, Lincecum, Sanchez, Cain, and Bumgarner are better than Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels, and Blanton. Other than Blanton, all of the Phillies have better ERAs than their Giants counterpart.
How about that big challenge against Matt Cain? He is 0-3 with a 6.23 ERA in his career against the Phillies, his highest against any National League team. And obviously if the Giants win two of three this week, they'll win the World Series. Duh.
Sometimes I wonder how people have jobs.
Then we have Bryce Harper… keep reading after the jump, I promise it will make you mad.
He thinks that Nationals are going to become the Yankees of the National League East. That doesn't even make any sense. But if it did, I guess it would mean they will win the Division once in a three-year span like the Yankees have done since 2008. Maybe he should strive to be the four-time division champs.
They're gonna win some World Series. He's 18. [Washington Post]
"You know, I think in the next couple years, we're gonna be the Yankees of the NL East," he told MASN's Byron Kerr during a conversation about his Arizona Fall League expectations. (Audio here.) "I've been telling everybody that. I think we're gonna be the top program in the NL East, and we're gonna roll. We're gonna win some World Series. That's everybody's goal, and we preach that from day one. [Minor league field coordinator] Bobby Henley, he preached that from day one: 'We're gonna win the NL East one day,' and I really believe that we're gonna do that. So hopefully we bring a couple of World Series to Washington, D.C."
His World Series pick for this year, since the team he's not even on was eliminated in May?
"Yankees-Phillies, that's what I'm looking at right now," Harper replied. "I like Shane Victorino, he's one of my boys, I work out with him in the offseason. And then I love the Yankees, the Yankees have always been my team, I've got to roll with the Yankees."
That's right, boys with Shane Victorino.
Folks, you are going to hate this kid.