Here we are, on the eve of the NLCS, in what is sure to be another classic series between the LA Dodgers and the Phightin' Phils. This is the 5th time in postseason history that the Phils and Dodgers will be meeting in the NLCS. Both teams have advanced to the World Series twice in the previous matchups. The Dodgers won the first two encounters in 1977 and 1978 and the Phillies won in 1983 and last year's World Championship year.
Tomorrow night we will see Clayton Kershaw vs. Cole Hamels at Dodger Stadium. Hamels needs to regain his 2008 postseason form and the Phillies' bats need to get hot and strike first and often. The Phightins' need to set the tone early and should the world once again, why we are the defending World Champions. The Phillies are riding high after their incredible series with the Rockies. For me, it was one of the best series I have ever seen. With the exception of Game 1 (I was in attendance), every game was decided by one run. The Phillies need to bring that energy to LA. Things are looking good for the Phightins', the bats are swing well but need to get better with runners in scoring position. We can not leave the bases loaded over and over again and expect to win another World Championship. Brad Lidge is looking like the same pitcher than closed out our first World Series win in 28 years. Also, it looks like our bullpen will get a little stronger with the hopeful return of Chan Ho Park and Joe Blanton has pitched well from the pen. We all know what happens when a team gets Great Pitching and Clutch Hitting in October, you win your first World Championship in 28 years.
I am confident that by Game 6 of the NLCS, we will be gearing up for another World Series in Philadelphia. I can hear it now, the sound of 45,000 Phillies Phaithful chanting as one, "Beat LA, Beat LA, Beat LA."