This one has that capability as it pits two gritty teams, clubs with resiliency to match their talent. Tampa Bay has that karma thing going for it, but let’s not overlook the Phillies, no matter how much you hate them.
They also can make a destiny argument.
Both teams can mash, but the Phillies have Ryan Howard, capable of controlling a Series. The Rays have a young, talented staff, but Philadelphia probably has the best pitcher in Cole Hamels and the dominant closer in Brad Lidge.
I believe the Rays shook the jitters when they blew Game 5 at Boston and hung on to win. They won’t be rattled. I think they’ll prevail in seven.
And if they don’t? Well, I’m happy if it goes seven.
I like David Wright, I really do. And, it has nothing to do with him being a good ballplayer. He’s one of the stand-up Mets, a player the writers can always go to when things aren’t going good to get a pulse on things.
Other players hide. Others give nothing answers.
Wright always gives the writers something to work with. Last night, however, I think he whiffed in his comments.
He said: “This is what makes it fun…This is what you work hard for. This is what you prepare for…This is a bump in the road. It doesn’t matter what Philadelphia does. It only matters what the guys in this clubhouse do and we plan on getting the job done. Like I said, we’re gonna see what we’re made of. This is a little bump in the road, and I’m excited moving forward because I think we’ve got a room full of guys who will not allow us to fail.”
A couple of things. First, it does matter what Philadelphia does, and second, that’s more than just a bump in the road. They were knocked out of first place last night and there’s no guarantee they’ll get back there.
He was right about one thing: We will find out what they are made of.
Jerry Manuel has been saying his faith in Pedro Martinez is in his experience, and that his “stuff,” is as good as it is going to get. That’s around 88, not a lot to be encouraged about.
In his last three starts Martinez has worked 15 innings, and given up 13 runs on 21 hits. Two of those starts have been Met losses to Philadelphia.
Overall, Martinez has given up 10 homers in his last eight starts. That’s not just rust.
Martinez hasn’t been giving the Mets innings, either. You can look for the Mets to go heavy into bullpen tonight, which, of course, is not comforting.