Oct 132010
Former Phillie Pat Burrell

Former Phillie Pat Burrell

October 13:

Phillies news stories from around the web…

Giants-Phillies shapes up as pitching classic

October 13 San Francisco Chronicle:

“Inside a clubhouse clinching celebration, hyperbole flows like Champagne, so maybe Aubrey Huff was a mite too exuberant as he looked ahead to Tim Lincecum vs. Roy Halladay, Matt Cain vs. Roy Oswalt and Jonathan Sanchez vs. Cole Hamels, if indeed it unfolds that way.

“This might be the best three pitching matchups the world has ever seen,” Huff said. “It’s going to be fun to watch.”

In the year of the pitcher, what else should dominate the National League Championship Series, which begins in Philadelphia on Saturday?

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Despite pitching, offense expected

October 13 Camden Courier-Post:

“With six of the league’s top starters expected to take the mound in the National League Championship Series, runs may be at a premium. But as the Phillies and Giants get set to square off with a trip to the World Series in the balance, first baseman Ryan Howard isn’t ruling out the possibility of some offensive fireworks.

“I don’t think anybody on this (offense) is thinking, hey we have shaky numbers going into this,” Howard said. “This is a fresh start. What we did during the year doesn’t matter. Now, we’re focusing on the task at hand. I don’t think anybody from either team is really focused on what happened during the season.”

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One for the aces

October 13 Camden Courier-Post:

“It’s a pitching matchup baseball fans have dreamed of, but Charlie Manuel isn’t interested in making it a reality just yet.

From the moment the Giants clinched their spot in the National League Championship Series, the buzz over a potential Game 1 matchup of two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum and this year’s Cy Young favorite Roy Halladay had fans drooling. And while there’s every reason to assume that’s exactly the pitching duel they’ll see on Saturday, Manuel wasn’t giving away any secrets ahead of time.

“You can assume whatever you want to,” Manuel said before Tuesday’s practice at Citizens Bank Park. “We don’t know yet. We haven’t discussed it yet.”

It’s hard to envision any other scenario.

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No fear from Phillies after year of adversity

October 13 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Sam Donnellon:

“Most avoid the word as much as they do the media.

Any Phillies player worth his average will readily concede that baseball is a game of failure, and yet fear is something they never claim to consider, at least not in the conventional understanding of the word.

“It’s not fear,” Shane Victorino was saying after the Phillies’ workout yesterday. “I know what you’re saying. I mean, fear? They’re two different versions of fear.”

The baseball version, the one that propelled the Phillies to their fourth consecutive postseason and a first-round sweep of the Cincinnati Reds, hides behind several more palatable words. First and foremost is motivation, which casts a wide-ranging net around other emotions, like anger, revenge, opportunity and, yes, fear.

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Phillies’ Domonic Brown learning how to be a winner

October 13 Philadelphia Daily News columnist John Smallwood:

“Officially, Domonic Brown’s postseason history consists of one at-bat, with no hits, no walks and one run scored.

If Phillies manager Charlie Manuel does not activate the 23-year-old rookie for the National League Championship Series, those might be Brown’s only postseason stats.

Even if Brown is on the roster for the series with the San Francisco Giants that begins on Saturday, he’s likely to be used only as a pinch-hitter or a pinch-runner.

But if you think Brown isn’t gaining valuable experience, think again. By being around a team making its third straight NLCS appearance, with designs on capturing its second World Series in 3 years, Brown is learning the most important intangible of all – how to become a winner.

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Could be just like old times for Phillies

October 13 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Paul Hagen:

“What we have here is a playoff series that should be played in black-and-white. Listened to on a staticky old Philco in your grandparents’ parlor. Seen, if at all, in person or a few days later on a grainy Movietone newsreel playing down at the neighborhood theater.

Can’t you just see Wee Willie Keeler stepping up to the plate? Isn’t that John McGraw in the dugout?

What we have here in the National League Championship Series between Your Philadelphia Phillies and the San Francisco Giants, which opens Saturday night at The Bank, is a playoff that seems to have somehow time-traveled from the deadball era to the present, a matchup in which pitching figures to rule and each run will be as treasured as a gold ingot at Fort Knox

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Rotation may have different look for NLCS

October 13 Philadelphia Inquirer:

“In the National League Championship Series, the Phillies’ roster and rotation figure to look a little different from the way they did during the team’s three-game division series sweep of Cincinnati.

With this being a best-of-seven series, manager Charlie Manuel said “there’s definitely a possibility” that Joe Blanton will pitch Game 4 against the San Francisco Giants.

The Phillies prepared for that scenario Tuesday by having Blanton pitch a simulated game during a workout at Citizens Bank Park.

“I think that’s something we’ll discuss in our meetings,” Manuel said. “I feel comfortable with Joe Blanton.”

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Ex-Phil Burrell set to take swings against former mates

October 13 Philadelphia Inquirer:

“The celebration in the visitors’ clubhouse at Turner Field was at full bore late Monday night with the sound of beer cans popping open and Giants players showering one another with the brew, their whoops and hollers creating a din.

Off in a corner stood Pat Burrell, arms folded and smiling, a picture of quiet, calm content, like a proud father at a college commencement.

“I couldn’t be happier for this group, especially for the guys who’ve had their first chance to do this,” he said. “So here we go. We’re going to get ready for Philly, a big series, and hopefully, we can get to the next level.”

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