For some reason it seems to be the popular choice to pick the Phillies in 7 over the Giants. Jayson Stark from ESPN, who should know the Phillies very well, also picked the Phillies in 7. Tim Kurkjian also picked the Phillies in 7. Those are two pretty big baseball guys but they have it wrong and I don't get it.
For the fourth season in a row, the Phillies are in the postseason after a 14 year hiatus. Their first postseason series against the Rockies in 2007 didn't fare well as they were swept in 3 games.
But then things changed and here is why all the 'experts' always get these things wrong. Under Charlie Manuel, the Phillies have never seen a game 7 or even a game 5. What makes someone think this is the series? If anything the Dodgers series two years ago should have went 7. Or even the Yankees World Series last year. Is this anything to base a prediction off of? Well, maybe not...But something about this club's composition has them either win big or lose big. In their 8 post-season series in the past 4 years, none have gone the distance and none have gone to a game 6 in a 7 game series except for last years World Series.
But...The Phillies are in their fourth straight postseason, after back to back world series, one world title, and coming off of the best record in the NL. Also, they swept the Reds in their NLDS series. And still, underrated. 7 games against the Giants? Don't get me wrong, the Giants are good. They are scary. Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez and Bumgarner are awesome. But the Phillies are better. Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels are better. Odds are one of them will lose. But I don't see the three of them losing more than twice combined.
The Giants are slumping at the plate. Scoring 7 runs in three wins is rather unimpressive. The pitching is impressive, yes. But the Braves hitters aren't. The NL west hitters aren't (save the Rockies for a month or two.) This will be a true test for the Giants staff.
But if we have learned one thing about the Phillies in the past three years, is that they bring their game in October. Whether its a Joe Blanton home run, a Carlos Ruiz swinging bunt, or a Young James walk-off double off Jonathan Broxton, the Phillies find ways to win. Throw who you want at the Phillies. They win in October. And they win in 5 games.