by: Ryan McKenna
With the San Francisco Giants winning the National League pennant last night, it was a slap in the face for the Philadelphia Phillies. A Phillies squad who has names like Halladay, Oswalt, Howard, Utley, Werth, and Victorino compared to a Giants team who has Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, Posey…and really after that, there aren’t too many big names, no offence intended to the Giants. So what happened? What did the Phillies do wrong that the Giants did right?
I don’t like to single out people, nobody does, but Ryan Howard and Chase Utley did not show up whatsoever in the 2010 playoffs. Yes, Howard did have the second best AVG. on the Phillies roster in the NLCS (Roy Halladay had the best at .333), but it was stats such as his strikeout percentage (50%), or his ISO (down from .229 in ’09 postseason to .107 in ’10 playoffs, a difference of 122 points) that really brought him down. Did we mention that in 8 playoff games he did NOT record a home run or an RBI??? Chase Utley was not much better. He only managed to rack in 1 RBI while finishing the NLCS at a .182 average.
Sure, these key players did not show up to play, but it was the emergence of one player that really set the Giants a step ahead of the Phillies. Sure, Lincecum and Cain pitched great, but Cody Ross was a force to be reckoned with these last couple of weeks. Which brings in the question, who is this kid?
Well, you may remember Ross from his days as a Florida Marlin, where he played well for the ‘Fish. In late August, Ross was awarded to the Giants after they claimed him off waivers. He appeared in 33 regular season games for the Giants and started for the Giants in the NLDS against the Braves. That series was the start of his legacy in the 2010 postseason. He kept the momentum going in the NLCS, where he was “Mr. Clutch”. When the Giants needed a run, he delievred. When the Giants needed a hit to get there offence going, he had it in him. Ross finished that NLCS series with a .350 average, 3 doubles, 3 home runs, and 5 RBI’s, all in just 6 games. Not bad eh? Also not too shabby for his first playoff appearance! His solid performance earned him not only a lot of respect around baseball, but the MVP award for the NLCS. We also might have forgot to mention the biggest one of all, a ticket to the World Series!
Ah yes, the World Series! The Texas Rangers will face off against the San Francisco Giants. It all gets under way on Wednesday, October 27th on FOX. Coverage starts at 7:30 ET. The Hot Corner will have our World Series show on Tuesday evening. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages to know when it will be up. This year will be a good one and a first for both clubs, a World Series ring.