Phillies appear primed to repeat as champs 

October, 24, 2009
The Phillies wait a week for the World Series, which may rest their pitching staff, and may or may not cool the hitters that pummeled the Dodgers. As the rain beat down Saturday morning in the Northeast, they didn't know if their next game was at Yankee Stadium or The Big A, but it really doesn't matter, because whomever they play had better be ready for the best American League team that plays its regular season in the National League.

How much the Phillies deserved their 2008 World Series rings got a little waterlogged because so many followed the Tampa Bay series on Doppler radar. And while the Rays had won the AL East and defeated the Red Sox and White Sox to get to the Series, there was some fairy-tale perception that further slighted the Phillies' accomplishments.

But make no mistake this year: The Phillies can win the World Series, whether it's against the Yankees or the Angels. You don't win in October and November if you don't hit; going back to 2005, in the 29 series leading into Yankees-Angels, the team that hit the most home runs won 26 of 29 series; the team that outslugged the other won 28 of 29 times. Postseason baseball was about little ball when Babe Ruth was pitching, but in this generation it's about pitching and power, and the Phillies have both.