NLCS Preview

Roxlogo_2 COLORADO ROCKIES

(93-73; NL WILD CARD/DEF. PHILLIES 3-0 in LDS)

VS.

Dbacks_1 ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

(93-72; NL WEST CHAMPS/DEF. CUBS 3-0 in LDS)

Tale of the Tape:

Catcher: Yorvit Torrealba (COL) vs. Chris Snyder (ARZ): Torrealba came up with some big hits for the Rox in the LDS.  Snyder hit .143 for the Snakes against the Baby Bears.  Advantage: Arizona

1st Base: Todd Helton (COL) vs. Conor Jackson (ARZ): Neither guy hit very well in the LDS with Helton batting .083 and Jackson hitting .125.  Helton did have a big home run in game 1 and has a heavy experience edge.  Huge Advantage: Colorado

2nd Base: Kazuo Matsui (COL) vs. Augie Ojeda (ARZ): If they gave LDS MVP’s both of these guys might have been the winners.  Matsui had a huge game 2 with a grand slam to go with a double and triple.  Ojeda killed his former team with a .444 average.  Advantage: Colorado

3rd Base: Garret Atkins (COL) vs. Mark Reynolds (ARZ): Atkins is another member of this young Rockies nucleus but only batted .231 in the division series.  Reynolds looks striking like the blonde guy from ******* and had a big homer against the Cubs.  Huge Advantage: Colorado

Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki (COL) vs. Stephen Drew (ARZ): Two of the best young shortstops in the majors.  This is very reminiscent of Jeter vs. A-Rod in the 1995 ALDS.  A sign of things to come.  Drew hit .500 in the LDS against the Cubs. Small Advantage: Arizona

Left Field: Matt Holliday (COL) vs. Eric Byrnes (ARZ): The media creation vs. the Guy the media ignores.  Byrnes had a nice LDS, including the homer to ice it in game 3, but make no mistake Holliday is the best player in this series.  Huge Advantage: Colorado

Center FIeld: Ryan Spilborghs (COL) vs. Chris Young (ARZ): Both players are rather unassuming with Chris Young getting the edge due to his knack for the longball.  His homer to lead off game 3 at Wrigley took the Cubbie crowd out of the game right away.  Advantage: Arizona

Right Field: Brad Hawpe (COL) vs. Justin Upton (ARZ): Hawpe a strong middle of the order lefty can cause matchup problems in a run of righties in the Colorado order.  Upton has tremendous upside and had a great LDS.  Small Advantage: Colorado

Starting Rotation: Both teams feature solid aces in Jeff Francis and Brandon Webb, but get shaky after the one spot.  Both staffs were excellent in the LDS and should be up to the task again here. Dont underestimate the big game capability of Livan Hernandez in game 3. Small Advantage: Arizona

Bullpen: Both bullpens are strikingly similar and amazingly solid.  Fuentes anchors the middle relief corp with the Rox along with former Giants closer Matt Herges. The Diamondbacks feature Tony Pena and Brandon Lyon.  Small Advantage: Colorado

Closer: Manny Corpas (COL) vs. Jose Valverde (ARZ): Both guys were nails in the 2nd half and untouchable in the LDS.  The only edge to Valverde is he has done it all year.  Small Advantage: Arizona

Manager: Clint Hurdle (COL) vs. Bob Melvin (ARZ): Both skippers are new to the League Championship Series stage and it should be interesting to see how they handle the pressure.  I have always been a huge Clint Hurdle fan and am glad Colorado gave him a chance to see this thing through.  Small Advantage: Colorado

Other Catergories…

Best Team Ever: 2007 Rockies vs. 2001 Diamondbacks: For right now the 2001 D’Backs are clearly the choice as they got the job done and won it all dispatching one of the great dynasties of all time.  But this Rockie squad continues to jump up the list with every game they win.  Advantage: Arizona

Biggest Heartbreak: Rockies in 95 LDS; 4 run 9th by Atlanta in Game 2 vs. D’Backs in 99 LDS; Walk off series ending home run by Todd Pratt of Mets: The Rockies never really had a chance in the 95 Division Series against eventual World Champion Atlanta.  Anytime you lose a series on a walk off its a big heartbreak.  Disadvantage: Arizona

Hometown Fans: This one is a pretty easy choice.  The Rockie fans have supported that team whenever they win and you can bet that this weekend in Denver there will be 50,000+ screaming Rockie fans every night.  As for the D’Backs there are still 8000 unsold tickets to games 1 and 2.  Advantage: Colorado

Stadium: Coors Field vs. Chase Field: Both newer era ballparks built in the mid to late 90’s.  Of all the stadiums I have been to excluding Busch which is a whole seperate experience Coors is my favorite.  The view of the Rockies is breathtaking.  Gimmie that over a swimming pool every day.  Advantage: Colorado

Mascot: Dinger (COL) vs. Baxter (ARZ): A purple Dinosaur or a Bobcat? I hate mascots that have nothing to do with the name of the team.  Wouldn’t a mountain lion have made sense for the Rockies?  Or a SNAKE for the D’Backs?  I hate them both, but I’ll go with Dinger as he appeared to entertain the kiddies during my trip to Denver.  Advantage: Colorado

City: Denver vs. Phoenix: Both cities are pretty nice, with the view of the Rockies in Denver being its trademark.  That and being "a mile high"  Phoenix is 100 degrees in November and the average age is 91. Advantage: Colorado

Franchise Icon: Larry Walker vs. Randy Johnson: Not much to choose from considering these two teams have been around a combined 25 years.  The Big Unit is a hall of famer however so its hard to pick against him.  Advantage: Arizona

Series Prediction: The Rockies are red hot and just two weeks ago took 2 out 3 from the Snakes in Denver.  They also won the season series 10-8.  I still for some reason just don’t believe in this D’Backs team, and am wondering if the Rox are a team of destiny

Colorado in 6

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