SportsNation Blog ArchivesSN Blog Archives Philadelphia Phillies

Baseball's hot stove always seems to flare up in spurts. Weeks of inactivity go by with rumors flying but few trades surfacing. Then, in the course of a weekend, everything can change.

The Red Sox's long pursuit of Adrian Gonzalez finally came to an end, as Boston will trade several young prospects for the chance to add a hugely important left-handed bat to its lineup. Gonzalez seems tailor-made for Fenway Park and instantly changes the balance of power in the AL East. Meanwhile, the Nationals made their biggest free-agent signing ever, inking Jayson Werth to a seven-year, $126 million contract. Werth is a big-time talent, but the Nationals may have overpaid in their pursuit of true relevance. Would you rather have the slugging excellence of Gonzalez or the five-tool consistency of Werth?

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1. Who would you rather have: Halladay or Lee??

Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee are in the news again. Halladay won his second Cy Young Award in a unanimous vote, and Lee is being courted by seemingly every contender in Major League Baseball. Which ace has the brighter future?

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It's not exactly a shock that the last four teams standing in the baseball playoffs are among the more statistically successful teams in the game this season. There's a reason the Pirates and Mariners aren't in this discussion. But in pitting strength against strength, the ALCS and NLCS offer two of the more intriguing matchups in recent memory.

The Phillies have their "H20" rotation with Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, but is it really any better than Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez, the top of a Giants rotation that led MLB with a 3.36 ERA in the regular season? And while the Yankees led the sport in runs scored, do they really have an edge on a lineup that includes possible MVP Josh Hamilton, Vladimir Guerrero and the kind of aggressiveness on the bases that befuddled the Rays in Game 5?

Andrew (San Francisco)

Halladay vs. Lincecum on [Saturday]... How does that rate among the best marquee pitching match-ups in recent post-season history?

Rob Neyer
Rob Neyer

Recent? Gotta be way up there. I suspect there have been plenty of matchups between future Hall of Famers, if you go back far enough. Probably not many battles between the two most recent Cy Young winners, though. Full transcript

Ray A. (San Francisco, CA)

Do playoff pitching matchups get any better than the Giants and Phillies?

Joe Morgan
Joe Morgan

Well, only if you're going to go Koufax against Gibson. But I would say in this day and age it probably doesn't get any better. But pitching has dominated the scene. [In Rays-Rangers Game 5], Price against Lee. There are a lot of great pitchers this year with great seasons. There have been a lot of great matchups. Full transcript

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video

It was a baseball performance unlike anything anyone younger than 54 years old had ever seen. But was Roy Halladay's no-hitter, the first in the postseason since Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, the best performance in all of sports this year?

We've had a Super Bowl passing performance for the ages, a near-miracle from the real-life "Hoosiers" in the Final Four, a marathon match at Wimbledon and a Landon Donovan goal that made the whole country soccer fans for at least a day. And that doesn't even include a college football national championship, the Winter Olympics, NBA and NHL postseason action or a full regular season of baseball, including, lest we forget, a perfect game from Mr. Halladay.

So what's your call, SportsNation? Was Wednesday night the best performance of 2010?

wolf.in.pinstripes

Yankees fan here.... offering a tip o' the cap and a thank you to Roy Halladay. That was as fun to watch as anything in a long, long time. It's a good day to be a baseball fan.

-- wolf.in.pinstripes
freshtodef009

I'm slowing starting to become a Phillies Fan I hate to say that but after that performance by Halladay who isn't cheering for the Phillies.

-- freshtodef009
cdman882

Best post season pitching performance I've seen since Roger Clemens' complete game, one-hit shut out, w/ 15 K's, of the Mariners in the 2000 ALCS.

-- cdman882

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ALDS: SportsNation's burning questions for Rangers vs. Rays

Bobby (Texas)

While Tampa Bay stole the most bases in baseball, Rangers catchers were 26th in baseball at throwing out runners? How can Texas limit the Rays' running game?

ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett
Richard Durrett

That's one important storyline of this series. And we're actually working up a big blog post on that now. Manager Ron Washington said yesterday that keeping runners close is part of the pitcher's job, which of course it is. They'll be aware and make sure they do what they can to step off, throw over and mix things up to try to keep the runners from getting big leads. Full transcript

Game 2: SportsNation's burning questions for Twins vs. Yankees

Doug (New Rochelle, NY)

Do the Yankees even need 4 starters in round 1, or does it depend on the schedule?

Rob Neyer
Rob Neyer

No, they don't need four starters in the Division Series if Sabathia goes once on short rest. We'll see what Girardi does. Full transcript

Game 3: SportsNation's burning questions for Braves vs. Giants

Jerry (Elk Grove, CA)

Jerry, Can you remember a time when it was best for a team to leave their two highest paid, healthy, players off of the playoff roster? This year, should the Giants make it, there's no way they should include Zito and Rowand, not with Sanchez and Bumgarner stepping it up and with all of the other outfield choices they have.

Jerry Crasnick
Jerry Crasnick

Jerry, Zito is a strange case, because it's hard to see him coming out of the bullpen. I'm not sure who Bruce Bochy will take as his fourth guy after Lincecum, Cain and Sanchez. Aaron Rowand is one of the all-time great guys and competitors, but he barely plays these days. The Giants have such a glut of outfielders, I can't see where he fits in October. Full transcript

Game 4: SportsNation's burning questions for Phillies vs. Reds

Herbie (Cincinnati)

Joe. Is Brandon Phillips the best Reds 2nd Baseman since your tenure?

Joe Morgan
Joe Morgan

He's great. He makes unbelievable plays at second, and for a stretch there, he was the best Reds player I've seen in a long time. He got hit on the hand by a pitch and didn't get his offense back, but he says it's well now and he expects to play well. I would say yes, but there have been some good players there. Full transcript

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