Cliff Lee Signing Leads to Huge Hype for Phillies Big 4

With the announcement of Cliff Lee signing with the Phillies the hype of the Philles “Big 4” has already started. Comparisons are already being thrown around with the best rotations of the past 40+ years. Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine and insert Neagle-Avery etc. Dobson, Cuellar, Palmer and McNally.

Lets not forget the supposedly big bad unbeatable 4 lost a total of 5 games to the Giants in the 2010 postseason. Yes I am biased and yes the Giants were a hot team. But nobody will ever confuse the Giants for murders row. I know the thought of Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels sounds sexy but only Hamels owns a World Series ring.

The Phillies starting lineup is full of guys in their 30s. And Dominic Brown was reportedly sent home from winter ball after going 2-29. And don’t forget Jayson Werth and his 70+ extra base hits will have to be replaced.

So before we hand over the 2011 World Series Trophy or the National League Pennant lets consider a couple things.

Outside of Brad Lidge the Phillies bullpen is well, pretty terrible. Just ask Hudson, Mulder and Zito about their glory days with the A’s and how many wins a bad bullpen cost all of them.

The Braves are no joke. They were under appreciated in the 2010 Postseason. Hudson, Lowe and Hanson all pitched well and the Braves were a break or two away and a couple of Brooks Conrad errors away from knocking off the Giants in the NLDS.  With the addition of Dan Uggla and a very tough bullpen the Braves figure to be neck and neck with the Phillies all season in 2011.

And finally the Giants “Big 4”. Outside of Lincecum although not as established as the Phillies “Big 4′ are a force to be reckoned with. On any given day any of the four has the stuff to shut down anybody. Just ask the Rangers and their powerful lineup that was one Nelson Cruz game 5 swing away from being shut out 3 times in the World Series.

One thing for sure. 2011 is shaping up to be a very interesting season.


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