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Michael Taylor 26th Oct 2008 - 15:28

World Series game four: Rays at Phillies

With a dramatic walk-off win last night the Philadelphia Phillies put themselves into pole position to win this year's World Series and with a win tonight's game four the Series could be all but over.

With the Phillies set to hand the ball to the star of the post-season Cole Hamels in game five on Monday night it seems absolutely vital that the Tampa Bay Rays manage to pull back level as fourth string pitchers, Joe Blanton faces Andy Sonnanstine.

Since Blanton's move to Philadelphia he has proved to be a decent acquisition. He is yet to suffer a loss at his new club and despite posting an ERA of over four he has managed to find ways to win games. 

His opponent, Andy Sonnanstine, looks to be something of a risk for the Rays. His regular season form was beyond what anybody could have expected as even the scouting reports would describe his range of pitches as average. He has little velocity on his fastball and his off-speed stuff is nothing special. What Sonnanstine does manage, and the reason for his success this year, is consistency; he rarely walks batters and throws accurately to all corners of the plate. If he is not on his game though then Rays will no doubt be left wondering why the more successful and talented Edwin Jackson was not the final man in the rotation.

Everything looks to be going against the Rays for this game as they fight for their World Series lives. Blanton looks to have the edge over Sonnanstine and the heart of the Rays line-up has still not shown-up after obliterating the Boston Red Sox brilliant rotation in the ALCS. Sensible money should go on a Philadelphia Phillies win and even a two run handicap it looks promising.


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