When we last caught up with Hall of Famer and TBS studio analyst Dennis Eckersley, his biggest concern about the Phillies was closer Brad Lidge. He was not alone.
Eckersley wondered about Lidge's confidence, given how his season has gone following last year's perfect run. He described the Phillies' bullpen situation as "up in the air."
After Lidge struck out Troy Tulowitzki on five pitches to end Colorado's threat in the ninth inning of Monday's series-clinching Game 4, Eckersley is feeling a lot better about Lidge. Again, he is not alone.
"That was clutch, that was pressure out there," Eckersley said.
That is why Eckersley is choosing the Phillies to move to their second consecutive World Series.
"When they win a game like that it's hard not to pick the Phillies, it really is," he said. "That veteran lineup, they put the same lineup in every night and then you see the lefthanded pitching they have. The biggest problem is the bullpen, if you can get Lidge where he is . . . I know that's just one out, but that would be the difference because the Los Angeles bullpen is so good. I have to take Philly today. I might change my mind, but right now it's Philly."
On the road
The network will begin its coverage 30 minutes before game time with "TBS On Deck" and then conclude with "Inside MLB" after the game.
The Phillies-Rockies Division Series earned a 2.5 household ratings nationally and 3,816,000 viewers. The series averaged an 18.7 rating in the Philadelphia market and a 13.6 rating in the Denver market.
Coverage of the Division Series led TBS to its most viewed week in the 33-year history of the network. Over the 13 LDS games, TBS averaged a 3.1 household rating, up 11 percent over last year, and an 11 percent increase in total viewers (4,769,000 vs. 4,282,000). Chip Caray will handle the play-by-play, along with analysts Ron Darling and Buck Martinez and reporter Craig Sager.
The TBS pregame and postgame shows will be at the game sites beginning Saturday with Game 3 at Citizens Bank Park. Should the series return to Los Angeles, the crew will broadcast from Dodger Stadium.