Yankee Jorge Posada watches his fifth-inning grand slam off Astros...

Yankee Jorge Posada watches his fifth-inning grand slam off Astros reliever Casey Daigle at Yankee Stadium, Sunday. (June 13, 2010) Credit: AP

Roy Wonder

When you look at the starting pitchers slated for this World Series rematch, you have one great faceoff - Roy Halladay against CC Sabathia Tuesday - followed by what looks like two huge Yankees advantages. A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte go Wednesday and Thursday against two Phillies, Kyle Kendrick and Jamie Moyer, who could serve as professional piñatas for the Yankees' potent lineup. Therefore, it's incumbent upon Halladay - who has a career 18-6 record and 2.84 ERA against the Yankees - to set the tone for the visitors. If "Doc" falters, then the 32-29 Phillies could depart the Bronx with a .500 record.

Traffic in the trainer's room

Alex Rodriguez (tendinitis, right hip flexor) just missed the weekend. Jorge Posada (right foot) just returned to his catching duties and felt fatigue in the injured area. Brett Gardner (left thumb) surely isn't 100 percent. Unfortunately for Joe Girardi, he has just one DH spot at which he can give his banged-up regulars a half-day. Girardi generally excels at juggling his roster to keep everyone healthy and happy, and he'll have to put those skills to good use in what should be intense games against the Phillies . . .

Philadelphia fury. . .

. . . unless they aren't intense games at all because the Phillies have been pretty terrible lately. They're 13-17 since the "Binoculars Game," when the Rockies' television station caught Phillies bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer sporting the illegal device while the Phillies were batting at Coors Field. In that span, the Phillies have been shut out five times and have scored just one run three more times. They beat the Red Sox, 5-3, at Fenway Park on Sunday but scored a total of four runs in the three previous games. Can batter-friendly Yankee Stadium revive their offense?

Reputation vs. reality

At least before this slump, the Phillies carried that "Never say die" personality with them, as a team you couldn't count out until they used up their 27 outs. And with Joba Chamberlain inconsistent, the Phillies could have a needed late opening. So far, though, the Phillies have put up an awful .484 OPS in the eighth inning and bad .688 OPS in the ninth. Will the Phillies help Chamberlain right himself, or will it be Chamberlain serving as the helper? Also of interest in the late innings: The Yankees' Chan Ho Park will be facing the Phillies, his team from last year that might know a Park trick or two.

The Chase goes on

Ryan Howard might get the pub and the dough, but Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley is arguably the team's best position player. He owns good career regular-season numbers against Burnett (.348 on-base percentage and .524 slugging percentage), and he went deep against Burnett in Game 5 of last year's World Series. And though Utley has just three regular-season at-bats against Sabathia, he went deep three times off the lefthander during last year's Fall Classic. Maybe Utley, 6-for-38 this month, can find comfort in the Yankees' expensive starters.

Predictions: Just as you'd expect. Halladay will defeat Sabathia and the Yankees Tuesday night, 5-2, but the Yankees will rebound with victories of 11-3 and 6-1 to take the series.

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