Thursday, October 14, 2010

Giants rotation gives them the edge in NLCS

The San Francisco Giants Vs. the Philadelphia Phillies is being hailed as one of the greatest playoff pitching matchups in postseason history.   There is no disputing that these are some great pitchers but how did they fare against their opponents this season?

Well, let's take a look:

Game 1
Tim Lincecum Vs.
Roy Halladay

Lincecum faced the Phillies once this season.  He dominated them.   He struck out 11 and allowed three hits.  the Phillies managed 2 runs off of him.  He didn't get the win however because the bullpen fell apart and the Giants wound up losing 7-6.  His ERA stands at 2.16 against the Phillies.

Halladay also faced the Giants only once this season.  He gave up 10 hits and 5 runs in 5 innings pitched.  he lost to Jonathan Sanchez 5-1.  Halladay is sporting a nice 6.43 ERA against the Giants this season.

Game 2
Jonathan Sanchez Vs.
Roy Oswalt

Jonathan Sanchez is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 13 IP against the Phillies this season.  He has held them to an incredible .114 batting average as well.

Roy Oswalt is 1-3 with a 3.33 ERA against the Giants with 22 Strikeouts in 27 IP.  You kind of have to throw out the won - loss record since he was an Astro for his 3 losses to the Giants and his one win came with the Phillies.  Although he gave up 3 runs to the Giants and only won because Barry Zito gave up 4.  If Roy gives up three runs in this game, It's an almost certain bet he will be hung with an "L".

Game 3
Matt Cain Vs.
Cole Hamels

Matt Cain gave up 5 runs to the Phillies in 6 IP.  Only 2 of those runs were earned so it is tough to get a clear picture of how well he pitched against them.  He struck out 4 batters in 6 IP and gave up 7 hits so it would be safe to say that he struggled against them.  One of those 7 hits was a HR.

Cole Hamels appears to be the real weak link against the Giants for the Phillies.  He has pitched twice against them and is 0-1 with a 7.46 ERA.  He gave up 16 hits to them in 11 IP but he also managed to strike out 15 Giants in those same 11 IP.  the Giants are batting a modest .346 against him this season.

Game 4 is tough to preview.  If a team is down 3-0 or if a team is even down 2-1 we may see one or both of the pitchers from game 1 again.  If the Phillies do go with a different starter for game 4 we don't even know who that would be.  Joe Blanton is a possibility.  he beat the Giants earlier this season but it was only because they couldn't figure out how to score any runs off him after getting 8 hits in 6.1 IP.  Though his 4.82 season ERA  has got to be a concern for Phi.  ( his record was still 9-6 despite that ERA.  Could you imagine what his record would have been if he were on the Giants?  3-12 ? barry Zito's ERA was only 4.15 and he's not even on the postseason roster!  He was 9-14, BTW)

Kyle Kendrick is another option.  His 4.73 ERA was not good even though he wound up with a winning record as well (11-10).  he did not face the Giants this season so maybe the Phillies would throw a little bit of the unknown at them?

Madison Bumgarner would appear to be the wildcard in this series.  his 1.13 ERA in Sept as the Giants were in a bitter pennant race shows that this kid has the guts.  He did only go 3-2 but that's because the Giants didn't score a single run for him in either of the losses.  He has figured out how to win as a Giant since he only allowed 1 total run in the 3 wins he had in Sept.!  His 6 IP 2 ER performance against ATL showed that he can pitch in the postseason just as well as he can in the regular season.  He is definitely the wildcard but I believe that he is the guy who gives the Giants the edge.

The Giants have a big 4 while the Phillies have a big 3.  This is no small advantage in a 7 game series.  One game can be the difference between winning and losing the series.  Sure Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels have the name recognition but the Giants pitchers are simply better.  They are going to have to be since the likelihood of the offense waking up is remote at best.

Oh and who would you rather have pitching the 9th?  Brian Wilson or Brad Lidge?

Giants in 6

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