PHI: 4-5, 4th in NL East; SF: 4-5, 4th in NL West
When: April 16-18
Where: AT&T Park (San Francisco, CA)
Monday: Roy Halladay (2-0, 0.60) v. Tim Lincecum (0-1, 12.91)
Tuesday: Joe Blanton (1-1, 2.35) v. Madison Bumgarner (1-1, 3.97)
Wednesday: Cliff Lee (0-1, 3.46) v. Matt Cain (1-0, 3.00)
Monday, 10:15, TCN
Tuesday, 10:15, TCN
Wednesday, 10:15, TCN
All Games on 94.1 FM
Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Player to Watch – 3B Pablo Sandoval (.333; 2 HR; 8 RBI): When Sandoval goes, the Giants offense goes with him. He is the team’s leader in RBIs with eight, and also one of the team leaders in batting average at .333. Against Phillies pitching in 2011, Sandoval boasted a .333 average, going 9-for-27 with two doubles, three home runs, and seven runs batted in. Roy Halladay was the only pitcher that Sandoval did not face last season, but is 2-for-4 lifetime against him with a double.
Series Overview: Over the last couple of seasons the Phillies and Giants have gotten to know each other quite well. Those series included tight games, a memorable NLCS, and even a benches-clearing brawl. In 2010 the Giants and Phillies were even at 3-3, then met in the National League Championship Series, which the Giants won in six games. In 2011, the Phillies went 4-3 against the Giants.
The Phillies and Giants have a lot in common this season. Both teams are 4-5 and are in 4th place in their respective divisions coming into this series. Both teams have to deal with division rivals that are younger and up and coming. With both franchises having a recent World Series ring, the pressure is on to keep previous dominance, as these teams look over their shoulders. Both teams also happen to have similar characteristics; dominant pitching, and an unproven offensive lineup.
The Giants struggled out of the gate this season, hiding in the shadow of Los Angeles Dodgers headlines. They are expecting big things out of the lefty Matt Cain, owner of a huge new deal. Tim Lincecum has begun the season shaky, with an 0-1 record and 12.91 earned run average. The Giants lineup has a .243 batting average and has scored 43 runs on the season, 9th in the league. They were swept in their opening season series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but won their next two series against the Colorado Rockies and Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Phillies have had their own struggles as well. They opened on the road in Pittsburgh where they won their first game behind Roy Halladay and one run on offense, only to drop the next two. They lost the first game in the Miami Marlins series and responded with winning the next two. They are coming fresh off a series against the New York Mets where they avoided a sweep on Sunday behind Cole Hamels. The Phillies have scored 28 runs, 2nd worst in the league, but have the 6th best batting average at .264. Their biggest issue this season is stranding runners on base.
Roy Halladay will square off against Tim Lincecum on Monday, a projected pitcher’s duel for the ages. Joe Blanton will face Madison Bumgarner on Tuesday, and Cliff Lee will face Matt Cain on Wednesday.