The 4-5 starts may not be an indication of how good the Phillies and Giants really are. But slow starts aside, they are the National League’s two best teams and tonight they will be throwing their best out on the hill to face each other.
It will be the first of a three-game series out in San Francisco (Series Preview by Keiana Williams).
Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum are the faces of both of those teams, which share a passion for pitching while the offense leaves a lot to be desired on a nightly basis.
Their paths first met in the 2010 NLCS where Halladay and Lincecum dueled in Game 1 and Game 5. Lincecum got the best of Doc in the first match up while Halladay kept his team alive in Game 5.
But Lincecum’s squad got the last laugh, winning the series in six games and winning the World Series.
Lincecum’s World Series ring aside (Halladay is still looking for his first), Lincecum and Halladay have won a lot of personal hardware in their careers. Between the two, they have four Cy Youngs, 12 All-Star appearances, three strike outs championships (all Lincecum) and two no-hitters (all Halladay).
The two pitchers are coming into their first regular season match up with different views.
Halladay (2-0) has allowed only one run in 15 innings so far through his first two starts, striking out eight.
Lincecum (0-1), on the other hand, has struggled greatly in his first two outings, getting tapped for 11 runs in only 7 2/3 innings. His 12.91 ERA is the worst on the team and arguably the two worst back-to-back starts in his illustrious young career.
With how both pitchers fair against the opposing teams tonight reflects an almost exact opposite image of how they have done so far this year. One would expect a dominating performance from Halladay while Lincecum struggles yet again but the two pitchers’ histories against their respective teams could pose for a different outcome.
Lincecum has dominated the Phillies his entire career, not just that one post season series. In nine career starts, Lincecum is 4-1 with a 2.61 ERA against the Phillies.
But never has Lincecum faced Halladay outside of the post season since the Phillies big arm joined the National League in 2010.
But Halladay’s luck against the Giants isn’t so good. In 18 1/3 innings against the Giants in three starts, Halladay is 0-2 and has allowed 15 runs.
It should be interesting to see how Lincecum performs against the Phillies, who are coming off of a season-high eight-run performance against the Mets on Sunday. But their line up is greatly depleted and the holes left by Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are getting wider and wider with each game the offense struggles to score in.
That is why they rest tied for 27th with only 28 runs scored despite a .260 team average, good for sixth in the league.
San Francisco’s offense isn’t much better this season though. They may be 10th in the league in runs scored but their team average is a mediocre .243.
There’s your story line: two struggling offenses, an ace who is on fire that struggles against the Giants and another ace who is desperate for a quality start against a team he dominates.
Doc v Lincecum 1.0 in the regular season is underway tonight at 10:15 EST.