PHI: 41-52, 5th in NL East; SF: 51-41, 1st in NL West
When: July 20-22
Where: Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, PA)
Friday: Vance Worley (5-5, 3.47) vs Tim Lincecum (3-10, 5.93)
Saturday: Cole Hamels (11-4, 3.07) vs Matt Cain (10-3, 2.56)
Sunday: Joe Blanton (8-8, 4.79) vs TBA
Friday, 7:05, PHL 17
Saturday, 4:05, FOX
Sunday, 1:35, PHL 17
All Games on 94.1 FM
Player to Watch – SP Matt Cain: Heading the early NL Cy Young discussions is Matt Cain. Cain, who will battle against another Cy Young-caliber pitcher in Cole Hamels, will be on display. Phils fans will be eyeing Cain a little closely because it’s his deal that is a launching pad for what the Phillies are looking to give Hamels, who so happens to be dueling with Cain. Cain is 10-3 on the season with a 2.56 ERA and a perfect game under his belt.
Series Preview: The Phils are coming off a six-game road trip in which they went 4-2, including nearly sweeping the Dodgers.
They come back home to face the Giants for three, lining themselves up against San Fran’s finest pitching. Vance Worley will take on Tim Lincecum, who has struggled greatly this season but has dominated the Phillies in his career.
Then the big match-up between Hamels and Cain will be on Saturday afternoon on FOX. The two best pitchers in the National League will showcase their talents on national TV.
If it weren’t for the big pitching match-up on Saturday, any of the Giants big three All-Star hitters could be spotlighted for this series.
Let’s start with Melky Cabrera, who is having a fine season with Giants. He’s hitting a team-high .357 with nine homers and 48 RBIs.
Then there is Buster Posey, who leads the team with 11 homers and 53 RBIs while hitting .308. Lastly, Pablo Sandoval is having another good season, hitting .303 with eight home runs and 30 RBIs.
Hunter Pence has struggled in the past week, going 4-for-24 (.167) in the last six games. But despite that, three of those hits included a pair of clutch two-run singles and a three-run homer.
Overall, the Phillies are playing better team baseball. But they are going to need to go on a tear soon if they want to be back in the playoff hunt.
It continues with the Giants tonight.