Cain dominates the Phillies

In a game very similar to Game 3 of the NLCS last year, Matt Cain threw seven brilliant innings as the San Francisco Giants topped the Phillies 2-1. A Nate Schierholtz RBI double was the difference maker as the Phillies could only muster four hits off of Giants’ pitching the entire night.  Cole Hamels was the tough luck loser going seven and 2/3 innings, giving up just six hits and two earned runs. Brian Wilson pitched a perfect 9th inning to pick up his 32nd save.  Thursday’s pitching matchup will feature Kyle Kendrick for the Phillies and either Ryan Vogelsong or Tim Lincecum for the Giants. Lincecum was scratched before Monday’s game because of the flu.  Before the game, the Giants acquired former New York Met Carlos Beltran for Zach Wheeler. Wheeler is in the top 40 of Baseball America’s top prospects.  Beltran was the best bat on the market and instantly upgrades an offense that was 25th in runs scored.

In a game where scoring opportunities were few and far between the Phillies had the first opportunity to score  in the second inning with Carlos Ruiz at bat. Ruiz grounded out to end the inning with runners on first and second. Former Phillie Aaron Rowand started off the scoring in the third inning with a RBI triple to right that scored Jeff Keppinger. In the bottom of that inning, the Phillies had a runner in scoring position when Cody Ross misplayed a ball into a Michael Martinez double with two out. Unfortunately, Chase Utley flew out to right to end the threat.  In the seventh, Cole Hamels put the first two Giants on when Keppinger doubled and Cody Ross walked.  Nate Schierholtz then doubled home Keppinger to tack on the Giants’ second run of the game.  Next batter, Eli Whiteside would then reach via a hit-by-pitch.  Hamels escaped the bases loaded, no out jam when he got Matt Cain to pop up and Aaron Rowand to ground into a double play.  In the bottom half of the seventh inning, Shane Victorino lead off  by reaching second base on an Eli Whiteside error. Whiteside misplayed a routine pop up when he collided with Matt Cain.  Two batters later, Domonic Brown singled in Victorino to put the Phillies on the board.  However, any threat ended when Carlos Ruiz grounded into a double play to end the inning.  The Phillies put the lead off runner on in the 8th inning, but couldn’t push across the tying run. Brian Wilson and Ryan Howard faced off in the ninth inning and Howard actually made contact this time, flying out to left. Wilson would go on to retire the side in order to pick up the save in the Giants’ victory.

Notes:

-As Scott Franzke brought up in the radio broadcast, this game is more inclined to be a preview of a playoff rematch between the two teams than Tuesday’s game.  That makes perfect sense because once against the Phillies couldn’t find the big hit.

– Hamels deserved a better fate

-Brief thoughts on the Beltran trade-  A lot of Phillies’ fans are worried now after the Giants acquired Beltran. I still feel the Phillies are the best team in baseball.  However, I’m not upset that people are calling the Giants the favorites. Being a favorite doesn’t mean anything. Remember the 2010 Phillies?  Being the favorite didn’t work out that great for them.

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