Coming off of food poisoning, Tim Lincecum gutted out six solid innings as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Phillies 4-1, taking two out of three in the series. With the loss, the Phillies lost consecutive games for the first time since June 3rd and 4th. Lincecum wasn’t sharp, walking four batters, but executed the pitches he needed to in big spots, as he struck out six and picked up his ninth win of the season. Brian Wilson picked up his second save of the series while Kyle Kendrick took the loss for the Phillies. Kendrick didn’t pitch that bad, pitching into the seventh inning, giving up three earned runs. The 61-44 Giants head to Cincinnati to take on a struggling Reds team and the 65-39 Phillies welcome the Pittsburgh Pirates to town. The Pirates took two out of three from the Phillies in Pittsburgh June 2nd-4th.
The Phillies had plenty of opportunities to put runs on the board against Tim Lincecum starting in the first inning. Chase Utley came up with a runner on third and one out, but popped up to short. Ryan Howard followed with a strike out, wasting the first scoring chance off of Lincecum. Utley would again come up with a runner in scoring position, this time in the third inning and two out. Lincecum struck him out looking on a filthy two-seam fastball. With the Giants already up 1-0 on a Pablo Sandoval home run in the second, Nate Schierholtz singled to right scoring Aubrey Huff in the fourth inning . In the fifth inning, Chase Utley batted with a runner in scoring position for the third time. With two out and runners on first and second, Utley struck out for the second time against Tim Lincecum, thus ending another scoring chance. The Phillies’ defense failed in the seventh inning when Michael Martinez bobbled and then threw away an inning ending double play ball that led to two more insurance runs for the Giants. Chase Utley’s 4th at bat with a runner in scoring position came in the seventh inning and finally had a positive result. Chase doubled to left scoring Carlos Ruiz with two outs. Giants’ reliever Jeremy Affeldt would escape any further damage when he struck out Howard to end the inning. The Phillies would never get another rally together and would lose their first series since they lost two of three to the Seattle Mariners June 17th-19th.
-Unfortunately the last two games were just like the NLCS last year. The Giants’ pitchers shut down the Phillies’ big bats and the Phillies were dreadful with runners in scoring position.
– Had their chances against Lincecum, but Utley and Howard came up small.
– Kendrick wasn’t terrible and probably deserved a better fate. It’s still amazing how left-handed hitters rake against him though.
– The question was asked to Charlie Manuel after the game “Are they (Giants) in your players’ head?” He said no and I agree. If a random series in July is going to bother you and get in your head, you’re soft. Based on what I’ve seen from the Phillies this year (Going 45 games between losing back to back games), I think they will bounce back fine.
– As I type this article, Ken Rosenthal reported the Astros and Phillies are making head way on a trade for Hunter Pence. Dom Brown wouldn’t be involved in the trade. Not sure what the compensation for Houston would be, but not giving up Brown is a big plus in my eyes.
– Carlos Beltran went 0-4 tonight. He struck out twice vs. Kendrick, LOL.
– With Beltran’s 0-4, my MLB Beat the Streak is now back to 0. Thanks Carlos.
– I’m heading to the game tomorrow with Mike O and Bill from Sports with Balls. Leave a comment or post something on our twitter/facebook account if you’re going.