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Philadelphia Phillies MLB News - Phillies Baseball Blog » N.L.C.S. : San Francisco Giants vs. Philadelphia Phillies

N.L.C.S. : San Francisco Giants vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, The Playoffs by chinmusic on Saturday 16 October 2010 at 11:07 am

This sets up to be a classic National League Championship Series at the teams are more evenly matched than most people acknowledge. Here is a look at the matchups in this series:

CATCHER: Rookie righty swinging catcher Buster Posey has been incredible this whole year and he was at it again against the Braves in the first round of the playoffs. He played in all 4 games against the Braves and he was 6 fo 16 (.375 avg, .882 OPS) with 3 runs scored and 1 stolen base.

Carlos Ruiz is a money player for the Phillies. He always seems to play better in October than he has the other six months of the baseball season. He played in 3 games against the Reds and he was 2 for 8 (.250 avg, .875 OPS) with 1 run scored and 1 RBI. He has now played in 35 games in his post season career and he is 32 of 107 (.299 avg, .904 OPS) with 16 runs scored, 3 homers, 14 RBIs and 3 stolen bases.

EDGE: GIANTS

FIRST BASE: Lefty swinging Aubrey Huff has always been a better hitter in the second half of the year so he could have a big series. Huff played in 4 games against the Braves and he was 4 of 15 (.267 avg, .656 OPS) with 1 run scored and 1 RBI. This is the first time in his career that he has made it to the post season.

Lefty swinging Ryan Howard had a harmless series against the Reds as he was 3 for 11 (.273 avg, .657 OPS) in 3 games without scoring or knocking in any runs. Don’t let that fool you though as he can dominate at any time. Howard has now played in 35 games in his post season career and he is 35 of 129 (.271 avg, .898 OPS) with 20 runs scored, 7 homers and 27 RBIs.

EDGE: PHILLIES

SECOND BASE: Freddy Sanchez didn’t have a good series against the Braves. He played in all 4 games and he was only 2 for 16 (.125 avg, .347 OPS) with 2 runs scored. Sanchez has a .298 career batting average so he is much better than he showed against the Braves.

Lefty swinging Chase Utley continues to be one of the better clutch players in the post season. He played in 3 games against the Reds and he was 3 for 11 (.273 avg, .853 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 1 homer, 4 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Utley has now played in 35 games in his post season career and he is 32 of 126 (.254 avg, .915 OPS) with 28 runs scored, 10 homers, 23 RBIs and 7 stolen bases.

EDGE: PHILLIES

SHORTSTOP: Righty swinging Juan Uribe has not played too well in the post season in his career. He played in 4 games against the Braves and he was 1 for 14 (.071 avg, .205 OPS) with 1 RBI. Uribe has now played in 20 games in his post season career and he is 15 of 68 (.221 avg, .622 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 1 homer, 8 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.

Switch hitting Jimmy Rollins was awful against the Reds. He played in 3 games against the Reds and he was 1 for 11 (.091 avg, .322 OPS) with 1 run scored. Rollins has now played in 35 games in which he is 32 of 145 (.221 avg, .637 OPS) with 21 runs scored, 3 homers, 11 RBIs and 7 stolen bases.

EDGE: EVEN

THIRD BASE: The Giants are platooning lefty swinging Mike Fontenot and switch hitting Pablo Sandoval at 3B right now. Fontenot played in 3 games against the Braves and he was 1 for 6 (.167 avg, .667 OPS) with 1 run scored. He has now played in 8 games in his post season career and he is 3 for 14 (.214 avg, .571 OPS) with 1 run scored. Sandoval played in 2 games against the Braves and he was 1 for 6 (.167 avg, .452 OPS). The Giants expect more out of the Kung Fu Panda as he has disappointed them this year.

Veteran righty swinging Placido Polanco is still dealing with his left elbow issues and it has hurt his play. He played in 2 games against the Reds and he was 1 for 9 (.111 avg, .222 OPS) with 1 run scored. Polanco has now played in 27 games in his post season career and he is 25 of 90 (.278 avg, .640 OPS) with 8 runs scored, 8 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.

EDGE: EVEN

LEFT FIELD: Righty swinging Pat Burrell will be sky high in ready to play his old team in this series. Burrell played in 4 games against the Braves and he was 2 for 10 (.200 avg, .933 OPS) with 1 run scored, 1 homer and 3 RBIs. He has now played in 21 games in his post season career and he is 14 of 65 (.215 avg, .815 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 5 homers and 12 RBIs.

Lefty swinging Raul Ibanez hasn’t been very productive in the post season is his career quite yet. Ibanez played in 3 games against the Reds and he was 3 for 12 (.250 avg, .641 OPS) with 0 runs scored and 0 RBIs. Ibanez has now played in 27 games in his post season career and he is 20 of 83 (.241 avg, .698 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 2 homers and 13 RBIs.

EDGE: EVEN

CENTER FIELD: Switch hitting Andres Torres is a late bloomer for the Giants. They hope he’s better against the Phillies then he was against the Braves though. He played in 4 games against the Braves and he was 2 for 16 (.125 avg, .301 OPS) with 1 stolen base.

Switch hitting Shane Victorino is the Phillies’ version of the Energy Bunny. He played in 3 games against the Reds and he was 3 for 13 (.231 avg, .593 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 3 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Victorino has now played in 35 games in his post season career and he is 36 of 132 (.273 avg, .841 OPS) with 20 runs scored, 6 homers, 26 RBIs and 7 stolen bases.

EDGE: PHILLIES

RIGHT FIELD: Righty swinging Cody Ross is a solid player who brings a lot of energy to the Giants. Ross played in 4 games against the Braves and he was 4 of 14 (.286 avg, .905 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 1 homer and 3 RBIs. Ross is a throwback player how hustles and likes to get dirty.

Righty swinging Jayson Werth struggled against the Reds but he has been a big time player in the post season in his career with the Phillies. He played in 3 games against the Reds and he was 2 for 12 (.167 avg, .397 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 1 RBI and 1 stolen base. Werth has now played in 38 games in the post season and he is 37 for 135 (.274 avg, .987 OPS) with 27 runs scored, 11 homers, 21 RBIs and 5 stolen bases.

EDGE: PHILLIES

BENCH: The Giants have a veteran bench that was very productive in the first round of the playoffs. Whoever is not starting at 3B (Mike Fontenot or Pablo Sandoval) will likely head the bench bunch for the Giants in this series. Veteran righty swinging shortstop Edgar Renteria isn’t moping about losing his starting job at SS because he’s well paid and he has a job to do. He played in 2 games against the Braves and he was 2 for 2 (1.000 avg, 2.000 OPS). He has now played in 57 games in his post season career and he is 53 of 209 (.254 avg, .659 OPS) with 30 runs scored, 1 homer, 17 RBIs and 9 stolen bases. Righty swinging outfielder Aaron Rowand also lost his starting job (CF) this year. He played in 2 games against the Braves and he was 1 for 2 (.500 avg, 1.000 OPS). Rowand has now played in 17 games in his post season career and he is 14 of 59 (.237 avg, .682 OPS) with 9 runs scored, 1 homer, 4 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Lefty swinging outfielder Nate Schierholtz played in all 4 games against the Braves and he was 1 for 4 (.250 avg, .500 OPS) should get some P.T. in this series. Lefty swinging 1B Travis Ishikawa played in 3 games against the Braves and he was 0 for 2 (.000 avg, .333 OPS) with 1 run scored will also likely get to pinch hit a few times in this series. Backup catcher Eli Whiteside will only see the field if Buster Posey gets injured or to finish up a blowout game.

The Phillies will likely need to use the bench a little more in this series. With Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay both pitching complete game shutouts not many pinch hitters were needed in the first round of the playoffs. I expect that lefty swinging 1B/OF Ross Gload will get in on the action in this round despite not getting any action against the Reds. He is a good pinch hitter. Veteran righty swinging 1B Mike Sweeney got into his first playoff game of his career against the Reds and he was 1 for 1 (1.000 avg, 2.000 OPS). Sweeney is also a good veteran, professional hitter on the Phillies’ bench. Righty swinging outfielder Ben Francisco has struggled in the post season in his career so far. He played in 1 game against the Reds and he was 0 for 1. He has now played in 12 games in his post season career and he is 0 for 11 (.000 avg, .154 OPS) with 0 runs scored and 0 RBIs. Righty swinging infielder Wilson Valdez could get some P.T. for the Phillies in this series if Polanco’s elbow continues to be an issue. Valdez played in 1 game against the Reds and he was 1 for 3 (.333 avg, .667 OPS) with 1 run scored. Rookie lefty swinging outfielder Dominic Brown played in 1 game against the Reds and he was 0 for 1 with a run scored. Lefty swinging catcher Brian Schneider has yet to play in a post season game in his career but that might change depending on how this series plays out.

EDGE: EVEN

STARTING PITCHING: The Phillies’ rotation is getting all the hype but the Giants crew has been pretty darn impressive too. The Giants starting pitchers were 2-0 with a 0.93 ERA against the Braves in the first round of the playoffs. Righty Tim “The Freaky Franchise” Lincecum has a pretty impressive resume’ as he has won 2 of the last three Cy Young Awards in the National League. Yet he’s matched up against Roy Halladay and will be a underdog…..amazing. Lincecum was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.33 WHIP in his 1 start against the Braves. He gave up only 2 hits while walking 1 batter in shutting out the Braves! Oh, and he also whiffed 14 batters! Righty Matt Cain’s bad luck has continued into the post season. He is 0-0 in the playoffs this year despite having a 0.00 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. He threw 6 2/3 shutout innings before the bullpen came in and blew his lead. Lefty Jonathan Sanchez will be #3 in line for the Giants in this series and he might have the best stuff of any starting pitcher in this series. He, like Cain, got a no decision in his start against the Braves despite giving up only 2 hits, 1 walk and 1 earned run while whiffing 11 batters. Sanchez was 0-0 with a 1.23 ERA and a 0.41 WHIP against the Braves. Rookie lefty Madison Bumgarner will be the #4 starter for the Giants in this series. He was 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP as he won the closeout game against the Braves.

Righty Roy Halladay was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.11 WHIP against the Reds as he tossed a complete game, no hitter. He only walked 1 batter while whiffing 8 as he looked like he was throwing wiffle balls against the Reds. Halladay vs. Lincecum on National T.V., it doesn’t get any better than that. Righty Roy Oswalt will be #2 in line for the Phillies. He started 1 game against the Reds and he was 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Oswalt has now pitched in 9 games (8 starts) in his post season career and he is 4-0 with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. I expect that he will be better this time around. Lefty Cole Hamels was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.56 WHIP against the Reds in the first round of the playoffs. He also threw a complete game shutout against the Reds as he gave up 5 hits and he didn’t walk anyone while whiffing 9 batters. Hamels has now pitched in 11 games (all starts) in his post season career and he is 6-3 with a 3.36 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. Veteran righty Joe Blanton will be used in Game #4 in this series by the Phillies. He didn’t get to pitch against the Reds in the first round of the playoffs so he could be either rusty or very sharp because he’s well rested. Blanton has pitched in 8 games (5 starts) in his post season career and he is 2-0 with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

EDGE: EVEN

CLOSER: Righty Brian Wilson was a little shaky against the Braves but he still got the job done. He pitched in 3 games against the Reds and he was 0-0 with 2 saves, a 0.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.

Righty Brad Lidge had a solid comeback year for the Phillies and they trust him. He pitched in 1 game against the Reds and he was 0-0 with 1 save, a 0.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. Lidge has now pitched in 33 games (0 starts) in his post season career and he is 2-4 with 17 saves, a 2.45 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP.

EDGE: EVEN

BULLPEN: The Giants have capable, veteran arms in the pen but they didn’t pitch that well against the Braves blowing 2 games for starting pitchers (Matt Cain & Jonathan Sanchez). Righty Sergio Romo came into the post season as the Giants’ set-up man based on his great work during the regular season. But he was awful against the Braves working in 2 games in which he was 1-0 with a 40.50 ERA and a 4.50 WHIP. The Giants need him to get his act back together against the Phillies. Righty Ramon Ramirez also didn’t handle the pressure too well. Ramirez pitched in 1 game for the Giants against the Braves and he was 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA and a 0.50 WHIP. He has now pitched in 2 games in his post season career and he is 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Righty Santiago Casilla also has the stuff to succeed as he worked in 1 game against the Braves and he was 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.60 WHIP. Javier Lopez will likely be the situational lefty out of the pen and he looked good against the Braves. He pitched in 2 games against the Braves and he struck out the only two batters he faced. Lopez has now pitched in 10 games (0 starts) in his post season career and he is 0-1 with a 7.94 ERA and a 2.29 WHIP. Lefty Jeremy Affeldt and righty Chris Ray didn’t pitch against the Braves but they both have good stuff.

The Phillies have a very battle tested, solid bullpen. Righty Ryan Madson is the set up man for the Phillies. He pitched in 1 game against the Reds and he was 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. Madson has pitched in 24 games (0 starts) in his post season career and he is 2-0 with 1 save, a 2.63 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. Veteran righty Jose Contreras has really developed into a good relief pitcher for the Phillies this year. He pitched in 1 game against the Reds and he was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.00 WHIP. He has now pitched in 15 games (4 starts) in his post season career and he is 4-3 with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. Lefty J.C. Romero will be the key against Giants’ lefty swingers late in games. He pitched in 1 game against the Reds and he was 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.00 WHIP. Romero has now pitched in 24 games (0 starts) in his post season career and he is 2-2 with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Righty Chad Durbin will likely be the first guy in if the starters run into any trouble early in the game against the Giants. Durbin pitched in 1 game against the Reds and he was 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 3.00 WHIP. Durbin has now pitched in 14 games (0 starts) in his post season career and he is 2-0 with a 5.00 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP.

EDGE: PHILLIES

MANAGER: Bruce Bochy seemed to call the right shots against the Braves in beating them 3-1. I still have my doubts about Bochy though as he owns a 11-17 (39.3%) record in his post season career.

Charlie Manuel usually has had the better team. That happened again against the Reds and they swept them out of the playoffs. Manuel now has a career record of 25-15 (62.5%) in his post season career.

EDGE: PHILLIES

PREDICTION: I think this is going to be an epic series. But in the end I like the Phillies to win this series in 7 hard fought baseball games.

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