Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Phillies offense flops as Giants take 2-1 series lead

Baseball is a simple game: no matter how good your pitching is, you can't win if you don't score runs. Such was the case for the Phillies today, who got a quality start from Cole Hamels but failed to do anything with the bats in a 3-0 Game 3 loss to the Giants.

For the first time since the 1983 World Series, the Phillies were shutout in the playoffs. Matt Cain was dominant for the Giants, allowing just 2 hits and walking 3 across 7 innings of work. The Phillies had their chances, like in the 2nd and 7th innings when they had two runners on base, but they just couldn't come up with the key hit. Really, save for a Jimmy Rollins single in the 9th inning, the Phillies just didn't make good contact at all.

Hamels actually put together a decent start, giving up 3 runs in 6 innings while striking out 8 batters. He had good stuff throughout the game but he got burned by a few grounders that found holes and a bad defensive play by Chase Utley. Phillie-killer Cody Ross of course made his presence felt again, singling in the first run of the game in the 4th.

The Giants now lead the series, 2-1, but it's hardly time to panic. While we haven't seen him in a while, Joe Blanton is a competent pitcher and the Phillies should be able to get some runs off of rookie Madison Bumgarner. Should the Phillies find get a win in Game 4, I like their chances with Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Hamels taking the mound for Games 5, 6 and 7. Of course, entering the series, I would have never guessed that the Phillies would have lost Games 1 and 3 with Halladay and Hamels on the mound, but there is reason to expect them to be better the second time they face the Giants.

Sure, the Phillies are in the unfamiliar position of trailing in a series after 3 games. Sure, their offense looked terrible today. From what we have seen this team do the last few years, however, you have to keep faith that they will turn things around. Despite what you have seen the last 3 games, the Phillies are still the better team in this series. I still believe!
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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