I am having a difficult time writing anything resembling coherent, rational thought after tonight’s game. I can not really put my finger on it, but losing to a team like the Giants renders me a cursing, angry, belligerent mess.
Of course last year’s loss in the NLCS has every Phillies fan choking back rage and attempting to vanquish the bitter taste of defeat from their collective mouths. If only the Giants would throw Barry Zito in all three games of this series I, for one, would feel better about the outcome.
Sadly, the Giants rolled out Matt Cain to oppose Cole Hamels tonight. The last time that they hooked up, Cain out-dueled Hamels in a 3-0 win for the Giants in the NLCS. Tonight was more of the same. Cain did not allow an earned run in his seven innings of work, surrendering only three hits and walking one. He only recorded one strikeout and did not appear to be dominant, but he certainly kept the Phillies’ offense at bay. The only run of the game was aided by some shoddy infield defense from the Giants. This is undoubtedly the type of game that has Charlie Manual hollering folksily for an “good player.”
Cole Hamels was saddled with another loss that he did not deserve tonight. In his two drubbings by the New York Mets, there was little doubt that Cole had no business being anywhere near a win. Tonight, there were moments when it looked like the Giants would not get a baserunner, much less push across a run. The Giants got their first base runner in the top of the third when Eli Whiteside legged out an infield single and was tripled home by Aaron Rowand. Hamels did not allow another run until the seventh when Domonic Brown took a bad route on a liner from Nate Schierholtz allowing Jeff Keppinger to score. As I am writing this I am struck by the amount of random players that dot the Giants roster. Jeff Keppinger? Eli Whiteside? Maybe we should all stop complaining so much.
The Giants called upon their bullpen to preserve a 2-1 lead. Javier Lopez and Brian Wilson did just that and evidenced that San Francisco really does have the best bullpen in baseball.
Next up, Tim Lincecum should have recovered with his bout with the Bubonic plague as the series decider is on for 7:05 tomorrow. The Phillies will send Kyle Kendrick to the mound. Uh oh.