Less than twenty-four hours after supporting Cliff Lee’s excellent start, the Phils wasted a similar effort by Joe Blanton as the batters are unable to figure out Tim Lincecum before losing to the Giants, 2-0.
The first four innings of the game involved a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Joe Blanton, who gave up only one hit during those four innings, and Giants’ starter Tim Lincecum who pitched himself out of jams in both the third and fourth innings, as the Phils’ bats are once again unable to knock in a man in scoring position. The Phils tried once again in the top of the fifth as they loaded the bases on singles by Blanton and Jayson Werth, and an infield single by Ryan Howard as he beat out the throw to first base by Giants’ second baseman Eugenio Velez, with two men out. Sadly, the Phils would once again be unable to score a run as Raul Ibanez grounds out, 4-3. The Giants then took the lead in their half of the fifth as, with runners on the corners, and one man out, Juan Uribe hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Aaron Rowand, who had earlier hit a ground-rule double, and had reached third on Fred Lewis’ infield single, as Blanton, who tried to grab the grounder, was unable to get an out by not getting a handle on the ball, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead. The game would stay 1-0 until the seventh when, with runners on the corners, and one man out, Uribe hits his second sac fly of the ball game, scoring Travis Ishikawa, who had earlier singled, moved up to second when Rowand was hit by the pitch, and went to third on Lewis’ fly out to center, giving the Giants a 2-0 lead. That would end up being the final score as the Phils would not get another hit after Howard’s infield single in the fifth, as Lincecum got out the last ten batters that he would face, and Brian Wilson pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, recording his twenty-seventh save of the year.
Joe Blanton took the lost in spite of pitching a good game, as he gave up two runs on seven hits, while he struck out five. His record is now 7-5 with an ERA of 4.02. Chan Ho Park pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just a hit and a walk, as he struck out two. Tim Lincecum got the win as he pitched eight shut out innings, giving up seven hits and a walk, while he struck out eight. His record is now 12-3 with a 2.18 ERA. Brian Wilson recorded his twenty-seventh save of the year as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
The Phils got only seven hits in the ballgame, with Jayson Werth leading the way with two hits, raising his batting average to .270. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Pedro Feliz and Joe Blanton had the other five Phils’ hits, with all of their hits being singles, being unable to knock in a run for the second time on the road trip. The Phils’ bats obviously need to adjust if they are going to be able to figure out Tim Lincecum if they face him in the playoffs.
The Phillies (59-43, 1st National League East) will conclude their road trip with an afternoon game against the Giants (57-47, 2nd National League West). The game will be played at AT&T Park and will begin at 4:05 pm Eastern (1:05 pm Pacific). The Phillies will sent to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (7-5, 4.42), as he is coming off a win against the D-backs on July 28, where he went eight strong innings, giving up only one run on four hits, while striking out nine, in the Phils’ 4-3 win, He will be going for his eighth win of the season, and to show that he can be just as effective as new Phil’s pitcher Cliff Lee. The Giants will counter with Barry Zito (6-10, 4.45), who is coming off of a no-decision against the Pirates on July 28, as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on nine hits and two walks, as he struck out six, in the Giants’ 3-2 win. He will be trying to pitch the Giants into a series win against the Phils, while hoping the Phils will remain unable to score runs. The Phils will be trying to win today to tie the series and end their road trip on a winning note.