Lack of offense punch puts the Phils in a 2-1 hole against an equally punchless Giants crew as the Phils lose, 3-0.
The Giants took the lead in the fourth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Cody Ross hits an RBI single, knocking in Edgar Renteria, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second on Freddy Sanchez’s sacrifice bunt, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead, while sending Pat Burrell, who had earlier walked, on to third base. The Giants then took a 2-0 lead as Aubrey Huff hits an RBI single, scoring Burrell, while sending Ross on to third. The Giants increased their lead in the fifth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Sanchez hits an RBI infield single on a grounder that ate up second baseman Chase Utley, and was originally called an error before being changed by the official scorer, scoring Aaron Rowand, who had earlier doubled, making it a 3-0 Giants’ lead. That would end up being the final score, as the Phils’ offense would be unable to get the key hit it needed to open up the scoring floodgates, before Brian Wilson would record his second save of the series by getting Raul Ibanez to hit into a 4-6-3 doubleplay, wiping Jimmy Rollins, who had just singled, out at second base.
Cole Hamels took the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out eight. His series record is now 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA. Jose Contreras pitches two 1-2-3 innings, striking out a batter. Matt Cain gets the win as he pitches seven scoreless innings, giving up two hits and three walks, while striking out five. His series record is now 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Javier Lopez receives his second hold of the series as he pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Brian Wilson get his second save of the series as he pitches a scoreless ninth, giving up a hit, while also striking out a batter.
The Phils had only three hits in the game, singles by Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins, as they were constantly unable to get rallies going all game long, making outs at the worst possible times. The offense is being offensive for the wrong reason, seemingly unable to get that key hit to score runs. Seems the regulars may need to stop putting pressure on themselves, while Raul Ibanez may need to be sat down for at least one game as he is not getting anything done at the plate.
The Phils (1-2) will continue the NLCS series with the Giants (2-1) with a late afternoon game. The game will be played at AT&T Park and will start at 7:30 pm Eastern (4:30 pm Pacific). The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (9-6, 4.82) who hasn’t pitched in a game since he had pitched an inning of relief against the Braves on October 3, when he gave up two runs on four hits and a walk. He will be trying to keep the Giants off-balance while giving the offense a change to break out of its present funk. The Giants will in turn send to the mound Madison Bumgarner, who is coming off a win against the Braves on October 11 in game four of the NLDS, as he went six innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Giants’ 3-2 win. He will be trying to put the Phils into a deeper hole. The Phils’ offense will be trying to snap out of the doldrums so that they can even up the series before tomorrow night’s game five.