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PN Roundtable: Phillies/Giants, NLCS

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, October 13, 2010 08:23 AM | Comments: 38
PN Interview, Posts

In this Phillies Nation Writers Roundtable, the whole crew examines a couple of questions. Here they are:

Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how worried are you to face the Giants (10 being most worried, 1 being least worried)?

Bonus Q: What one players worries you the most from the Giants (and try not to say Tim Lincecum)?

Nick “The Beerman” Staskin: On a scale of 1-10, my worry-meter is at about an 8. Lost in the superb pitching performances of Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels last week, was the fact that once again the offense went MIA. The combination of Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth and Placido Polanco went 7-45 against pitching that wasn’t exactly the rotation of the San Francisco Giants. For two months, I’ve been hoping and praying that the Phillies could avoid the Giants en route to their third straight pennant, but that was not to be. While H20 is an awesome trio, you can’t win games without scoring runs. Tim Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez both have lethal career numbers against the Phillies as well. Philadelphia has hit Matt Cain good over his career, but Madison Bumgarner could prove to be an interesting wildcard.

(Bonus):The Giant who scares me the most is easily Jonathan Sanchez, a powerful lefty who has had the Phillies number his entire career. He is 3-1 against the Phillies with a 2.86 ERA and .175 BAA, to go with 40 strikeouts in 34.2 IP. The key to getting to Sanchez is patience though, as he has the propensity to throw a lot of walks, including seven in 13 innings pitched against the Phillies. However, he did go 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA and 0.92 WHIP against the Phillies in two starts this year. In those two starts, the Phillies managed just five hits.

Amanda Orr: Comparing offenses, the Reds are superior to the Giants.  However, when it comes to pitching, there is no argument; the Giants have one of the best staffs in the league.  They led the majors with a 3.36 team ERA, .236 batting average against, and 1331 strikeouts. Tim Lincecum had a “down year,” but his 14 strikeouts/complete game shutout in the NLDS indicate what he is capable of.  He’ll remain a top pitchers for several years.  It goes beyond Lincecum, though. Actually, Matt Cain was better, posting a 3.14 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.  The pitching doesn’t stop there.  Jonathan Sanchez, another strikeout pitcher, had a 3.07 ERA this season.  The Phillies arguably have the edge with a 1-2-3 punch of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels,

but the Giants are not too far behind.

The Phillies clearly put up the better offensive numbers.  The Giants no longer have Barry Bonds, or anybody that puts up a huge power display, although they do have a good core of players that can hurt opposing pitchers.  This year’s Giants offense is much improved as opposed to the past few years.  Pablo Sandoval didn’t live up to his expectations this year, but he is always a threat.  Aubrey Huff had a very good year.  Rookie Buster Posey has yet to let anybody down. While the Giants may not have the best offensive numbers as a team, they do have guys then can cause some damage.

(Bonus):  Tim Lincecum is an obvious pick, but I’ll go with Jonathan Sanchez who is 3-1 with a 2.86 ERA in nine career games against the Phillies.  He has 40 strikeouts in 34.2 innings.  As a whole, the Phillies have collected a batting average of .175 against Sanchez.

Paul Boye: Before the playoffs started, I found myself worrying more about the Giants than the team the Phillies were actually playing, the Reds. One series later, I don’t feel much different, save for a bit of extra confidence in the Fightins. I love the way the Big Three pitched, and even though the offense didn’t have many hits fall, they put a fair charge into a few that could have easily been hits, were they not at fielders.

I’m still worried, as I always am at playoff time, but where I would have answered this question with an 8.5 last week, I’ll now say 7. The Giants are good, and not to be overlooked, but I think the Phillies have a better shot to prevail now than they did last week.

(Bonus): The scariest Giant comes packaged in unassuming, baby-faced sheep’s clothing, but the wolf that is Buster Posey is not something to taken lightly. He’s a rookie, sure, but he’s already one of the best offensive catchers in all of baseball. In a lineup that doesn’t feature many tough bats, Posey is the key; keeping him off the bases, much like Joey Votto in the Reds series,  will be essential for the Phils. Runs will be hard to come by, and the less you let Posey hurt you, the better your chances are of escaping with a win against a tough array of Giants starters.

Kieran Carobine: After the Phillies clinched the NLDS, I will admit I was rooting for the Braves to beat the Giants. We all know that did not happen. And yet, the Giant are really not that scary. Their offense is led by Aubrey Huff at .290/26/86. Now don’t get me wrong, those are good numbers. But when you are coming in against a Phillies team with offensive leaders hitting .298, smashing 31 homers and knocking in 108 RBIs it is kind of hard to compare numbers. I won’t waste the typing telling you who holds those stats; you know the names.

Overall as an opponent, the Giants are a scary 6 (on a scale of 10). Tim Lincecum at the top of the rotation is not fun. Roy Halladay will try to make it funner but it will be a tough game with ultimately Doc pulling it out. Offensively speaking, neither one of these teams really made headlines in their respective Division Series. Both teams hit a meager .212. And I am not sure if it makes it better that the Phillies did it in three games as opposed to the four games it took the Giants to reach that mark. For the regular season, it looked like the same story. The Phillies had the edge, barely, in average (.260/.257) and home runs (166/162). San Francisco does have the edge, I guess, in pitching. They did lead the league in ERA (3.36) and strikeouts (1331).

Looking at these two teams, it is odd to see their stats side by side. On paper, they seem evenly matched. I don’t think this is the case. The Giants have the Freak, Matt Cain, and Jonathan Sanchez lining up against Doc, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels. Even if I wasn’t a Phillies fan, I would say it’s not fair.

(Bonus): After all this, I am worried about Buster Posey. The kid can play. There is no question about that. He calls a great game behind the plate and can hit for average and power to all parts of the field. Besides Posey, Giant’s closer Brian Wilson’s beard really disturbs me. It looks like a bad impression of Sean Connery by Darrell Hammond with glued on facial hair. He would probably take ‘swords’ for 200.

Pat Gallen: I’m at about a 5.5 on the freakout meter right now. Lincecum and Halladay completely cancel out and I think the duo of Hamels/Oswalt gets a slight nod over Cain/Sanchez. And lets face it, the Giants can’t hit a lick. Buster Posey is really the only formidable threat in that order. Pat Burrell might give the Phils some trouble because he knows them well, but other than that, the offense is sub-par.

As for the Phillies lineup, it somehow gets enough bang for its buck. They’ve done enough and are waiting, just waiting, to break out big. It basically comes down to which lineup has the better series and we all know who holds the advantage here. So I’m slightly worried. I’m not confident, per se, but I’m not worried either, so put me in the middle. It should be a very entertaining, low scoring series. But the Phillies should prevail.

(Bonus): Jonathan Sanchez bothers me a bit. He’s a sneaky son of a gun. One moment it looks like he can be beaten, next thing you know he’s racked up 10 strikeouts in seven innings. Patience is the key with Sanchez, he’ll make you swing out of the zone and if he’s successful, it could be a long Game 3 for the Phillies.

Michael Baumann: On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate this series an 8. This isn’t because I think the Giants are a better team than the Phillies, or even that I think the Phillies will lose–it’s just that the Giants have one great strength (starting pitching) that can exploit what has been the Phillies’ biggest weakness over the past few weeks (streaky offense). While the Giants, in my mind, are a bigger threat than the Reds were, I still expect the Phillies to win. My high anxiety level mostly stems from this being one more opportunity to go wrong as the Phillies get deeper into the postseason. They could play a U-15 travel team from Missoula, Montana and I’d still rate this series at least a 6.

There isn’t one player on the Giants that I really fear. If you go position-by-position, there are three places where San Francisco has a marked advantage: closer, center field, and left field. Buster Posey might win NL Rookie of the Year, but his OPS+ this season was only one point higher than that of Carlos Ruiz, who is the superior defensive player. The Giants’ rotation arms might be the scariest part of the team, but when Lincecum-Cain-Sanchez-Bumgarner are compared to Halladay-Hamels-Oswalt-Blanton, it’s a wash at the absolute worst. At closer, Brian Wilson has been just about the best in the game this year, but at most he’ll pitch five or six innings this series, and the Phillies have demonstrated an ability to come back in the late innings against just about anyone. In center field, Andres Torres had a better year than Shane Victorino, but Torres’s OPS was only .656 over the last 28 days of the season, and he’s still only a few weeks removed from an appendectomy. Now that Torres has cooled off, center field is also a draw at worst. That leaves…left field, where Raul Ibanez has been streaky, but serviceable, posting a .275/.349/.444 line in 155 games. The Giants’ left fielder, however, posted an OBP 15 points higher and a slugging percentage 65 points higher after joining the team in midseason. That’s a clear advantage.

And there you have it: the San Francisco Giant I fear most in this series is Pat Burrell.

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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1714 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Wis

    swords for 200…lol. don’t forget all of our hitters are bursting at the bellies, due. We have Utley, Howard, Werth, Ibanez, chooch, rollins, (bigger the stage…), vic, palonco come on. I know everyone here knows the lineup, but take a step back and look at the damage these guys can do. All of the Playoff games have been low scoring. Hell, 3 out of 4 series I feel the winner was determined by the team who took advantage of the other teams errors. The matchups are supreme, pitching is supreme, and the phills will bat!!! Can’t believe I am rooting for the Yankees to beat the Rangers. Uhmmm lets see in the last 2 weeks I have rooted for the braves, the yanks, the rays, and now the yankees again….Armageddon is here.

     
  • Posts: 0 SpinJamin

    I will have to say I’m shocked at some of the worried factor numbers here…7? 8? Really? I mean we know the Giants have a great pitching staff and the Phillies hitting has been up and down all season, but doesn’t the Phillies pitching staff make it a lot easier to swallow the offensive fluctuations throughout the year? I am more near a 5 myself. And to answer the second its Jonathan Sanchez…..I feel they need to get to this guy and if they can they will win the series, but if they don’t hit him at all as their history suggests it will be an interesting series. If the Phillies hit at ALL they will be fine. Let’s not pretend the Giants are some scoring machine. If not for Atlanta screwing up majorly we might be playing the Braves……the BRAVES, who were so injury depleted they just couldn’t hold on anymore, the BRAVES who hit worse than the Giants. Just think about that for a second….the Giants had trouble with THE BRAVES. Those were all ridiculously close games. Now I know the Phillies got lucky with the Reds too, but Halladay pitched a no hitter and Hamels threw a complete game shutout. Can’t win all the games 7-0. This is the playoffs…low scoring games are essential to winning the series. I really just can’t wait to get this started and see if the offense can get into a real groove against some quality pitching.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    I’m with Pat on this one. The Phils seem to find just enough to win ballgames. Over a 7 game series, this team is well equipped to weather a dud or 2 offensively and still come out in the long run with a W.
    I’d give this a 4.5 on the stressometer – Who is troublesome to me?? I think the usual – Ex Phillies (Burrell, Rowand, just because) – Cain.
    I think this series goes 6 or 7 with the Phils coming out on top.

     
  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    The Phils’ bats should come alive in this series. No need to worry. What will it get you? Phils in five.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I don’t know what to think or say. It’s the playoffs….anything can happen.

    BUT…

    Like it’s been said before….this team…the Phillies….is out to create a lasting identity….a legacy, if you will.

    And Doc made that statement rather clear last Wednesday evening.

    When the dust settles….Phillies prevail.

     
  • Posts: 0 SpinJamin

    I just think its either the Phillies are going to woop up the Giants or the series will be a long one. The Giants are going to have their hands full with this entire Phillies team throughout the series. The Giants have quite a few guys on that team that weren’t even in their thoughts at the beginning of the season. How worried do you think the Phillies pitching is about the Giants lineup? Then ask yourself the same question about the Giants pitchers. The Giants have had a great season. It’s time to leave it at that and let the real team who is going to represent the NL stand up.

     
  • Posts: 0 Keegan

    Our offense was MIA but we don’t have Brooks Conrad on our team. Hence, we will win. That’s the only reason the Giants won their series.

    Plus we’re gonna throw some five and six spots up on the board so it doesn’t really matter either way. Remember Lincecum’s rough patch during the season? Yeah, it’s gonna come back to haunt him.

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    The thing that concerns me is the Giants have nothing to lose and the Phils impact bats have a habit of being a little to absent at times they could really cement the Phils hold in play-off series.

    That said the Phils are on paper the best team still in the play-offs with a bullet,

    I think the phrase for the series will be productive outs, with such good pitching on both sides its going to moving runners with outs that I think will contribute to many of the runs that will score in this series.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    So the brilliant pitching of Lincecum and Sanchez had nothing to do with the Giants winning the series?? It’s all Brooks Conrad’s fault??

    Please.

     
  • Posts: 0 Phillistein

    I too am somewhat surprised at the worry numbers. Let’s face it – during the Post Season ANYTHING can happen.

    Because of that – and only that – my worry meter is at 4.95.

    Let’s say the pitching staffs cancel one another out.

    What’s left?

    Phillies are better offensively
    Bullpen is better then is generally recognized
    Playoff experienced
    Home field advantage
    On a mission from god

    Make that 4.75

     
  • Posts: 0 Phillistein

    By the way.

    Look for Sanchez to start game 2.

    He’s better on the road than at home. He’s lefty and he’s pitched VERY well against the Phillies.

    IMHO Bochy would be nutz to pitch Cain in game 2

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    What the Beerman said.

     
  • phillistien-we are home game 2!!

     
  • nevermind-duh!!!!!!!!!!

     
  • You are right is what i am trying to say….lol….We have hit cain well, so they will more then likely pitch him at home in the bigger ballpark!

     
  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Something must be wrong with me, (as if many of you didn’t know that already) but I differ with everyone so far. My worry meter on a scale of 1-10 is a miniscule 1. This team played almost .750 baseball the last part of the year, and I see no reason that will change now.

    You could argue that the Rays had a great record and got knocked out first round, but they, like most of the other playoff teams were not hot at the end. You could argue that all the rest time will slow our momentum, but we had guys that needed this rest. Certainly all the rest Doc got between starts didn’t hurt him. You could argue that the Giants are better than the teams we’ve been playing, and to a certain extent I’d buy in to that, but not enough to worry. San Diego went into SF the final weekend and almost swept them. Atlanta has limitations, and the Giants didn’t run roughshod over them either. I’m quite confident in this team. While the Giants pitching is very good, no one in that lineup scares me all that much. Phils in 6, we win it on Saturday at home.

     
  • For the fans, I think it’s going to be a great matchup,” said Ryan Howard, whose three home runs against Lincecum are more than any other player in the majors.

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    I always worry, not sure what the scale means here. I don’t think we will lose but I have concerns. Let’s put it this way, my concerns about the Giants are higher than Reds or the team that the Braves had in the playoffs.

    Phils did not do well against the Giants this year and H2O did not do well vs the Giants. I see it going to 7 games.

    Sum it up = 7.

     
  • I’m kinda with lefty here,not a 1, but i will go a 3 on the worry meter.To me we are far and away the better hitting team,i’d give us the slight edge in pitching based on postseason exp.What it comes down to is as long as we hit,this series is in the bag!!!By hitting i mean score 4-5 runs on avg and in game 1, i think 3 runs will do it for ROY……

     
  • Posts: 0 ChuckS

    My Worry rate is 7. I really feel the outcome of this series rest on the right arm one single man, that man is Joe Blanton. Joe Blnton has been solid after the ASG, but he hasn’t pitched a meaningful game in like a month. I don’t know how he will fair. If Big Joe can get the W in game four the series is ours, for sure.

     
  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    ChuckS- It’s funny but that thought crossed my mind too! If our big three and their big three turns out to be a standoff, the difference maker could well be Joe B and the pen.

    It seems that every postseason series always has an unexpected difference maker, and it could be big Joe, or the pen, or both.

     
  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    JPB- I’m sorry I gave you incorrect info last night. I was a little worried that the Baseball reference link might be only this year, but wasn’t sure.

     
  • Posts: 0 ChuckS

    Is it Saturday yet?

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Trust me….I’m far more worried about other things in my life that are a lot more important than whether the Philadelphia Phillies beat the San Francisco Giants.

    This is a hobby…something to pass the time and make my complicated, busy life a little less stressful. I’m not worried at all….. it defeats the purpose.

     
  • Posts: 0 jt

    pat burrell scares me the most because he’s a former phillies and our old pals have a history of doing good against us (excluding scott rolen in nlds) if the offense shows up i like our chances,if they carrie over from the reds series,my panic meter is around 8 i don’t get how this team hits the slumps they do and everyone on the team it seems slumps at the same time it’s crazy…………

     
  • Posts: 0 jt

    ryan howards a guy i really wanna see step up i mean whens the last time this guy had a big home run?i’d like to see a little more from werth too………

     
  • Np lefty!!!—-I STILL THINK WE GET TO HIM!!!

     
  • Posts: 0 biz

    Lefty,

    I’m with you. Not worried at all. We will lose a game or 2. We might even lose the 1st game 1-0. Who knows. But after watching the Giants vs the Braves, it is clear to me that the Giants are not that good. Their pitching was good, not great. It was a patchwork lineup of over-the-hill guys and career back ups playing for the Braves. I was very unimpressed by the Giants.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Phillies in 5, but the games will be close. Seriously, Doc and Hamels are on fire and the Giants line-up is below average. Patient bats rule the day!

     
  • Posts: 0 Phan in the outfield

    I hope all your predictions are right. I’ve been having this conversation w/others re: the offense; the team seems to do only what they have to, to win, but not more than that. It would be nice if everyone would hit big at once – now – through the WS.

    I’d like to see fewer errors from Utley. I’d also like Rollins to look more like himself in the line-up & on the field. If Charlie is going to keep him in, then I want him to look squared away – and he doesn’t.

    As for more from Werth – I know many hate to admit it but his hitting was a large part of the reason the Phils fired up toward the end of the season & got where they are now. In the last month or so, the NLDS was the only time Werth didn’t hit well. Three games. He still got on base (hits, walks or errors), he stole 2nd twice, & had a couple runs.

    Having said this, I admit his last AB resembled an AB from July, which flipped me out a little . . . but I’m not worried about Werth. He didn’t hit well against the Reds over the summer either. Generally he tends to play well in the playoffs & has hit homers off Lincecum. I think he’ll be fine.

    Last yr Howard didn’t hit much until almost the end of the WS. That bothers me slightly b/c he isn’t hitting much now either.

    I wouldn’t say I’m worried about an NLCS w/the Giants (though I’d rather it was the Braves), I just feel like we need to be in good form to nail it.

     
  • OK,HERE ARE NUMBERS VS THEIR BIG 3-Victorino: 12-for-44 (.273), 1 HR, 2 2Bs, 2 BBs, 7 Ks
    Polanco: 5-for-17 (.294), 2 BBs, 3 Ks
    Utley: 12-for-46 (.261), 5 HRs, 3 2Bs, 5 BBs, 13 Ks
    Howard: 11-for-43 (.256), 5 HRs, 1 3B, 4 2Bs, 2 BBs, 18 Ks
    Werth: 4-for-24 (.166), 1 HR, 3 BBs, 11Ks
    Ibanez: 2-for-19 (.105), 4 BBs, 11 Ks
    Rollins: 10-for-44 (.227), 1 HR, 3 3Bs, 3 2Bs, 2 BBs, 10 Ks
    Ruiz: 5-for-23 (.217), 1 3B, 2 2Bs, 5 BBs, 6 Ks

     
  • Big Three vs. Phillies
    Lincecum: 2-1, 3.17 ERA, 48 1/3 innings, 36 hits, 54 Ks, 0.993 WHIP
    Cain: 0-3, 6.23 ERA, 26 innings, 28 hits, 23 Ks, 1.577 WHIP
    Sanchez: 3-1, 2.86 ERA, 34 2/3 innings, 22 hits, 40 Ks, 1.212 WHIP

    Matchups
    Howard kills Lincecum. The Big Piece is 6-for-19 (.316) lifetime against him with three homers and a pair of doubles. Though Ibanez hasn’t hit any of Frisco’s Big Three, Lincecum seems to give him the most problems. He has just one hit and five Ks in 10 plate appearances against the two-time Cy Young winner. Utley and Rollins should be looking forward to Game 2. Against Cain, Utley is 7-for-15 (.467) with 3 homers, while Rollins is 6-for-10 with 16 total bases. Victorino is a .400-hitter against Sanchez at 6-for-15. Werth, on the other hand, goes blind against the lefty. He is hitless in 14 plate appearances against Sanchez with six punchouts.

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    My NLCS MVP prediction: RAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUL

    Watch.

     
  • Posts: 0 bostonkate

    The matchup worries me, but I think the phils will prevail. Giants don’t have the offense we do, but our bats could wake up.

    Anyone else going to saturdays game?

     
  • Posts: 0 MilkBoy

    I think @RyanMadson46 will be a big factor in the NLCS. With all the talk about H20, he quietly has stepped up his game during the 2nd half of the season. He’s also doing some cool stuff around the city. I just bought one of his new “Finish Strong” T-shirts that are being sold with proceeds going to the Variety Children’s Club of Philadelphia.

    Phillies in 6.

     
  • My Worry rate is 7. I really feel the outcome of this series rest on the right arm one single man, that man is Joe Blanton. Joe Blnton has been solid after the ASG, but he hasn’t pitched a meaningful game in like a month. I don’t know how he will fair. If Big Joe can get the W in game four the series is ours, for sure.

     
  • JPB- I’m sorry I gave you incorrect info last night. I was a little worried that the Baseball reference link might be only this year, but wasn’t sure.

     
  • Great News site. I love this news site

     
 
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