Posted by mattsmith on 2nd August 2009
The scary part about Tim Lincecum’s performance Saturday was the fact he didn’t have his ace stuff.
Yes, Lincecum made the Phillies look silly, but we pelted him for seven hits. We had runners on base.
But when the pressure mounted, “The Beast” reared its ugly head.
The sad part is, Joe Blanton pitched a hell of a game. The Giants are a terrible offensive team, so all they did was hit soft loopers to the outfield, or grounders that found holes. Juan Uribe’s two sacrific flys were the difference.
The Phillies’ offense is sturggling right now. They’ve been dreadful with runners in scoring position during this current seven-game road trip.
Cole Hamels takes the mound today (4:05 p.m. EST) versus Barry Zito. Hamels (7-5, 4.42 ERA) is 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his previous five starts, while Zito (6-10, 4.54 ERA) owns a 2-1 record and a 3.50 ERA lifetime against the Phillies.
This is a big start for Hamels for two reasons: A) With a win, the Phillies would split the four-game series against the Giants AND give the team a 4-3 road trip; and B) Hamels has to prove to himself and the organization that, while Cliff Lee is a Cy Young winner, Hamels is still the ace of the staff. He’s the NLCS MVP and World Series MVP. And he knows, better than any pitcher on the Phillies’ staff, how to pitch effectively in clutch situations.
Lee’s gem Friday night should motivate Hamels big time.