I apologize for the lack of posts this week. I have been really busy, but I got some free time now.
Because Game 4 will start in about 2 hours, I will make this post a little different. I'll do a little less game summary and a little more preview for tonight's game.
Even though the Giants took Game 1 in impressive fashion, losing Game 2 still kept them in their underdog status. However, winning last night 3-0 behind Matt Cain put at least a little doubt in the experts' minds.
Plain and simple, the Giants were not supposed to win yesterday. Matt Cain, although having a solid post-season, was winless against the Phillies in his career. Phillies' lefty Cole Hammels was supposed to shut down the Giants, as he did to the Reds in the NLDS. After all, the Giants' offense is worse than the Reds'. The left-handed power hitters (Utley, Howard, and Ibanez) were supposed to crush the ball into McCovey Cove and beat the Giants convincingly, but it wasn't how she drew it up.
It was the Giants who stormed ahead early and didn't look back. The scoring for the Giants in Game 3 began when Cody Ross came up in the bottom of the fourth inning with runners at first and second with 2 out. Ross took a low and outside pitch from Hammels and lined it into right field for a base hit, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead. This hit was Ross' fourth of the NLCS. The next batter, Aubrey Huff, singled into right field, increasing the Giants' lead to 2-0.
The Giants would take on another run in the fifth when Freddy Sanchez hit an RBI "single"to second baseman Chase Utley, who kicked the ball around on a tough hop. The ball trickled into center, scoring Aaron Rowand, but the official scorer called the ball hit. The Giants had a 3-0 lead, which would be plenty.
Matt Cain pitched seven shutout innings, striking out 5. Brian Wilson came on in the ninth and earned his second save of the NLCS.
The Giants can really silence the analysts with a win tonight, and their history this year indicates that they could very well do that.
Today's "my thoughts" will focus on the game tonight.
I really like the Giants' chances tonight. Lefty Madison Bumgarner may be a rookie, but he's got the poise of Greg Maddux. With that left-handed heavy lineup and the dimensions of AT&T Park, I think the Giants could hold the Phillies down here. Those homers that would graze over the wall in Philadelphia will get caught in right-center in San Francisco (it's going to be fun watching the Phillies' sluggers slam their helmets down when their "home-run" balls get tracked down by Torres near the 421 marker).
On the offensive side for the Giants, Joe Blanton is someone they should hit. His ERA of 4.82 is nothing to get worried about, and he is as ordinary a pitcher as you will face in the post-season. I am shocked the Phillies aren't coming back with Halladay here. This is a huge game for both clubs. The winner here might very well win the series. The game is that big. That said, the Giants are going to have to hit Blanton because Hallady and Oswalt are coming.
Now it's tiime to get ready for baseball! No more talk, no more analysis. This is a huge game, so Giants fans just sit back and relax. It will be a bumpy ride.
My predicted score: Giants win 5-2