Top Things To Know
The Phillies have won seven straight Game 1's, which is tied for the fourth longest Game 1 win streak in postseason history, while the Giants have won six straight Game 1's. Philadelphia hasn’t lost a Game 1 in the postseason since the NLDS in 2007, and has won six of their seven series during this streak.
The Phillies’ top three starters – Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels – did not pitch well against the Giants this season. Combined they went 1-5 with a 4.80 ERA, including Oswalt’s three starts while with the Houston Astros.
Clutch hitting will decide this series, especially for the Giants, the only postseason participant to finish outside the top 12 in OBP this season. San Francisco finished last in the NL in BA with RISP at .248, and was even worse in the NLDS (.185).
On the other side, Phillies pitchers allowed the second-lowest BA with RISP in the NL this season (.236), and got even better in the NLDS, holding the Cincinnati Reds without a hit in that situation.
Most Interesting Matchups
HalladayCy Young Award winners will face each other twice in this series, when Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum take the hill in Games 1 and 5. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, their Game 1 matchup will be the third since 1900 – and the first in the postseason – in which two pitchers faced each other, with one coming off a no-hitter and the other coming off a shutout allowing two hits or fewer.
The only other times it’s happened were on May 17, 1996, when Al Leiter of the Florida Marlins faced Jim Buillinger of the Chicago Cubs, and April 20, 1917, when Eddie Cicotte of the Chicago White Sox faced Allen Sothoron of the St. Louis Browns.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy changed his starting rotation a bit from the NLDS, but it was an easy call as Mark Simon details here. In the NLCS, Jonathan Sanchez will start Game 2 while Matt Cain will pitch Game 3. Of all active pitchers with at least 30 innings pitched against the Phillies, Sanchez has the lowest opponents’ batting average (.175). In two starts against the Phils this season, Sanchez allowed a .114 batting average, going 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA.
SanchezThe reason behind this move is that both of Sanchez’s starts will come in Philadelphia. In two career starts at Citizens Bank Park, Sanchez has allowed a .106 batting average, .106 slugging percentage, .208 OBP and 0.71 WHIP. Of all the parks that Sanchez has pitched in more than once, these numbers are the lowest.
Stat of the Day
The Giants allowed 115 stolen bases this season, second-most in the National League. That’s not a good sign, as the Phillies were fourth in the NL in steals and led the majors in stolen base percentage. In fact, since Charlie Manuel took over in 2005, the Phils are fourth in the major leagues in steals and first in stolen base percentage.