Cain Kills Phils Hopes of 2-1 Lead – Phillies Nation
2010 Game Recaps

Cain Kills Phils Hopes of 2-1 Lead

When you don’t hit, you can’t win. The Phillies found that out the hard way today in San Francisco as Matt Cain shut them down completely over seven innings in the Giants 3-0 win. Cole Hamels wasn’t even all that bad, even though he was tagged with the loss.

As for Cain, he rendered the Phillies offense useless, allowing just two hits and three walks with five K’s over 119 pitches. In actuality, he wasn’t as sharp as the numbers indicate, as he threw only 69 strikes to 50 balls. It was the Phillies lineup that made him look as such. There were several zeroes throughout the order; Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz were responsible for the three hits, while Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, and Ross Gload reach via walk. But that was the extent of the offense.

Once again it was their inability to pull through with runners in scoring position that did them in. Seven men were left on base, with the team finishing 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. The Phillies ran their RISP average down to .105 in the three games, or 2-for-19. That just won’t do.

Cole Hamels was the hard luck loser. He really only struggled in one inning and that unfortunately did him in. Through six innings, he allowed five hits and three runs on some tough base hits by the Giants.

In the fourth, Edgar Renteria led off the inning with a single, the first hit to that point given up by Hamels. Freddy Sanchez then pushed Renteria along with a sac bunt, which would have been a close play at second base had Howard looked that direction. He did not, and Renteria moved to scoring position. A Buster Posey strikeout was followed by a Pat Burrell walk. Cody Ross then struck again.

Ross singled from his shoes to left field, bringing home Renteria, and adding to his 2010 postseason lure. It wasn’t a bad pitch from Hamels to Ross – a low, 4-seam fastball above the middle part of the plate – but was something too close to his wheelhouse. He converted once again, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead.

Aubrey Huff then singled off the glove of a diving Chase Utley into right field, which scored Burrell who had moved to third on Ross’s hit.

Then in the fifth, Aaron Rowand doubled on the first pitch from Utley into the left field corner. He would later score on a Freddy Sanchez single that took a wicked hop and ate up Utley at second. It was originally called an error but changed to a base hit later. Utley appeared to have a play on the spinning ball but it skipped to his right, ricocheting off his arm and into shallow center field. Just that sort of day.

That would conclude the scoring for San Fran, but it would also be more than enough for the Giants to take a 2-1 lead with two games remaining at AT&T Park.

Charlie Manuel has stated that Joe Blanton will start in Game 4 against Madison Bumgarner. The skipper is pinning his hopes on a guy who hasn’t pitched a full game since September 29.

Although this is uncharted territory for this team, we all know they can’t be counted out of any series. And while the lineup is sinking like a brick, they’ll get a chance to turn their fortunes around against the Giants fourth starter.



  1. Geoff

    October 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    With this year’s sporadic offense, Joe Blanton is not our worry. It’s the offense.

  2. wxdavid

    October 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Guys it is over….

  3. wxdavid

    October 19, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    if the Phillies cannot beat a 21-year-old lefthanded rookie Madison Baumgarner 1 year out of college ball they dont deserve to win the NLCS

    the problemn is that the phillies in 2010 do terrible against pitchers they have not seen before

  4. Andrew from waldorf

    October 19, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Maybe they can muster 4 hits tomorrow?

    And you should be worried people.

    The hitting is worrisome. This is why I didnt want to play SF and thought SF was the toughest team the phils could face.

    Its a bad match up and thier “skell” hitters are the type of hitters who cause us problems also.

    MUST win tomorrow. Must hit tomorrow.

  5. Adam

    October 19, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Ibanez simply should not play tomorrow. I challenge anyone to disagree with that. Not out of it though. Shadows played a big role in the game today.

  6. Andrew from waldorf

    October 19, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Fransisco makes too much sense tomorrow.
    Is all I can come up with.
    and we know how loyal the old man is.

    Its moot if the guys who are paid to swing the bat swing it.


    October 19, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Manuel, Dubee and Halladay talk about pitching Blanton in Game 4 over Halladay on short rest:

  8. Steve B

    October 19, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Last year we had the hitting but no pitching except for Cliff Lee. Now, we get all the pitching we need and can’t hit the ball for #*$@! C’mon guys, hit the ball!

  9. Pete Rose

    October 19, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    It’s pretty clear now who has the better pitching staff… Giant’s starters have given up only 5 ER in three games…

  10. Sweet Dee

    October 19, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    This is not over. If you’re really giving up, then I have no idea what team you’ve been watching. We’re down. So what? There’s possibly four games left. Best of seven, people. Flyers came back from the 3-0 deficit. Phillies are better than the Flyers.

    That being said, we’ve got to win tomorrow.

  11. lurkinggrue

    October 19, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    I feel surprisingly upbeat and hopeful, despite the loss. And this coming from a die hard pessimist. I think with their backs against the wall, the Phils will come back to life and win Game 4. Then it’s a best of three with the last two in Philly and H20 on tap. Halladay will be looking to avenge Game 1, we’ve seen what Oswalt can do against the Giants, and Hamels >>> Cain at CBP.

  12. bigbobster

    October 19, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Unfortunately, this is the offense we saw consistently in late May through early July. Raul had a nice stretch in the second half, but he’s reverted. Maybe those 149 games took their toll on his 39-year old body. But you also have to give credit to Cain, who is one of the best pitchers in baseball. And believe it or not, I have faith in Blanton. I’m guessing he’ll go six innings, give up 2 runs. I think the offense can score three runs, and the bullpen can hold the Giants, so I think the Phils tie it up.

  13. Raagz

    October 19, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    It’s over? Retire as a Phil’s fan please. Its fans like you who suck. I’m behind our team 100% tomorrow even though we did look like sh** today. Team meeting time. Night game tomorrow. We will be hyped.

  14. Smokey

    October 19, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    If Big Joe and the boys tie the series up at 2 tomorrow then the Fightin’ Phils are headed back to the World Series. If they lose tomorrow, well, at least they made it farther than everyone expected them to just a few months ago. You heard it here first.

  15. Jake

    October 19, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    ‎3 damm hits, wtf! Hamels had another solid outting w/ zero run support. Heavy B better come through or we’re done. Tomorrow is a definite “Must Win” or we all might wanna start focusing on the Flyers and Birds. D-brown should be in the line up tomorrow to add some type of spark to this offence. This team needs a gut check, and hopefully today was it… Go Phillies!


    October 19, 2010 at 9:38 pm



    October 19, 2010 at 9:41 pm


  18. Giants-Troll

    October 19, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    It’s over if you don’t beat Bumgarner (rookie!) tomorrow and shut down what seems to be your kryptonite Cody Ross.

    Ibanez sucks btw – Personally I would like you to keep him in the line-up but you need to dump him and drastically change your lineup which (thankfully) your manager doesn’t seem to want to change..

    Giants in 5, GO GIANTS!!

  19. Bob Myers

    October 19, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    RIDICULOUS to think it’s over at this point.

    If we win tomorrow it’s tied at 2 games each with H2O pitching in the next three.

    REASONABLE to think that tomorrow’s win will be tough and in no way guaranteed with Blanton pitching, especially after so much time sitting on the bench.

    So, which one are you Phillies fans? Are you being ridiculous or reasonable?

    I choose to be reasonable, and passionately rooting for this team to rise to meet this challenge!

  20. Manny

    October 19, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    I agree… I’m probably the biggest RAUUUUUUUL fan on here but we need to start Francisco tomorrow, especially against a lefty.

    That’s it. I actually feel alright about Blanton tomorrow pitching in AT&T park and being a right handed pitcher.

    We gotta win tomorrow… Otherwise we’re down 3-1 against Lincecum the following day.


    October 19, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    McCaffery: Charlie needs to shake up Phillies lineup now NLCS Giants

  22. Bart Shart

    October 19, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Ibanez is stinking up the place. He looks old and overmatched. Replace him with Francisco tomorrow night. We deserved to lose this game today. The Giants and Matt Cain deserved to win. I just wish we had scored at least one run. I predict a strong seven inning performance from Cheeseburger Joe tomorrow night. He is probably pissed and anxious to prove himself. I hope it works. The series is not over by a long shot.

  23. karen

    October 19, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    I do not even recognize this team lately. The Giants were the scariest team going into the playoffs. Equally scary is the lack of offense and prolonged slumps this team has had this year. Not good. Raul is bad but chase is looking off, jroll still is not even close to being good, etc

  24. biz

    October 19, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    This team is playing with no heart. They lack the fire and hunger of years past. There is no excuse for losing to this group of cast off and waiver-wire pick ups. Their best hitter is the twice cut Cody Ross. It’s ridiculous.

    My main beef is with the black hole that exists between Werth and Chooch. They’re a combined 5-42? Correct me if I’m wrong, that’s what I thought I heard. 5-42 in the post season. With runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out in the 4th, a Jimmy pop and a Raul K slams the door. Fransisco is a must in left field tomorrow. Ibanez can’t hit righties at the moment, a lefty will kill him.

  25. Manny

    October 19, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Chase was pretty bad, too. That error that wasn’t called an error killed us.

  26. Lefty

    October 19, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    JPB- Thanks for the link, but I don’t agree with McCaffery at all!

    He’s taking the easy way out so he can say “I told you so” if we don’t win the series. I hate writers that do that, they write articles to make themselves look good, instead of giving us a baseball opinion. If he wants lineup changes he better explain not just who and where, but why.

    How do the match ups work in relation to this series, in this ballpark, against these pitchers, with numerical historical proof. McCaffery is a hack who wants to throw crap against a wall and see where it lands. That’s not how to manage a team.

  27. bacardipr05

    October 19, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    All the little problems are re-surfacing now when the Ante is up and the pitchers are at its best. The little flaws are showing up. Most I have been mentioning all year long. We shouldnt lose to this team it is our to lose. Its panic time as far as concerned. Anyone who will get the start…..??

  28. Lefty

    October 19, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Joe Blanton has been named the starter, Bacardipr05

  29. Andrew from waldorf

    October 19, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Why are people still talking about cliff Lee or hoping on re signing him?
    Does he swing a mean bat?
    Brown in right next year is at least new blood. Maybe get some new blood for left. Then getting a new player (younger) at 2b,3b or SS is probably needed. Not all 3 but one of them needs some change.
    There i said it now you can all savage me and say it isnt over and they are still the bestest.

    Its not over. they can still come back. But they need to win tomorrow. Period.
    If they lose this series I will have lots of nice thoughts to post. An one will be that J Roll or Chase MUST be dealt this off season.

    Not giving up. Not panicking. think they still win the WS.
    I pray they win the WS
    I am just saying. The offense is unacceptable.
    Time for Howard to step up and dont tell me about his Batting average.

    OK sorry I vented about the 3 hits today

    that was 3 total hits

    GO Phils

  30. biz

    October 19, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Howard needs to step up. Definitely.

    And Chase needs to not s u c k. That was disgraceful. He had an awful game. J-Roll and Ibanez batting 6/7 in the lineup is a sure fire rally killer.

    I’d like to see something like this tomorrow:


    Yeah, I know the old man won’t be that creative.

  31. Lefty

    October 19, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Pray hard, I think we need that. But don’t stop believing, never ever give up before the ship goes all the way down.

    If everyone in the lineup was hitting like Howard we’d have a three zip lead right now. It’s almost like a role reversal has happened, no one sets the table except the guy that should be cleaning it. And the guy that should be cleaning it, is acting like he’s supposed to set it.

  32. Bruce

    October 19, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    Sure, the Phillies as a team are not hitting with RISP. However, that has been an ongoing problem all season. Manuel has stated, it’s the pitching that is carrying the team this far inspite of a “sputtering offense”. However, when you have a Giants team that can counter with outstanding pitching of their own… that spells trouble. And the Phillies now know they are in trouble after being shutout by a very good pitcher in Matt Cain.

    Watching the 4th inning unfold, The Giants executed to perfection the manufacturing of runs that is known as “smallball” and would delight all baseball purists but not to Phillies fans including myself. The key moment as I see it, was Burrell’s at bat as he patiently wait out a walk from Hamels with two outs to keep the inning alive and for “Phillie killer”, Cody Ross to have that chance to come up with the big hit for the RBI.

    Now it’s all hands on deck for the Phillies as their hopes rest on the arm of Joe Blanton tomorrow.

  33. Lefty

    October 19, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Howard is not leading the team the way he should be, but he’s not getting any help either. You don’t want to talk about the fact that he leads the team in average, that’s fine. For the playoffs he leads the team in OBP, hits, doubles, total bases, and 2nd in walks. True as usual he has the most K’s, but the coveted Jayson Werth has the same amount. (10)

    BUT! None of that is an excuse, he should be leading in HR’s and RBI or at least just RBI and he’s not. He hasn’t jacked a long ball since mid September, I don’t know why but my guess is that if he knew why, he’d be hitting them.

  34. Andrew from waldorf

    October 19, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    When your rotation has Halladay Hamels and oswalt you make the playoffs by default. When you make it in the playoffs the bats have to show up. To me the line up looks stale.

    I kinda thought game 1 was gonna be a loser. I knew game 2 was a winner. Didnt know about game 3. Really dont know about game 4. Except that I know it will take alot more than 3 hits.

    This is where they like to be I guess thier backs are against the wall. Time for the bats to put up several crooked numbers.

  35. Andrew from waldorf

    October 19, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    And the worst part of it all?
    The Yankees are sucking it up and we cant even make fun of them.

    Notice I didnt and will never mention moving Howard lol
    We are married to him long term (contract). So people like jeff who hate him need to get used to him or not follow the team.

    Iam not as down as my longer post would seem. even a loss tomorrow and the ship isnt completely sunk.
    I am very worried about the line up. How it looks stale and how it isnt getting any younger.

  36. Trent

    October 19, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Whoever is giving up on this team should be shot in the head and dumped out in the delaware river…..cmon guys, you may say I have a little too much faith, but I really don’t…..stop looking at stats and percentages and just think how much this team has really fought for to get to this point… guys think a dude name Madison BUMgarner is gonna shut the Phillies O down, have some faith and stop actin like stupid Aholes……its sad when the phillies still have plenty of life left, but there are PHILLIES fans who are already cryin the blues and tryin whine about the giants……..GO PHILLIES! I have not and will not lose faith until we are physically eliminated from the 2010 MLB PLAYOFFS!!!!!!! GO PHILLIES GO!!!! phills in 6

  37. Lefty

    October 19, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Everything will work out, all I see is the same thing everyone else does, Raul needs a break against the lefty. But Charlie already said he didn’t think he’d do that. I’m pretty down, but I’m also exhausted, see you tomorrow.

    Keep the phaith!

  38. Andrew from waldorf

    October 19, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    @ lefty
    you know I am not the typical Howard basher. I come at it with what logic I can.
    I give him a D+ for the playoffs is all
    But the only one Id probably give above a C is Ruiz who is a C+

    Utleys entire season is troubling. The playoff errors are troubling and this is over 2 years.

    Utley needs to hit 3 homers tomorrow. You know what I mean.
    Somebody needs to do something big.
    hmmm like…..
    the great Cody Ross

  39. Lefty

    October 19, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Oh- and Vic and Jimmy batting righthanded will help too.

  40. Andrew from waldorf

    October 19, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Everything will work out.
    We hope!

  41. Lefty

    October 19, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    I don’t think Utley can hit with consistent power right now, you break bones in your hand and power is the last thing that comes back. That HR in Great America just barely got over the wall. He may not have his normal power numbers until next year. I think Charlie has conceded that already by moving him to the two hole. He can still run, and does hustle.

    But that doesn’t explain Howard’s lack of power, I don’t know what the problem is there.

  42. Andrew from waldorf

    October 20, 2010 at 12:06 am

    The Yankees are really embarrassing themselves. At least we havent done that so far.

    Rangers- Giants world series?
    MLB is cringing.

    cringe (krnj)
    intr.v. cringed, cring·ing, cring·es
    1. To shrink back, as in fear; cower.
    2. To behave in a servile way; fawn.
    An act or instance of cringing.

  43. SAM

    October 20, 2010 at 12:27 am

    One thing for sure … Cliff Lee will be in the World Series again!!!! Maybe the Phils who are supposed to have one of the most potent offense in baseball will take a tip from the Rangers. Today the Phils looked borderline pathetic. What the heck gives with this team? One day they’re on fire and the next day they are as flat as a pancake. You’ve got to want the win really bad and I don’t see it in the faces of some of the players. Maybe, they thought the Giants were going to lay down and die? Well, guess what … if this team doesn’t wake up tomorrow … they’ll be home watching Cliff Lee pitching against the Giants. And, one more thing …. ‘How come Josh Hamilton can hit off speed pitches and sliders out of the park and Howard can’t? I guess I’m just disgusted with the Phillies lack luster performance again.

  44. Philly Texan

    October 20, 2010 at 12:41 am

    Chase Utley hasn’t been the same since he hurt his hip two years ago.

    But he went from a .300 hitter with 30 HR power to a .270 hitter with 20 HR power.

    I don’t know why. It just is. Sure, he has stretches in which he’s hot at the plate. But we’ve had two years of evidence now and it’s clear that Utley is now a .270 hitter with average power at best. Might as well except it.

    He also rarely hits the other way anymore. He was once a spray hitter who could drive the ball to the gap in left-center. Can’t remember the last time he did that. Now, he’s a dead pull hitter.

  45. Philly Texan

    October 20, 2010 at 12:48 am

    Go back and watch the video of Chase Utley from four years ago in Florida when HK first calls Utley “the man.”

    It was a pitch on the outer half of the plate and Chase went with it, driving the ball the other way for a double into the left-centerfield gap.

    These days he’s trying to pull that pitch, and instead of driving it, he rolls over it and grounds out to second.

    How many weak ground outs to second have we seen from him lately?

    I don’t know if he’s trying too hard to generate extra power or what.

    But I wish he would stop trying to pull everything and go the other way…..

  46. Andrew from waldorf

    October 20, 2010 at 12:51 am

    The phils offense and line up isnt that good.
    We all have to get our heads around that.
    The Phillies are a pitching and defensive team. Which is fine with me. Because good pitching and defense always beats good hitting.
    But when the offense is pathetic you are in trouble.

    We will see. to me in the past (game 2 this series) they step up.
    Time to step up (offensively) wed night. Then big Roy thurs night.

    This offense is offensive.

  47. Nunzio Scholeri

    October 20, 2010 at 12:59 am

    I was talking to my father about the current situation, and we both felt like going a step beyond subbing Francisco for Ibanez tomorrow and also subbing Gload for Utley and Valdez for Rollins. Maybe even Sweeney for Howard.

    I mean hey, we can’t do any worse than the offense we have now (yes, I know, Howard has been hitting when the bases are empty, but keep in mind that he has been worthless in anything resembling clutch situations), and both my father and I felt that if you put all those bench players out on the field, then you’d have a group of guys that actually give a crap and will play with passion and fire. You watch the regulars at the plate, and almost every one of them without exception looks like they fully expect that all they have to do is stand there and swing halfheartedly and a grand slam will happen every time and the World Series trophy will just magically materialize in Philadelphia. They look dead out there. We all know Manuel won’t do anything like that, but at this point I’d be willing to try anything to embarrass our regulars into actually caring about the game.

  48. Andrew from waldorf

    October 20, 2010 at 1:21 am

    @ nunzio

    I am as pissed as anyone. They care. They are champions.
    They do look dead.

    Tonight the heart of a champion should appear. Or its gone.

  49. Philly Texan

    October 20, 2010 at 1:28 am

    You can accuse this team of a lot of things—bad offense, especially with runners on base—but you can’t accuse them of not caring. This team plays hard. We all know that. They play their guts out and they hate to lose.

    I don’t know what kind of “fire” you’re looking for. Throwing tantrums on the field isn’t going to solve anyting. You can’t lose composure at a time like this. Just keep working at it and hope the hits come tomorrow. And that’s what this team will do.

    But they definitely care and they definitely have passion and they definitely play hard. If you think otherwise, you haven’t been watching the same team I have the past four years.

    THis team has a history of coming up big when things look bleak, of conjuring a big performance when people counted them out. Even this year (Like sweeping SD after losing four games to the Astros).

    We’re down. But I’m not counting this team out. Let’s see how they respond tomorrow.

  50. biz

    October 20, 2010 at 1:31 am


    Howard’s not the problem. Yes, he hasn’t homered, but he’s hitting .320 in the post season. All of the LOB problems today revolved around Jimmy and Chase. And Gload’s not a 2nd baseman. He’s a lefty. And he hasn’t hit anything since August. Subbing for Fransisco is one thing, and it’s a good idea, but we’re going to have to ride it out with the rest of the guys. They ARE the Phillies. Sweeney and Gload are not the answer.

  51. biz

    October 20, 2010 at 1:32 am

    This is a bad park for our team to play in. Those fences might as well be 800 ft. If we don’t start seeing a few innings where we get 3 or 4 hits in close succession, our season will come to a quick finish.

    And Blanton has to be near perfect tomorrow.

  52. jt

    October 20, 2010 at 1:34 am

    looking back at the phillies teams from the last 2 years and this team they difference is clutch hitting we felt confident we would get them clutch hits late in games and we would have them late rallys like game 4 in 08 in l.a or game 4 in colorado in 09 them teams had clutch hitting and could easily get a rally together…this phillies team can’t get a clutch hit period and you won’t win without getting them…this series is still not over but tomorrow is must win and the offense need to wake up or it is pretty much over.

  53. Andrew from waldorf

    October 20, 2010 at 2:06 am

    I follow horse racing. My main track is a small track here in Maryland (rosecroft) that is currently closed. About 4 years ago there was a horse named Bagel Blue Chip who showed up unexpectedly. He was in a 4 claimer. That means for 4,000$ anyone could buy him and own him.
    When I saw the name I thought wow that horse is a champion.
    Sure enough my memory served me right. He had won 1,500,000.$ for his career. He was a champion.
    When a horse is 10 years old and crippled sometimes they end up at some small time track running for peanuts. But I knew there was the heart of the champion in there. Sure enough the public would always make him 7-1 or 8-1. And sure enough I would bet him.
    And then when it got that final turn the heart would appear. He could come 3 wide (back by 7-8 lengths) and you could almost see his heart. He would win by a nose over and over again.
    You could look on the track and see the heart of a champion. A champion reduced to running at a crap track for 4,000$ but he is still a champion.
    Somewhere today he is standing in some field and he is a champion. Some young buck could challenge him. The old cripple. But he is a champion. If its close Ill take the champion.
    The computer I am typing on right now is paid for by betting on that champion.
    The Phillies are champions. Beat them 4 times and I take my hat off to you.

  54. bacardipr05

    October 20, 2010 at 2:22 am

    I think our line up is fine and is more than capable of manufacturing runs. However no one is living up to there potential not even close. Everyone in our starting line up has within fairly easy reach to be a .280 hitter. Its not like asking anyone to over achieve just to achieve. My number one concern was the bullpen holding small leads or keeping us within striking distance. Well they have done that my #2 concern was the hitting. If this series goes 3-1 i think we are done. I dont foresee us winning 3 in a row against Cain, Lincecum an Sanchez. Our hopes lay on Joe B and our offense. Joe B is capable of shutting down however been realistic he is going to most likely give up 2 or 3 runs. Our offense has to produce.

  55. Nunzio Scholeri

    October 20, 2010 at 4:12 am

    Philly Texan – I have been watching that team, that team of guts and unstoppable determination, and that is exactly why I am so sad that I haven’t seen that team on the field much in these playoffs.

    I should clarify that of course I believe in this team and I’ll pull for them all the way. Running bench players out there isn’t the answer, it was just a hyperbole-fueled way of expressing frustration with the regulars. It’s just frustrating to see them look so apathetic. I’m not talking about throwing tantrums on the field, I’m just talking about going up there with fire and confidence. Staring the pitcher down. Challenging the other team. What I love about the Phillies is their determination. Their passion. And in this postseason I just haven’t seen it the way I did last year.

    However, as frustrated as I am, I fully believe that they will turn it around. They’ll come out tomorrow guns blazing, and all will be right with the world. I truly believe that this is the best team in Major League baseball if they play anywhere near their potential. I can’t wait to see it when a few more guys start firing on all cylinders. If that happens in time, we will have a juggernaut on our hands. This team, with its back to the wall, almost always finds something left, some spark, and then fans that spark into a fire and torches the other team. I can’t wait to watch that happen tomorrow (well, technically today).

  56. Lefty

    October 20, 2010 at 6:08 am

    Andrew, Well written, poignant and inspiring.
    Go Phils!

  57. bfo_33

    October 20, 2010 at 6:57 am

    We’re only down one game. Cole pitched better than his typical day game start, and it didn’t hurt the bullpen (Contreras looked very good). AT&T day games, you need to score in the first 4 innings, or the shadows will kill you. That is not the Phils offense – wear out the starter, then beat up the pen.

    While it shouldn’t surprise me, I can’t believe Howard is getting dissed. He’s the only guy hitting the ball. Sure, no dingers yet, but he is hitting it hard. Werth is in a funk, Utley is having a horrible series at the plate and in the field, any time Ibanez hits a ball hard, it’s at someone (hopefully see Ben Fran tonight), and yet you can complain about Howard’s homer drought?

    I’m not comfortable, but it is not time for panic.

  58. brooks

    October 20, 2010 at 7:20 am

    This is nuts. Lets start out with the fact that this was the worst offensive display the Phils had the entire year so far. And like Pat said, it wasn’t Cain, hell, I think Pluto could have been on the mound tonight. How many pitches in the sweet spot were fouled off at best? One thing Pat did not mention is that Cain hit 2 batters as well. 2 walks, 2 hit batsmen – really, nothing special the Phils had another dud.

    Karen posted early on: “Giants were the scariest team going into the playoffs” – really??? Karen, have you put the tissues away, wipe your tears off and look at what you wrote again – comon girl.

    Andrew – good Lord fella – your descriptives run the gamut – pathetic, stale, the Phils offense and lineup isn’t that good.. then you talk about heart? Who’s heart? Chooch as a C+? Why, because he is one of the only regulars hitting above .200? Only Howard (.364 and not productive at all) and Jimmy (.273 and 4 rbi) are hitting anything. Dump Chase and Jimmy, really? Are you saying to give up on either of them? Again Andrew, who’s heart?

    The Phils had one of their pattented duds yesterday, plain and simple. I think most of us agreed that this was not going to be a cakewalk but honestly, I did not think the losses would be against Doc or Cole – the only way there is a win tonight is by getting some wood on the ball. Yesterday 0 for 5 with RISP – even if Joe throws a perfect game (fat chance) it wouldn’t matter if the Phils O doesn’t wake up.

  59. Ted Bell

    October 20, 2010 at 7:37 am

    The only change in the lineup today will be Francisco for Ibanez. Charlie’s not the type to make a big deal out of lineup changes in advance, but when the lineup card comes out Francisco will be on it. Manuel sees the same things we’re seeing.

    I have no reason not to believe that 24 hours from now the series will be 2-2 and the sky will no longer be falling. That’s the beauty of the sport folks.

    I’m Ted Bell.

  60. brooks

    October 20, 2010 at 8:03 am

    I can see subbing Ben for Ibanez (recall Big Ben was 0 for 8 in the WS last year) but, I would also like to see what Sweeney can do in the PH role. Gload has done nothing since August. What would be the issue with giving Sweeney a shot?

  61. Chuck

    October 20, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Is anyone really THAT surprised by this? The Giants were never gonna be easy…and I woouldn’t be shocked at all to see them advance.


    Blanton IS the right move tonight…you have to take your chances that he can prevail against their 4th starter. He’s got playoff experience and has something to prove.

    They win and H20 on FULL REST can win 2 of 3.

    They lose and you STILL have H20 on FULL REST.

    I like our chances. A Lot.

  62. Kate

    October 20, 2010 at 8:36 am

    I’m still worried, but I won’t be reaching for the panic button until we’re facing elimination. Even then, I doubt they’re down and out.

    The umpire was all over the place, but he was pretty much all over the place with Cain as well. Equal opportunity bad calls.

    Never count this team out. Never.

    That being said… I know I’m always complimenting Charlie for his loyalty, but it might be better for Raul Ibanez and it would DEFINITELY be better for the team if Ibanez sat down tonight. Ben Francisco put on a good show the last few games of the regular season and it might take some pressure off Raul.

    Also, is it somewhere in Gload’s contract that he must always be first up to pinch-hit? I said in the game thread last night that Big Joe won’t last past the seventh, so move Gload down and put either Sweeney or Brown (or even my boy Exxon) in there first. Hell, maybe try Doc out in the PH spot. God knows he’s been hitting more consistently than most.

    I guess someone forgot to tell young James that it was Game 4. Or they did and he didn’t believe them this time.

    Ted Bell’s right. There’s no real reason to automatically assume the Phillies are losing tonight. There’s no real reason to automatically assume they’re winning tonight, either, but I’m an opitimist.

  63. Chuck

    October 20, 2010 at 8:52 am

    I have been a big supporter of Raul …not as big as Manny has….but definitely in his corner. Without him, we don’t make the playoffs both last year and this year.


    I absolutely agree that he needs to sit tonight. Why the eff do we have these guys on the bench if we’re not gonna use them? And it’s not like Ben Fran is just a pinch hitter or defensive replacement.

    If the situation calls for a lefty pinch hitter someehere late in the game….you can always call on Raul then.

    But that’s about all I would do. Someone suggested playing Sweeney and Valdez and I think someone else. That’s just dumb. J-Roll and Howard are actually getting some hits and you can’t just put all your second stringers in the lineup.

    Probably a higher scoring game tonight….but who knows. Blanton could absolutely dominate or he could suck. Same with Madison Bumgarner. But I like the decision to go with Heavy B. He’s battle- tested. And I’m pretty sure that Charlie and Dubee have a pretty good feel for this. They’re the experts and are there….we’re not.

  64. Chuck

    October 20, 2010 at 8:55 am

    And just to clarify one more thing….

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Charlie sticks with Raul. That’s just the way he is.

  65. George

    October 20, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Pinch hitting is based on the situation and the matchups, Brooks. In certain situations, you need a guy who hits for average or OBP, in others, you want someone with the capability of hitting the ball out. Also, Gload DID draw a walk last night, and I believe he’s been on base in another of the playoff games. At least we’re not being subjected to Dobbs.

    Also, I’m tired of the Howard bashing. It’s hard to be productive when there’s no one on base, and its nearly impossible for a lefty hitter to get a home run in that SF Grand Canyon.

    One other item: Cain did pitch well. Just because he was wild doesn’t mean he didn’t have good stuff or was unable to put it over when he needed to. There have been 7-walk no-hitters pitched from time to time. Let’s give some credit to the Giant’s pitching staff for once. While the Phils have been bad offensively, it’s not easy for even the best hitters to get past Lincecum, Sanchez, and Cain.

  66. Bacardipr05

    October 20, 2010 at 9:18 am

    I think we have to take the chance with Joe B. Just pray that it works out in our favor. Then take our chances (odds) that Halladay an Oswalt will Duel. The Giants now have hope as some one else put in another thread. We gave them that in game 1. The seemingly impossible is possible hope is sometimes a more poweful weapon then having an all-star starting line up. If we dont win tonight its pretty much over.

  67. Chuck

    October 20, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Bacardi, if we don’t win tonight it’s not over. Until I see the Giants or Phillies celebrating, this series is still on.

  68. Manny

    October 20, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Chuck: If we lose tonight, we would have H2O on full rest the rest of the way… BUT they would also have Lincecum, Sanchez, and Cain on full rest… I would expect them to win at least 1 out of those 3 matchups.

    Tonight is a must-win.

  69. Paul

    October 20, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Believe it or not, I am more worried about Bumgarner shutting down the Phils, than I am Blanton pitching poorly.

    The way things are going, I could easily see another low scoring loss… but this is still far from over, especially if the bats can finally come alive.

    PLEASE put Fracisco in too, Ibanez is a mess right now.

  70. Stacy

    October 20, 2010 at 9:54 am

    I see a team with no heart, no emotion, and now they compliment the other team. This team is a joke and if it were not for pitching this year we would not have made the playoffs. This team has folded and shows lack of emotion. Jason Worth its time for him to go he lost his heart and poisoned this team over money, Victorino is just content , Ibanez what a joke, Rollins content and ready to pack it in, RYAN HOWARD IN LOVE lost focus, Utley excuses, Palanco more excuses. They are getting bitch slapped and the greatest team ever in Philadelphia is a fraud. They are frauds and over paid spoiled baby’s.

  71. Chuck

    October 20, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Manny, you’re right. This is as close to a must-win as there is.

  72. Kate

    October 20, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Howard’s been making the most good contact with the bat this series. It’s just that we’re used to seeing the power homers from him, so anything less is a letdown, from the fan perspective.

    We’ve been living in discomfort for most of the season. We should be used to it by now.

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