NLCS Game 3: Matt Cain Shuts Down Phillies

October 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

In a press conference the other day, Philadelphia Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel said his team really hasn’t hit since the first half of last season. Well, the man knows his team and knows what he is talking about.

Since the start of the second half last and including this year’s postseason, the Phillies have hit .245 as a team. Things only got worse for the Philly batters in Game 3 of the NLCS.

San Francisco Giants’ pitcher Matt Cain completely shut down the Phillies for seven innings, and Javier Lopez and Brian Wilson finished the job as the Giants beat the Phillies 3-0 to take a 2-1 series lead in their best-of-seven NLCS.

Cain pitched seven strong innings allowing just two hits, no runs, three walks and struck out five in the 119-pitch effort. Was Cain “Oh my god” great? No, he wasn’t, but he was good enough.

Out of his 119 pitches, only 69 of them were strikes, so his ball-to-strike ratio was almost 1-to-1. He also pegged Carlos Ruiz and Shane Victorino. Not too impressive, but Cain used a combination of four-seem fastballs, changeups and sliders to keep the Phillies’ hitters at bay.

The key for Cain in this game was the above mentioned changeup. It was as good as it gets today for Cain. He threw 30 changeups, and 14 of them were for strikes.

The key? He kept it down. Here is his pitch type plot courtesy of the PitchFX tool…

The changeups are in yellow, and Cain did an outstanding job all afternoon of keeping the change down, so when the Philly batters did hit the ball, it was on the ground.

Cain now hasn’t allowed a run in two postseason starts.

Here are some other observations from Game 3…

The way Cole Hamels went through the first nine batters, I thought he would throw a perfect game today. Nine up and nine down, and the Giants looked completely overmatched early.

The Pat Burrell walk with two outs in the fourth was a killer. Burrell walks and then Cody Ross singles, then Aubrey Huff singled, and just like that, the Giants were up 2-0.

Ross has a 1.444 OPS this series. Just sayin’.

The Phillies won’t win this series if Chase Utley continues to play like he is playing. His error in the fifth that led to the Giants’ third run was a back breaker, and he is batting .100 in this series at the plate.

How bad is Jimmy Rollins hurting right now? The guy couldn’t make it to second on a ball hit to the right field wall in the ninth. Granted the ball was scorched, but a healthy Rollins makes it to second on that hit.

Manuel is making the right decision to go with Joe Blanton in Game 4. Even if they lose, the Phillies will have Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Hamels on full rest for the final three games of the series. I will take my chances with those three down the stretch.

Wilson is locked in right now. 2.1 IP and 5 K’s.

Game 4 is Wednesday night at 7:57 PM est.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...