Former Phillie Aaron Rowand is expected to make his first start of the NLCS today in centerfield in place of Andres Torres. Torres struck out four time in the Game 2 loss.
The Giants were 14 games over .500 this season when Rowand started (45-31), although he was a virtual nonfactor during the stretch drive and finished with a .230 average.
Rowand enters the game hitting .200 in his career against Hamels, having gone 3-for-15.
Rowand said Hamels’ development of a cut fastball this year has made him much more effective, especially against right-handed hitters.
“He can throw the (cutter) inside effectively which opens up his best pitch, which is his changeup,” Rowand said.
Left coast stat
Much has been made of the Phillies trying to become the first National League team to reach the World Series three straight years since the 1942-44 St. Louis Cardinals, but the Giants are trying to overcome a historical trend that heavily favors teams east of the Mississippi.
Western Division teams (in either league) haven't won a World Series title since the Los Angeles Angels beat the Giants in seven games in 2002, one of just two titles Western Division teams have won since the 1988 Dodgers (the 2001 Diamondbacks are the other). The 2007 Colorado Rockies, who were swept by the Boston Red Sox in the Fall Classic, are the only Western Division team to appear in a World Series since 2002.
The Giants haven't won a World Series title since 1954, when they were in New York.