Monday, December 22, 2014

The season series

The Phillies and Giants split the season series at three games apiece. Most of the games were lopsided. But the series finale in San Francisco was a memorable one. April 26: Giants 5, Phillies 1 Hours before the game, Ryan Howard officially signed a five-year, $125 million extension, one of the largest contracts in history. Howard promptly went 0 for 3 with a walk against San Francisco lefthander Jonathan Sanchez, who was effectively wild in five innings. Giants backup catcher Eli Whiteside delivered two big blows off Roy Halladay — an RBI double in the second and a solo homer in the seventh. It was Halladay's first loss of the season. April 27: Giants 6, Phillies 2 Todd Wellemeyer had a tenuous hold on his spot in the Giants' rotation but allowed just two runs in seven innings against the Phillies. (He was later released in August.) Matt Downs, an infielder who was also later released, homered. For the second straight night, San Francisco tallied 10 hits against a Phillies starter, this time it was Jamie Moyer. Chad Durbin didn't help matters by allowing two tack-on runs. April 28: Phillies 7, Giants 6 (11 innings) This stands as one of the most bizarre games of the season. Tim Lincecum was absolutely dealing through eight innings having allowed just a solo home run to Howard. But after issuing a one-out walk to Shane Victorino, Lincecum was yanked from the game by Bruce Bochy. Giants closer Brian Wilson proceeded to allow a bases-clearing double to Jayson Werth that tied the game with two outs. After the Phillies took the lead in the 10th, Ryan Madson blew the save in the bottom half of the inning. He then kicked a chair in the clubhouse and broke his toe, which forced him to miss two months. In the 11th, the Phillies scored twice and journeyman Nelson Figueroa made it stick with his first professional save. Aug. 17: Phillies 9, Giants 3 The fans cheered Pat Burrell in his return to Philadelphia. Then, he homered in the first inning off Roy Oswalt and some of the cheers turned to boos. But both Jimmy Rollins and Victorino had two-run singles in the fifth and sixth innings to open up a lead. In the eighth, they padded the lead with some San Francisco miscues. Rollins finished with three RBIs. Carlos Ruiz had two. Oswalt struck out seven in seven innings and didn't walk a batter. Aug. 18: Phillies 8, Giants 2 Joe Blanton allowed yet another first-inning run, but he was almost spotless after that. The Phillies' fourth starter pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs (both on solo home runs) on eight hits. He struck out seven and walked none. The Phillies beat up on Matt Cain, who was victimized by a Mike Fontenot error that led to three unearned runs. Rollins blasted a three-run homer to right to cap the four-run fourth. Aug. 19: Giants 5, Phillies 2 Cole Hamels was not himself and it was evident early. In the first, he struck out Aaron Rowand. But the Giants followed with a single, wild pitch, double, walk, single and another single. By then it was 3-0. Rookie Buster Posey had two hits and drove in two runs. Hamels was gone after the fifth, allowing five runs on seven hits. Hamels would allow four runs total over his next six starts. Once again, Jonathan Sanchez defeated the Phillies, this time going much deeper. He pitched eight innings and allowed just two hits.

The season series

Jimmy Rollins hit a single, a triple, and a home run Aug. 18 vs. San Francisco. (David M Warren/Staff Photographer)
Jimmy Rollins hit a single, a triple, and a home run Aug. 18 vs. San Francisco. (David M Warren/Staff Photographer)

The Phillies and Giants split the season series at three games apiece. Most of the games were lopsided. But the series finale in San Francisco was a memorable one.

April 26: Giants 5, Phillies 1
Hours before the game, Ryan Howard officially signed a five-year, $125 million extension, one of the largest contracts in history. Howard promptly went 0 for 3 with a walk against San Francisco lefthander Jonathan Sanchez, who was effectively wild in five innings. Giants backup catcher Eli Whiteside delivered two big blows off Roy Halladay — an RBI double in the second and a solo homer in the seventh. It was Halladay's first loss of the season.

April 27: Giants 6, Phillies 2
Todd Wellemeyer had a tenuous hold on his spot in the Giants' rotation but allowed just two runs in seven innings against the Phillies. (He was later released in August.) Matt Downs, an infielder who was also later released, homered. For the second straight night, San Francisco tallied 10 hits against a Phillies starter, this time it was Jamie Moyer. Chad Durbin didn't help matters by allowing two tack-on runs.

April 28: Phillies 7, Giants 6 (11 innings)
This stands as one of the most bizarre games of the season. Tim Lincecum was absolutely dealing through eight innings having allowed just a solo home run to Howard. But after issuing a one-out walk to Shane Victorino, Lincecum was yanked from the game by Bruce Bochy. Giants closer Brian Wilson proceeded to allow a bases-clearing double to Jayson Werth that tied the game with two outs. After the Phillies took the lead in the 10th, Ryan Madson blew the save in the bottom half of the inning. He then kicked a chair in the clubhouse and broke his toe, which forced him to miss two months. In the 11th, the Phillies scored twice and journeyman Nelson Figueroa made it stick with his first professional save.

Aug. 17: Phillies 9, Giants 3
The fans cheered Pat Burrell in his return to Philadelphia. Then, he homered in the first inning off Roy Oswalt and some of the cheers turned to boos. But both Jimmy Rollins and Victorino had two-run singles in the fifth and sixth innings to open up a lead. In the eighth, they padded the lead with some San Francisco miscues. Rollins finished with three RBIs. Carlos Ruiz had two. Oswalt struck out seven in seven innings and didn't walk a batter.

Aug. 18: Phillies 8, Giants 2
Joe Blanton allowed yet another first-inning run, but he was almost spotless after that. The Phillies' fourth starter pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs (both on solo home runs) on eight hits. He struck out seven and walked none. The Phillies beat up on Matt Cain, who was victimized by a Mike Fontenot error that led to three unearned runs. Rollins blasted a three-run homer to right to cap the four-run fourth.

Aug. 19: Giants 5, Phillies 2
Cole Hamels was not himself and it was evident early. In the first, he struck out Aaron Rowand. But the Giants followed with a single, wild pitch, double, walk, single and another single. By then it was 3-0. Rookie Buster Posey had two hits and drove in two runs. Hamels was gone after the fifth, allowing five runs on seven hits. Hamels would allow four runs total over his next six starts. Once again, Jonathan Sanchez defeated the Phillies, this time going much deeper. He pitched eight innings and allowed just two hits.

Which pitcher would you want to start a must-win game?
Roy Halladay
Cliff Lee
Tim Lincecum
CC Sabathia
Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
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