Deep Giants pitching staff presents challenge to Phillies

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Tim Lincecum had the highest regular-season earned run average of the Giants' projected NLCS starters. (AP File Photo / Eric Risberg)

CC SABATHIA IS the most dominant pitcher the Phillies have faced in their recent run of postseasons, but San Francisco presents the deepest staff. All four of the Giants' projected starters had regular-season earned run averages under 3.50 with staff ace Tim Lincecum actually posting the highest ERA of that group at 3.43.

Here are some other facts and figures to ponder while counting down the hours to Saturday night:

* While Phils pitcher Roy Halladay is the leading contender to win the Cy Young Award, Lincecum (16-10) should finish in the top five. Lincecum won the award in 2008 and 2009.

Behind Lincecum are Jonathan Sanchez (13-9, 3.07), Matt Cain (13-11, 3.14) and Madison Bumgarner (7-6, 3.00).

* Sabathia is the only pitcher the Phillies have faced in the postseason who went on to finish in the top five of that season's Cy Young voting. In 2008, while with Milwaukee, the Phillies beat Sabathia in Game 2 of the NLDS. He finished fifth in that year's Cy voting.

* Last year, the Yankees beat the Phillies in the World Series despite two pedestrian outings by Sabathia (a loss in Game 1, a no-decision in Game 4). Sabathia finished fourth in the 2009 AL Cy Young voting.

* The Giants, this year, posted a 3.36 regular-season ERA, which is the lowest of any recent Phillies postseason opponent. The Dodgers entered last year's NLCS with a 3.41 mark, but were hammered for 35 earned runs in 42 2/3 innings (7.38 ERA) during the five-game loss.

* Offensively, the Giants have scored the fewest runs of any recent Phillies opponent and their 162 home runs is the third fewest, ahead of only the Dodgers teams of the last two seasons.

* The Phillies have faced five hitters who've finished in the top five of their league's MVP voting. Colorado's Matt Holliday (second in voting) hit just .231 but homered twice in the 2007 NLDS. Manny Ramirez, of the Dodgers, hit .533 with two dingers in the 2008 NLCS. Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki (fifth) was held to .250 in the 2009 NLDS. In last year's World Series, the Yankees' Mark Teixeira (second) hit .136 with a homer and Derek Jeter (third) hit .407 with a series-best 11 hits. Finally, Joey Votto, the leading candidate for this year's NL MVP, went 1-for-10 against Phillies pitching in the first round for Cincinnati.

* The Giants' Brian Wilson has been the best fireman in the National League this season, but he did blow a save against the Phils in April when Jayson Werth drilled a two-run double in San Francisco. When it comes to closers the Phillies have faced recently in October, nobody can touch the Yankees' Mariano Rivera.

OCTOBERFEST

Here are some regular-season numbers posted by the Phillies' recent playoff opponents and how they rank. Teams in bold lost to the Phils in the postseason:

Wins

1. Yankees, 2009. . . 103

2. Rays, 2008. . . 97

3. Dodgers, 2009. . . 95

4. Rockies, 2009. . . 92

4. Giants, 2010. . . 92

6. Reds, 2010. . . 91

7. Rockies, 2007. . . 90

7. Brewers, 2008. . . 90

9. Dodgers, 2008. . . 84

Batting Average

1. Rockies, 2007. . . .280

2. Reds, 2010. . . .272

3. Dodgers, 2009. . . .270

4. Dodgers, 2008. . . .264

5. Yankees, 2009. . . .262

6. Rockies, 2009. . . .261

7. Rays, 2008. . . .260

8. Giants, 2010. . . .257

9. Brewers, 2008. . . .253

Avg. runs scored

1. Yankees, 2009. . . 5.65

2. Rockies, 2007. . . 5.28

3. Rockies, 2009. . . 4.96

4. Reds, 2010. . . 4.88

5. Dodgers, 2009. . . 4.81

6. Rays, 2008. . . 4.78

7. Brewers, 2008. . . 4.63

8. Dodgers, 2008. . . 4.32

9. Giants, 2010. . . 4.30

Home Runs

1. Yankees, 2009. . . 244

2. Brewers, 2008. . . 198

3. Rockies, 2009. . . 190

4. Reds, 2010. . . 188

5. Rays, 2008. . . 180

6. Rockies, 2007. . . 171

7. Giants, 2010. . . 162

8. Dodgers, 2009. . . 145

9. Dodgers, 2008. . . 137

Team ERA

1. Giants, 2010. . . 3.36

2. Dodgers, 2009. . . 3.41

3. Rays, 2008. . . 3.82

4. Dodgers, 2008. . . 4.00

5. Reds, 2010. . . 4.02

6. Rockies, 2009. . . 4.22

7. Brewers, 2008. . . 4.25

8. Yankees, 2009. . . 4.26

9. Rockies, 2007. . . 4.32

LIGHT A MATCH

A look at the starting pitchers for each Phillies playoff game since 2007. Opposing pitchers listed first, Phils' wins in bold:

2007 NLDS vs. Rockies (Lost, 0-3)

1. Jeff Francis vs. Cole Hamels

2. Franklin Morales vs. Kyle Kendrick

3. Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Jamie Moyer

2008 NLDS vs. Brewers (Won, 3-1)

1. Yovani Gallardo vs. Cole Hamels

2. CC Sabathia vs. Brett Myers

3. David Bush vs. Jamie Moyer

4. Jeff Suppan vs. Joe Blanton

2008 NLCS vs. Dodgers (Won, 4-1)

1. Derek Lowe vs. Cole Hamels

2. Chad Billingsley vs. Brett Myers

3. Hiroki Kuroda vs. Jamie Moyer

4. Derek Lowe vs. Joe Blanton

5. Chad Billingsley vs. Cole Hamels

2008 World Series vs. Rays (Won, 4-1)

1. Scott Kazmir vs. Cole Hamels

2. James Shields vs. Brett Myers

3. Matt Garza vs. Jamie Moyer

4. Andy Sonnanstine vs. Joe Blanton

5. Scott Kazmir vs. Cole Hamels

2009 NLDS vs. Rockies (Won, 3-1)

1. Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Cliff Lee

2. Aaron Cook vs. Cole Hamels

3. Jason Hammel vs. J.A. Happ

4. Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Cliff Lee

2009 NLCS vs. Dodgers (Won, 4-1)

1. Clayton Kershaw vs. Cole Hamels

2. Vicente Padilla vs. Pedro Martinez

3. Hiroki Kuroda vs. Cliff Lee

4. Randy Wolf vs. Joe Blanton

5. Vicente Padilla vs. Cole Hamels

2009 World Series vs. Yankees (Lost, 4-2)

1. CC Sabathia vs. Cliff Lee

2. A.J. Burnett vs. Pedro Martinez

3. Andy Pettitte vs. Cole Hamels

4. CC Sabathia vs. Joe Blanton

5. A.J. Burnett vs. Cliff Lee

6. Andy Pettitte vs. Pedro Martinez

2010 NLDS vs. Reds (Won, 3-0)

1. Edinson Volquez vs. Roy Halladay

2. Bronson Arroyo vs. Roy Oswalt

3. Johnny Cueto vs. Cole Hamels

2010 NLCS vs. Giants (projected)

1. Tim Lincecum vs. Roy Halladay

2. Jonathan Sanchez vs. Roy Oswalt

3. Matt Cain vs. Cole Hamels

4. Joe Blanton vs. Madison Bumgarner

5. *Tim Lincecum vs. Roy Halladay

6. *Jonathan Sanchez vs. Roy Oswalt

7. *Matt Cain vs. Cole Hamels

*If necessary.