After Cole Hamels’ stellar pitching performance last night, the Giants proved that turnabout’s fair play as the Giants took advantage of their own good pitching and took one from the Phils by a score of 4-0.
Tonight’s loss revealed the offensive drought that the Phillies have been in for the past three series. Since the beginning of the series against the Pirates, the Phils have only scored three or more runs twice, as high-quality starting pitching has kept the lead in the NL East comfortably at seven games.
J.A. Happ, rookie of the year candidate and legitimate number-two starter, gave up four runs for the first time since the Phillies lost to the Cardinals on July 24. His line for the night was six innings pitched with four earned runs off of eight hits, one walk, and a strikeout.
While his performance tonight was not awful (in fact, it barely missed the dubious distinction of a quality start), Happ’s outing shows how important it is for teams to get hot in September. A combined effort by both the pitching staff and the offense was what got the Phillies into the postseason in both 2007 and 2008. While the division looks right now to be in hand, if the Phils stand any chance of becoming the second incarnation of the Big Red Machine (both in the categories of offensive production and World Series Trophies), they’ll need to figure out a way to get both the offense and pitching going at the same time. The winning formula is simple; it’s now up to the Fightins’ to get it all together.
Here are some final notes for tonight’s game:
-The Giants rotation just got a bit more scary thanks to Brad Penny. His performance tonight (eight shutout innings) shows how devastating this team might be if they can get healthy and into October.
-In a rehab appearance for AAA Lehigh Valley, Brett Myers pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning on only eight pitches.
-In the rubber match of the series tomorrow, old school will face new school as Pedro Martinez will take to the mound against reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum.
-Tom Hagan ’11