The Phillies-Giants score for the NLCS Game 3 was bound to be low. Yet the Phillies-Giants score was even lower for Philadelphia than they expected, even with their struggling offense. Although San Francisco was thought to have the weaker bats, they came through when it counted against Cole Hamels. Yet, against Matt Cain, Philadelphia had no answers, either by his brilliance or their incompetence. As such, the Game 3 score of 3-0 leaves the defending NL champs in major trouble.
Hamels and Cain started out perfect, but the microcosm of Game 3 came in the third inning. Although the Phillies got two men on in the third, Cain stopped them from getting ahead. Meanwhile, when the Giants got two men on, they delivered with two runs, starting with the latest Cody Ross clutch hit.
From then on, the Phillies-Giants score might as well have been a blowout, as even a 2-0 lead was too much for Philadelphia to overcome. Two more opportunities with two men on were forfeited, while San Francisco tacked on another run in the meantime.
Cain got in seven innings of two-hit shutout ball after a string of terrible starts against Philadelphia in the past. Meanwhile, Hamels held San Francisco to five hits in six innings, but three of those hits got in runs. And, like almost always, Hamels had no run support to back him up.
After the first string of pitching duels in this pitching-rich NLCS, San Francisco’s Big Three has held up better. Of course, their offense hasn’t blown out Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Hamels – save for Cody Ross – but they haven’t had to. As the score in Game 3 proved, they only need to let the Philadelphia batters shoot themselves.
The NL champs have traditionally done poorly in San Francisco, even when their bats are working. But since they are in one of their traditional long slumps, their struggles in the Bay Area are even worse now – and even more costly.
In their past NLCS victories, the Phillies were able to thrive in Los Angeles and overwhelm the Dodgers. But the Phillies-Giants score showed that Philadelphia looks overmatched at the moment, at least when it comes to hitting.
To get back control in the NLCS, the Phillies may need nothing less than two straight wins in San Francisco. That may have been too much to ask for even at their best, but now it looks downright unlikely, unless someone does some slugging quick.
Still, there is a chance that the Game 4 score will be high, since no Big Three pitchers are heading out tonight. But Philadelphia must get to Madison Bumgarner before San Francisco gets to Joe Blanton, or else a return to Philadelphia might become a long shot.
SI.com- “Pitching continues to rule NLCS, though not quite as we expected”