Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pivitol Game 3 tonight, series knotted at 1

Tonight has to put a bit of a scare into Phils fans. If there was one pitcher on the staff, going into the series, that really causes matchup problems for the Phillies it was Jaime Garcia.

But, if all went according to plan, it wouldn't matter. The Phils were "supposed" to win games 1 and 2 at home with Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee on the mound.

We all know that didn't pan out, as Lee couldn't hold a 4-0 lead, and now the Phillies have to beat Garcia to avoid falling behind 2-1.

Fortunately, the Phillies have Cole Hamels on the mound tonight in what could be a very low scoring game.

Of course, Hamels is used to little to no run support. His win total should have been higher by at least four or five games, but the bats time and again failed to back him in many of his starts.

Garcia is 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA in his career against the Phillies. Hopefully, John Mayberry Jr. can provide a spark to the lineup against him as a powerful right handed bat.

Hamels is 2-3 with a 3.27 in his career against the Cardinals. He had his worst month of the season in September, going 1-2 with a 3.79 ERA.

Charlie Manuel could have considered a Tony LaRussa like maneuver, and slid Roy Oswalt into tonight's slot and pushed Hamels back to Game Four.

The advantage: if the Phillies are once again unable to hit Garcia and waste a good outing from Hamels, they have to rely on Oswalt to keep their season alive tomorrow. If Oswalt pitches tonight and the Phils still don't hit Garcia, the Phillies have Hamels and then Halladay in an opportunity to win back-to-back games and advance.

Hopefully, the bats will get to Garcia and that will all be a moot point.

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