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San Francisco Giants (72-59) at Philadelphia Phillies (75-53)
Jonathan Sanchez (6-10, 4.27 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (7-8, 4.52 ERA)
The calender turns to September 1. The dog days of summer are coming to a close, but the pennant races are just getting started. Before we know it, we'll be breaking out the rally towels. It's crunch time.
A team could make a magical run like the Rockies in 2007, or an embarrassing collapse like the Mets did that same year. With a comfortable lead, the Phillies are in a good position, but anything can happen. On the flip side, the Giants are fighting for a playoff spot, tied with the Rockies in the Wild Card.
The Giants took three games out of four when these two teams met about a month ago. The Giants pitching was able to silent the Phillies offense. The offense still is having problems driving in runners in scoring position.
Sanchez gave up two runs in 5.2 innings against the Phillies. Since he threw his no-hitter on July 10, he is 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA and opponents are batting .168 against him. Chase Utley is 3-for-6 in his career against Sanchez, including a home run off him.
Hamels got lit up when he faced the Giants earlier this year. He gave up seven runs (6 earned) on ten hits in five innings. However, Cole will try to build consistency coming off an eight inning shutout against the Pirates.