Mailbag: Phillies/Giants Matchup

In this post, I answered questions presented by Pat Gallen of Phillies Nation. Click the link to see answers from other bloggers. If you have a question, please e-mail me at

On a scale of 1 to 10, how worried are you to face the Giants (10 being most worried, 1 being least worried)?

I'd give it an 8. Comparing offenses, the Reds are superior to the Giants. However, when it comes to pitching, there is no argument; the Giants have one of the best staffs in the league. They led the majors with a 3.36 team ERA, .236 batting average against, and 1331 strikeouts.

Tim Lincecum had a "down year," but his 14 strikeouts/complete game shutout in the NLDS indicate what he is capable of. He'll remain a top pitchers for several years. It goes beyond Lincecum, though. Actually, Matt Cain was better, posting a 3.14 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. The pitching doesn't stop there. Jonathan Sanchez, another strikeout pitcher, had a 3.07 ERA this season. The Phillies arguably have the edge with a 1-2-3 punch of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels, but the Giants are not too far behind.

The Phillies clearly put up the better offensive numbers. The Giants no longer have Barry Bonds, or anybody that puts up a huge power display, although they do have a good core of players that can hurt opposing pitchers. This year's Giants offense is much improved as opposed to the past few years. Pablo Sandoval didn't live up to his expectations this year, but he is always a threat. Aubrey Huff had a very good year. Rookie Buster Posey has yet to let anybody down. While the Giants may not have the best offensive numbers as a team, they do have guys then can cause some damage.

What one player do you fear the most?

Tim Lincecum is an obvious pick, but I'll go with Jonathan Sanchez who is 3-1 with a 2.86 ERA in nine career games against the Phillies. He has 40 strikeouts in 34.2 innings. As a whole, the Phillies have collected a batting average of .175 against Sanchez.


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