10/13/10 4:43 PM ET
Phillies confident they can hit Giants' hurlers
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Roy Halladay went 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA this season. He led the big leagues in wins, shutouts (four), complete games (nine) and innings (250 2/3). He ranked second in strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.3) and fifth in ERA.
The numbers mean Halladay had a fantastic season.
They mean he is the favorite to win the National League Cy Young Award.
But sometimes the numbers do not jibe. The Phillies are counting on that in the NL Championship Series against the Giants, which begins Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET, FOX) at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies have struggled offensively against the Giants, particularly at AT&T Park, but they are confident they can change that.
"You can't worry about the last three years. You can't worry about what we did this season," Phils center fielder Shane Victorino said. "This is a whole different season. This is a different beast."
CC Sabathia was 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA in 17 starts with the Brewers in 2008. He was unhittable. But the Phillies scored five runs against him in just 3 2/3 innings in Game 2 of the 2008 NLDS.
Ubaldo Jimenez went 8-3 with a 2.84 ERA in his final 12 regular-season starts with the Rockies in 2009, but the Phillies scored five runs in five innings against him in Game 1 of the '09 NLDS.
The numbers didn't jibe those times.
"This is a whole different mentality," Victorino said. "You have seven games. That's it. In a three-game series, you have three here and three there. And if we don't win those three, we still have 120 games left or whatever you have at that time. That's who you look at it, so you can't sit there and say we didn't hit good in San Francisco the last three years. Or we didn't hit good against their pitching. Because then we're already putting that in our head that we haven't done well. I'm going in there like, 'Bring it. I'm ready to go.' You can't worry about those things."
The Phillies hit just .226 with a .308 on-base percentage and a .362 slugging percentage against the Giants this season.
The rotation of Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez has had some success against Philadelphia. Lincecum is 3-1 with a 3.17 ERA in seven career starts, but is 2-1 with a 1.45 ERA in his last five starts against them. Sanchez is 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in five starts against the Phils. Cain has struggled. He is 0-3 with a 6.23 ERA in five starts, but is 0-1 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts since 2008.
The Phils will have to hit them and others, and they will have to hit them at AT&T Park. Philadelphia has hit just .199 and scored just 32 runs in 10 games in San Francisco the last three seasons.
"It's a big ballpark," Phils second baseman Chase Utley said. "So pitching staffs can get away with a little bit more. It's always been cold when we play there, so the ball doesn't travel. I don't know how the weather is right now. But they do have a good pitching staff."
But anybody can be hit. Halladay is not guaranteed success against San Francisco in Game 1 because he threw a no-hitter last week against Cincinnati, just like Lincecum is not guaranteed success because he struck out 14 in a shutout last week against Atlanta.
"The game is about stats," Victorino said. "We look at that when we're negotiating. They're going to bring out that sheet and say, 'This is what you've done.' But I think at this point, having the experience of winning one [World Series] and losing one, you've got to kick that under the rug."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.