October 19 Philadelphia Inquirer:
SAN FRANCISCO – Now it gets very interesting.
To begin the National League Championship Series, the Phillies‘ Big Three have lost more games than they have won. This series was billed as a classic pitching matchup, the names more recognizable on the Phillies’ side.
But the Giants have pitched better. They won, 3-0, in Game 3 this afternoon and once again, the Phillies trail in the best-of-seven series.
They were shut out in a postseason game for the first time since Game 5 of the 1983 World Series. They trail the NLCS, two games to one, with Game 4 Wednesday night at AT&T Park.
Now, the Phillies face a difficult decision on how to handle the rest of the series. Before Game 3, Charlie Manuel said Joe Blanton would start Game 4. But he left the possibility open that a loss could change his plans.
If the Phillies skip Blanton, they would pitch Roy Halladay on three days’ rest. They would likely have to move Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels up on short rest too.
Game 3 was not Hamels’ fault by any stretch. In the fourth, he put two runners on with a single and walk. With two outs, he threw a close 0-2 curveball to Cody Ross that was called a ball. Then he threw Ross a low-and-inside fastball, which he has hit all series. This time it went for a run-scoring single. Aubrey Huff followed with a slow grounder off the glove of an outstretched Chase Utley to score another run.
In the fifth, Hamels allowed a leadoff double to Aaron Rowand but appeared to pitch out of the jam. With two outs, Freddy Sanchez hit a liner to Utley that caught the second baseman in between catching it or letting it bounce.
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