Pitchers duel will decide NLCS: San Francisco Giants vs. Philadelphia Phillies series preview

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Pitchers duel will decide NLCS: San Francisco Giants vs. Philadelphia Phillies overall series preview

If you’re the type of fan that loves to see a lot of runs and many dingers throughout a series, maybe this series isn’t for you. If you’re the type of fan though that can appreciate dominant pitching and
a tight battle, then you’re in heaven right now as the Phillies get set to challenge the Giants in the National League Championships series.

The San Francisco Giants and the Philadephia Phillies were the two of the best pitching teams in the majors this year. Their pitching is solid from top to bottom. That’s how the Giants snagged the NL West
on the final day of the season and that’s how the Phillies were able to get on such a hot streak after the All-Star break.

The Phillies’ rotation is ridiculously good starting with Roy Halladay, who proved that he is one of, if not the best pitcher in baseball. Roy Oswalt follows and Cole Hamels is a number three. If Hamels is
a number three, then there has to be some greats in front of him. The Phillies acquired Oswalt at the trade deadline from Houston and he has come as advertised. The Giants will have their hands full as this trio swept the hard-hitting Cincinnati Reds in the
ALDS and now they’re up against a team that relied on their pitching down the stretch.

The Giants’ rotation isn’t too bad either. Tim Lincecum was just as effective as Halladay was in each of their playoff debuts. While Halladay threw a no-hitter, Lincecum allowed just two hits, walked no batters
and threw 14 strikeouts in Game 1 of the NLDS.  After Lincecum the Phillies still have to deal with Jonathan Sanchez and Matt Cain, who both pitched well in their outings as well in the first round.

In the NLDS we saw both these pitching staffs dominate their opponents. The Phillies beat the better offence though in the Reds, while the Giants handled the dull offence of the Atlanta Braves. Nevertheless
the young Giants got it done and they’re in for a much tougher test in Philadelphia.

When you look at the line-ups, the Phillies have the edge, with more power and more experience. This is the third year in a row that the Phillies have made it to the NLCS and won in each of the last two years.
The Giants have Aubrey Huff and Buster Posey while the Phillies have Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.

While the Giants may be San Francisco’s team name, in reality, they’re the ones going up against giants. The Phillies have dominated the National League in recent years and may be on the verge of forming
a dynasty. The Giants are just starting what could be a bright future for the franchise with some young aces. They’ve already exceeded expectations and they can shock the world by upsetting the defending National League champions. It’s nothing new for the
Phillies though.
They expected to be here, especially after trading for Halladay in the off-season and trading for Oswalt at the deadline. They got them for this reason; to ensure that they had great playoff pitching.
Now the new kids on the block are trying to spoil the party. Expect a very long series with a lot of low scoring games with the Phillies’ talent and experience eventually prevailing in seven games.  
The longer series favours Philadelphia in the sense that's they'll be able to use Doc Halladay for at least two games, and with Halladay sporting a 2.44 ERA on the season, that's a good chance at two wins.
The only question for Halladay will be whether he can improve his past form against the Giants, against whom he boasts a 7.23 ERA, far off of his regular mark.



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