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NLCS Game 3 Recap: Giants' Cain has Phillies in possible "Choking Situation"


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Philadelphia Phillies logo: http://www.wondergy.com/art/logos/phillies_logo.gif








The Phillies haven't given Cole Hamels any runs all year.

Did you expect that to change in the biggest game of the season?

Matt Cain, who had never beaten the Phillies in his five-year career, looked like Bob Feller against this abysmal Phillies lineup. Cain went seven innings allowing only two hits while striking out five as the Phillies fall 2-1 in the NLCS against the Giants. Their "heralded" rotation of H2O has lost two of the three games so far in this series. The team can no longer hit on any level. When they do, they strand all of their runners on base. The only thing more pathetic than their offense was Zooey Deschanel's  unbearble version of "God Bless America."

So, to quote former Flyers coach Terry Murray, the Phillies are pretty much on the verge of a "Choking Situation."

The good

Nothing. This team can no longer hit. You can't even say Hamels kept them in the game because they looked like they were never even in it. Moreover, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins OWN Cain, and mustered nothing. I know the Giants have good pitching, but this is officially ridiculous.

The bad

See above under "This team can no longer hit." Leaving runners on base when they had several chances to get to Cain. Raul Ibanez looks like he's never seen a baseball before, and Ryan Howard has turned into Pete Rose. Don't be surprised if Ibanez sits for Ben Fransisco tomorrow against left Madison Bumgarner. Just what the Phillies need: a pitcher they aren't familiar with. Moreover, Chase Utley's two mishaps in the field are usually made by even average fielding second basemen.

Bottom line:

Watching the offensive impotency of this team right now is unbearable. You know what they are capable of, but they have lost their mojo. Right now, it seems like the Giants want it a lot more than the Phillies do. There has been talk about how Roy Halladay might start in place of Joe Blanton. But Charlie Manuel rarely makes last minute changes of that nature.

The series isn't over, but with the way the team is not hitting, there are no encouraging signs that they can ignite anything.  This is officially gut check time for the 2010 Phillies.

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com