Phillies turn to Halladay to stay alive against Giants' Lincecum
Roy Halladay against Tim Lincecum with the pennant on the line. You can't ask for much more than that. Sure, fans without a rooting interest in this series might have preferred a 2-2 tie at this point. That would have whittled this series down to a best-of-three with each team's top three starters set to pitch the final three games, but it's hard to complain about the increased stakes of this rematch of the two aces.
Lincecum got the better of Halladay in Game 1 in Philadelphia, but while the two combined to strikeout 15 men against two walks in 14 innings, neither was at his best. Both pitched seven innings in that game, allowed more than a baserunner per inning, and gave up a pair of home runs.
Halladay has allowed nine runs in 14 innings against the Giants this year. His only regular season start against them came at AT&T Park in April with backup catcher
To no one's surprise, this has been a series dominated by pitching. As a team, the Phillies have hit just .216/.317/.328, the Giants .223/.287/.338. Both teams have scored 14 runs, averaging 3.5 per game, and there has been just one home run in the last three games (by
A long-time American Leaguer, Huff has faced Halladay far more than any other Giant, though he has hit just .261/.316/.275 against him in 76 plate appearances, including a Game 1 single. The Phillies have some more encouraging matchups against Lincecum.
Of course, there's always the chance that Halladay and Lincecum will cancel each other out and leave the game in the hands of the bullpens. If that happens, the Giants have the advantage, not only because they'll have last licks, which served them well on Wednesday night, but because the Phillies ace set-up man