A Rundown of the Phillies at the Giants, NLCS Game 3

As the Phillies prepare to play the Giants in the first of three NLCS games in San Francisco this afternoon, here's some food for thought about the upcoming series and game:

The stadium:  The Phillies have not fared particularly well under Charlie Manuel at AT&T Park.  Overall, Manuel's Phillies are 9-11 there.  Over Manuel's first three years as the Phillies' manager, the team was 6-4, meaning the Phillies have struggled there since 2008, as they've gone 3-7 in San Francisco since then.

Of the starting eight, only Ryan Howard has hit well in the stadium.  He has a career .257/.325/.581 triple-slash line at the park.  Jayson Werth (.268/.381/.423) and Shane Victorino (.320/.346/.440) have also been respectable, but the rest of the team has really struggled.  Carlos Ruiz (.160/.344/.160) and Raul Ibanez have been particularly awful (.118/.304/.118).

Today's pitchers:  Cole Hamels doesn't have any better of a track record here.  He's been downright mediocre against the Giants in his career, going 4-2 in 8 starts against them and posting a 4.67 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 52:13 strikeout-to-walk ratio.  He's been much worse in San Francisco though, as he's gone 2-1 in 4 starts while posting a 6.12 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, and 28:11 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Matt Cain hasn't been any better against the Phillies.  in fact, he's been even worse.  He's had 5 career starts against the Phillies and has gone 0-3.  He's posted a 6.23 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, and 23:13 strikeout-to-walk ratio.  Generally, though, he's a much better pitcher in San Francisco, as he's got a career winning record there (33-30) while posting a 3.19 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 472:220 strikeout to walk ratio.

Right/Left/Right:  If the Giants throw their starters as scheduled, they'll go right/left/right against the Phillies in the three games in San Francisco.  With three of the Phillies' top power hitters being left handed, conventional wisdom says that the Phillies will do better in the games started by the Giant's righties and worse in the game started by the lefty.

Conventional wisdom is wrong though.  The Phillies have batted virtually identically against lefty and righty starters.  Against righties, the team has a collective .260/.333/.414 line.  Against lefties, their line is .260/.330/.411.  Not much of a difference at all.  If you include starters and relievers, the team actually does slightly better against lefties.  Overall, the team has a .256/.329/.407 line against all righties and a .269/.339/.429 line against lefties.

Cody Ross:  And one last thought about the Phillie killer du jour.  In the regular season, he has hit more home runs against the Phillies than against any other team.  However, his .758 career OPS against the Phillies is lower than his overall career number of .788.  His career .776 OPS in San Francisco is also less than his overall career number.  He shouldn't be feared over the next three games.

That is, if the Phillies can keep the ball away from the inside part of the plate against him . . . .

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