To win in a season dubbed “The Year of the Pitcher,” teams must have the correct offense to win games. In Game 3 of the NLCS, the San Francisco Giants’ combination of starter Matt Cain and a new-look lineup was enough to shut out the Philadelphia Phillies 3-0.
Stepping out of the shadows of his more high-profile compatriots, Cain stepped into the national spotlight and made baseball fans take notice. With his dominant outing, he joined Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, and Cliff Lee as one of four starting pitchers this postseason to last at least seven innings, give up two hits or less, and keep the opponent scoreless.
“This has got to be the top one,” Cain said when asked where today’s game ranked in all games he has pitched. “To be able to pitch in the postseason is great and to be able to go out there and throw the ball, throw the ball well and help your team win, you know, is a great feeling.”
Pitching on both teams is superb, that is common knowledge. The crapshoot is really which bats would wake up and score runs for the starting pitcher. While the usual suspects from the regular season are silent, new heroes are emerging from within the Giants dugout.
Postseason stud Cody Ross had a big hit once again, singling in the fourth and scoring Edgar Renteria. The outfielder has been the Giants’ offensive saving grace and he’s not showing any signs of slowing down.
“I don’t really recall the last time I felt as good as I do,” Ross said about how he felt at the plate. “But for the most part, it’s about confidence, going up there and knowing you’re going to get the job done or do something to help your team. If you go up there and you’re thinking about something else or don’t have that confidence, chances are you’re probably not going to get anything done.”
With the reigning NL Champions as their opponent, San Francisco has shown they have the confidence and for a good reason—they may be underdogs, but they have the skill to beat the team that had the most wins in MLB this regular season.
But with confidence resides understanding. The Giants know they can win, but they know the challenge that faces them.
“We got a lot of business to take care of still,” Ross said. “We’ve still got these guys, this is one of the best teams in the league. And we’ve got to keep that momentum going and not let up, because these guys will come back and bite you if you don’t.”
The Giants take on the Phillies for Game 4 of the NLCS on Wednesday at 4:57 p.m. PT.
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