Phillies-Giants: Game 1 preview

Posted: October 15, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS at PHILLIES

Citizens Bank Park, Tomorrow, 7:57 p.m.

TV: FOX

Radio: WPHT (1210), WUBA (1480), ESPN (97.3-FM, 97.5-FM)

Weather: Cloudy, windy (20 mph), in the 50s

Game Line: Phillies -$170; Giants +$160. Over/Under: 6 runs.

Series Line: Phillies -$280; Giants +$240.

GAME 1 PITCHERS

Phillies RHP Roy Halladay (Regular season: 21-10, 2.44 ERA. Postseason: 1-0, 0.00) vs. Giants RHP Tim Lincecum (Regular season: 16-10, 3.43. Postseason: 1-0, 0.00).

MARCUS HAYES' KEYS TO THE GAME

1. Get Ryan Howard hot on Tim Lincecum. Howard's the only player to hit three home runs off Lincecum, but Howard's not in homer mode. He has hit one since Sept. 18 and he hasn't looked right in the postseason, but if the Phillies stay patient, Lincecum can be had.

2. Catch it. The Giants don't score runs - they scored the fewest runs of the NL playoff teams - but they gave up the fewest, too. So, the Phillies can't give any away, having witnessed the Reds' and Braves' seasons prematurely end because of errors.

3. Hope the Doctor is in. Roy Halladay has now won six straight and hasn't given up a run in his last two outings - the start that clinched the NL East title and the no-hitter in Game 1 of the NLDS, his playoff debut.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT ... JAYSON WERTH

Position: Rightfield

Height/weight: 6-5/218 pounds

Age: 31. Birthdate: May 20, 1979

Hometown: Springfield, Ill.

Years in ML: 8

How obtained: Acquired as a free agent in December 2006.

Statistically speaking: Werth is hitting .270 away from Citizens Bank Park this year, which isn't bad but certainly less than his stellar .320 average at home. In 37 postseason games, Werth is a .283 hitter with 11 home runs and 21 RBI. He's done most of that damage in the NLDS with the Dodgers and Phillies, hitting .291 with five home runs.

The lineage: Werth comes from a strong athletic background and his natural ability shines through on the field. In terms of baseball, his grandfather, Dick "Ducky" Schofield, played in the major leagues for 19 years. His uncle, Dick Schofield, played professionally for 16 years. That said, Werth's mother may be the best athlete of the group. Kim Schofield Werth competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials in the long jump and 100 meters.

Still a Bulldawg: Until the Baltimore Orioles signed Werth as a catcher, he had every intention of attending the University of Georgia, where he had signed a letter of intent. Werth, on many occasions, has worn a black Georgia baseball cap during interviews, backward, of course.

The injury: Werth underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn ligament in his wrist on Nov. 17, 2005. He had a second surgery the following April and his career remained in limbo until the Phillies, under the guidance of then-general manager Pat Gillick, took a chance and signed him as a free agent in 2007.

Free agency: Phillies fans are convinced that Werth, who will finally get to test free agency this winter in what looks to be his one and only real chance at a big contract, is playing out his final few days in a Phillies uniform. This fear was only magnified after he signed with agent Scott Boras in late August. "Being in the situation that I'm in, having never gone into free agency, over the past few months, I just thought it was time to make the switch. I went with Boras Corporation; I think it's the best place for me right now. I don't think it has anything to do with anything other than wanting the best representation going into free agency."

- Michael Radano

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WHO'S HOT

PHILLIES: Roy Halladay. The veteran pitcher is coming off his second no-hitter of the season. This one came in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Reds and was only the second no-hitter, along with New York Yankees righthander Don Larsen's in 1956, to come in the playoffs.

GIANTS: Pat Burrell. In 19 plate appearances against Game 1 starter Halladay, Burrell has six singles and a walk. His .333 batting average is the best mark against any current Phillies starter. He has hit just .222 against Roy Oswalt, .250 against Joe Blanton, and .000 against Cole Hamels.

WHO'S NOT

PHILLIES: Roy Halladay. His only start this year against the Giants was on April 26 at San Francisco, in which he allowed five runs on 10 hits in a losing effort.

GIANTS: Pat Burrell. He went just 2-for-10 in the NL Division Series against the Braves but did have one home run and three RBI.

OBSCURE STAT

Since joining the Giants in 2008, Aaron Rowand has hit .257 with 39 home runs and an on-base percentage of .318. In the two seasons prior with the Phillies, he hit .290 with a .353 OBP and 39 home runs.

His replacement in centerfield, Shane Victorino, has hit .281 with a .346 OBP and 42 home runs over the last three seasons. Victorino also has 95 steals and has a much easier salary to handle. Rowand made $13.6 million this year and $12 million in each of the next two seasons. Victorino made $5 million this year, and will make $7.5 million next year and $9.5 million in 2012.

- Michael Radano

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