Cain Was Able Today

Phillies bats quiet in Game 3 NLCS loss

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    SAN DIEGO - APRIL 09: Starting Pitcher Matt Cain #18 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the San Diego Padres on April 9, 2007 at Petco Park in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Matt Cain

    This was just the situation the Philadelphia Phillies must have hoped for against Matt Cain. Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins stepping to the plate with runners in scoring position.

    Instead of delivering like they have so often against Cain in the regular season, Utley and Rollins had no such luck in Game 3 of the NL championship series Tuesday. With the rest of the Philadelphia hitters faring little better, the Phillies lost 3-0 to the San Francisco Giants to fall behind 2-1 in the series.

     The Phillies had plenty of regular season success against Cain, scoring 21 runs in 26 innings against him in five regular-season starts. Philadelphia won four of those games but it was a completely different story on a sun-splashed afternoon when the shadows made life difficult for hitters.

     Utley and Rollins have had almost as much success as anyone against Cain in the regular season. Utley's .467 average is tied for the fourth highest among players who have faced Cain at least 15 times. He also has three home runs in his 15 at-bats.

     Rollins has had similar success, going 6 for 10 with a homer, three triples and a double in his career against Cain.

    The two combined to go hitless in six at-bats against Cain in Game 3, leaving five runners stranded on the bases. Utley had the first clutch opportunity, stepping to the plate with runners on first and second with two outs in the third inning. He grounded out to shortstop to end that threat.

     The Phillies put two runners on again in the fourth inning of a scoreless game before Rollins hit a harmless fly to left field for the second out. Cain then struck out Raul Ibanez to get of that inning.

    Utley came up in another big spot in the fifth inning, with the Phillies trailing 2-0. Shane Victorino drew a two-out walk and stole second. Utley then grounded out to second base, standing with his hands on his hips for a few seconds after the play in apparent frustration.

    The Phillies had one more chance against Cain, putting runners on first and second with two outs in the seventh inning. Victorino couldn't deliver this time, grounding out to second on Cain's final pitch of the game.

     Rollins did manage a single in the ninth against Brian Wilson but was erased when Ibanez hit into a game-ending double play to extend his hitless streak to 15 at-bats.

    While Rollins delivered a key three-run triple to put away the Giants in Game 2, the Phillies have had very few clutch hits like that against the Giants vaunted pitching staff. They went hitless in five at-bats with runners in scoring position Tuesday, falling to 2 for 19 in those clutch situations in the series. They are 3 for 35 with runners on base.