Giants-Phillies Preview

The non-waiver trade deadline came and went as the Philadelphia
Phillies and San Francisco Giants – clubs that expected to contend
yet are toiling below .500 – surprisingly stood pat.

Each team sends disappointing starters to the mound Thursday
night, as Cole Hamels looks to help Philadelphia avoid a 10th loss
in 11 games while facing Matt Cain and visiting San Francisco.

The Phillies (50-57) haven’t finished under .500 since going
80-81 in 2002, but they may be headed there again. General manager
Ruben Amaro Jr. decided not to make any changes, though, as
Wednesday’s trade deadline passed.

Despite rumors regarding multiple players, Amaro is prepared to
move forward with the current club.

”We talked about a couple things, but the bottom line was we
didn’t find anything satisfactory that we thought was going to
improve us,” Amaro said.

Manager Charlie Manuel seemed relieved that he doesn’t have to
discuss those rumors any longer.

“If you play the game the right way, you never know how good you
can do,” Manuel said before Wednesday’s contest. “Every team
somewhere along the line has had a (winning) streak. We haven’t.
Maybe we got one coming to us.”

Not long after Manuel’s statement, though, Philadelphia was
routed by the Giants 9-2, one day after ending its eight-game
losing streak with a 7-3 victory in Tuesday’s series opener.

Chase Utley, one subject of trade talk, homered and drove in
both runs.

The defending World Series champion Giants (47-59) also declined
to make a move despite sitting in last place in the NL West. They
had lost five straight and eight of nine before Wednesday’s
victory.

Brett Pill went 3 for 5 with a homer and four RBIs, and Brandon
Crawford added a solo shot.

”I think it may have relaxed the guys,” manager Bruce Bochy
said of the deadline passing. ”We got a couple hits early and the
confidence came back.”

Hamels (4-13, 4.09 ERA) and Cain (6-6, 4.79) have both fallen
well short of expectations this season, though each has pitched
better lately.

Hamels has lowed his ERA nearly one-half run over his last five
starts by going 2-2 with a 2.57 mark in that stretch. He allowed
two runs and struck out six in seven innings Friday but fell 2-1 at
Detroit.

The left-hander is tied with former Phillie Joe Blanton for the
majors’ most defeats, and wins have been difficult to come by
against San Francisco recently as well. Hamels is 1-3 with a 4.14
ERA in his last six starts against the Giants, including a loss
opposite Cain in Game 3 of the 2010 NLCS.

He gave up five runs in 7 2-3 innings while Cain allowed five in
eight frames of San Francisco’s 6-5, 10-inning win July 21, 2012,
the last time either hurler faced these teams.

Cain had a 5.45 ERA through his first 12 starts, but he’s posted
a 3.81 mark in his last nine outings. He allowed one run and struck
out seven in seven innings Friday before the Chicago Cubs rallied
in the ninth to defeat the Giants 3-2.

“I felt good,” Cain said. “I just had a good feeling out of the
(pregame tosses in the bullpen) early.”

The right-hander is 2-4 with a 3.32 ERA in 10 career starts
versus the Phillies, including the NLCS win over Hamels.

Buster Posey is 5 for 7 with a homer and three doubles off
Hamels in the regular season.