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.