Phillies Vs. Giants, NLCS Game 1: Keys To The Game, TV Information

This is a viewing guide to help prepare you for Game 1 of the NLCS between the Phillies and Giants. For the full NLCS schedule, click here.

Time: 7:57pm ET

Starting Pitchers: RHP Roy Halladay vs. RHP Tim Lincecum

Series: 0-0

TV: FOX

TV Announcers: Joe Buck and Tim McCarver

Radio: ESPN Radio

Radio Announcers: Dan Shulman and Dave Campbell

Umpires: Derryl Cousins, Tom Hallion, Wally Bell, Ted Barrett, Jeff Nelson, Dan Iassonga

MLB.com Gameday: Link

Team Blogs: The Good Phight, McCovey Chronicles

Situation

Much like the ALCS, the NLCS features two teams who arrived in the second round in very different ways. The Phillies more or less got here with ease, sweeping their first round opponent on the strength of two sweeps. The Giants only needed four games to advance, but they were four hard-fought, nailbiting, intense, close contests, none of which came easy. The Phillies, then, are well-rested. The Giants might be a little more worn out, or alternatively they might be a little more energized after their comeback wins in Atlanta. Game 1 will feature about as good a pitching matchup as any game all season long.

Three Keys

(1) It's silly to come up with a key about Roy Halladay. Roy Halladay is Roy Halladay. He threw a no-hitter in his first career start in the playoffs. He doesn't really have a weakness. The Giants were shut down twice by Derek Lowe. Roy Halladay is like Derek Lowe, only two or three times better. His location is better, his pitch mix is better, and his movement is better. There is no hope on the Giants' part that they can blow Halladay out. What they'll need to do is attack early and make sure they don't fall behind in the count too often. Early in at bats against Halladay is when hitters can have an easier time elevating the ball. Later in at bats is when you just hope you can put the ball on the ground.

(2) Just as it's silly to come up with a key about hitting Roy Halladay, it's also silly to come up with a key about hitting Tim Lincecum. There isn't a winning approach - not even for left-handed bats, as Lincecum throws one of the premier changeups in the game. That's bad news for guys like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Raul Ibanez. Lincecum doesn't make it easy on anyone. If the Phillies come out swinging cold bats, what they'll want to do is just get into deep counts to try and tax Lincecum's arm, because as good as he is, he's less efficient than Halladay, and shouldn't be allowed to work as long into the game.

(3) If and when Lincecum's out of the game, the Phillies will be into the Giants bullpen, and because the Phillies have three good to great left-handed hitters, they can expect to see a lot of Javier Lopez in this series. Lopez was brought in at the deadline to handle tough lefties, and never has his job been more important than it will be this week. On the year, Lopez limited lefties to a .492 OPS, with a lot of strikeouts. The numbers are worse over his career, but he's still always been hard to hit. He works low and throws his slider down and away, and if the Phillies go chasing, they could have some frustrating late at bats.

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