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05/10/08 9:16 PM ET
Phillies, Moyer no match for SF phenom
Howard, Coste homer, but veteran lefty tagged for six runs
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley watched helplessly Saturday as 95, 97 and 96 mph pitches found Bengie Molina's leather, finishing each off with a called strike three. Though still early, they had to know things weren't going to get better. They didn't. After that 11-pitch first inning, budding Giants ace Tim Lincecum turned in a dominating effort in an 8-2 win over Philadelphia, evening the three-game series. "Hard, harder and harder," said Pat Burrell. "[After the first inning], I wasn't concerned because I wanted to see him a bit," manager Charlie Manuel said. "But he looked like he started getting loose in the fourth. Then I started getting a little concerned." By then, Manuel's concern was well warranted. His starting pitcher, Jamie Moyer, mounted no counterattack, and the Phillies trailed, 5-1. Facing a pitcher who had yet to give up more than three earned runs, things didn't bode well. Moyer, who last week slayed Arizona's young phenom Max Scherzer, didn't have the same success against fourth-place San Francisco. The Giants clocked him for six runs on nine hits in four innings. After a scoreless first, the 45-year-old surrendered two in the second, three in the third and one in the fourth. "In essence, I stunk today. I deserve what I got," Moyer said. "My day wrapped around not making pitches deeper into counts. Pick a hitter. I felt like every hitter hurt me." Moyer's issue revolved around not being able to finish off opponents. Take the second inning. He got ahead of Aaron Rowand, 0-1, and gave up a home run, got ahead of Jose Castillo, 0-2, and surrendered a double five pitches later and then got ahead, 0-2, on Lincecum before giving up a run-scoring single. There was more of that in the third inning. "They put the bat on the ball and you have to give them credit," Moyer said, "but I didn't make good pitches deep in counts. That was the difference. I didn't execute to finish." Chris Coste compared the effort to Brett Myers' outing Thursday, when, by his estimation, Myers could've easily dominated. "With Jamie, it's such a fine line because location is the most important thing because he doesn't have that dominating nasty stuff," Coste said. "They had a pretty darn good game plan today. They swung early, but as the count went on, they'd become better hitters. They did a good job of staying in counts and fouling balls off. When they got that pitch to hit, they didn't miss it." Then there's Lincecum, the Giants' flame-throwing ace wunderkind. "He has the gift that he doesn't have to have perfect location," Coste said. "When he makes a mistake, you absolutely have to hit it or you're done. That's the way a lot of big league pitchers are, but it's magnified with him. If he gives you a pitch to hit, you better hit it." Lincecum made two mistakes, and both resulted in home runs, to Ryan Howard and Coste. The Phillies got nothing else. "The good thing about [Lincecum and Brandon Webb, whom the Phillies faced Thursday] is when you face guys like that, the other guys don't seem really as good."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.