The Philadelphia Phillies just lost a three-game series to the San Francisco Giants. They were beaten by Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain who held them to one run apiece. The series loss comes after the Giants knocked out the Phillies in the NLCS last year with Cain and Lincecum going 2-1 against them. Needless to say, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel fielded his share of questions from the media that wondered if Lincecum and Cain had taken proverbial ownership of them.
“They’re good pitchers. You say they’re great pitchers. To me, I don’t know how great they are. I think as they move on into their careers, there’s the longevity part and things like that. I think that’s when the greatness might come by. This is a consistent game. When you say somebody is great … tonight I saw 90 fastball, 92 at the best. I saw a good changeup. I saw a breaking ball. I saw a cutter. Good pitching, but at the same time we can beat that. I’ve seen us do that.”
“We can beat them. I know we can.”
Sounds more like a pep talk than statement of fact, no? It really comes across as if the Giants are in the Phillies’ heads after beating them this series. The teams meet again next week for a four-game set and you know the Phillies will want to make a statement. If their bats don’t come alive, prepare to hear more chants about the Giants being poised to repeat as NL champions. Besides, we all know what Manuel thinks deep down. He just is afraid to admit it.