Cole Hamels (12-11, 3.06) faces righty Matt Cain (13-11, 3.14) this afternoon in game three of the NLCS.
Here’s the percentage of plate appearances in which opposing batters walked, got a hit, struck out, doubled or tripled and homered against the pair this year, remembering that Hamels is left-handed and Cain is right-handed:
|% BB||% H||% SO||% 2B or 3B||% HR|
|Cain vs RHB
Cain vs LHB
Hamels vs RHB
Hamels vs LHB
Before going through the numbers, it’s important to point out that Cain faced a nearly equal distribution of left and right-handed hitters this season and Hamels did not. About 49.9% of the hitters that Cain faced hit right-handed and about 50.1% were hit left-handed. Hamels, on the other hand, faced about 79.1% righties and only about 20.9% lefties.
Hamels was more likely to walk a batter, and especially more likely to walk a lefty than Cain was. He was better than Cain at preventing walks to right-handed batters.
Batters were more likely to get a hit against Hamels than they were against Cain. As you would expect, Hamels was much better at preventing hits to left-handed batters and Cain was much better at preventing hits to right-handed batters. Cain was better at preventing hits overall, mostly because righties hit just .217 against Cain and .247 against Hamels.
Hamels struck more people out. He struck righties out at a higher rate and he struck lefties out at a higher rate.
Hamels was a better at preventing doubles and triples overall, but mostly because of his success at keeping left-handed batters from doubling or tripling off of him. He allowed just seven doubles and no triples to left-handed hitters all season long. Cain was better at preventing doubles and triples against right-handed batters.
Hamels allowed home runs at a higher rate. He allowed them to lefties at a higher rate and allowed them to righties at a much higher rate.
I think a lot of fans have somehow missed just how good Cain was this year. On the best starting rotation in the league, Cain led the Giants in innings pitched and ratio (1.08). He was 15th in the NL in ERA for the season, sixth for innings pitched and sixth in ratio. His walk rate and hit rates were both the best of his career.
Cain made one start against the Phillies on the season, which came on August 18. The Phillies won the game 8-2 with Cain allowing five runs over six innings. Only two of the runs were earned — Fontenot made a crucial error in the fourth inning to keep the frame alive long enough for Rollins to hit a grand slam off of Cain.
Cain has been hit hard by the Phils in his career, going 0-3 with a 6.23 ERA and a 1.58 ratio. Phillie batters have hit seven home runs against him in 26 innings pitched. The bad news, though, is that much of the damage to his career numbers against the Phils was done in a single start more than four years ago. On May 5, 2006, Cain allowed six runs to the Phils over four innings and gave up four home runs. Utley and Howard each homered twice against him in that game.
Utley is the current Phillie who has seen him the most, going 7-for-15 with a double and three home runs against him. Rollins has also pounded him — 6-for-10 with a double, three triples and a home run. Howard 2-for-10 with two homers. Ruiz 2-for-4 with a walk and a triple. Victorino 2-for-8. Werth 1-for-3. Polanco 0-for-3 and Ibanez 0-for-2 with a walk.
Hamels made two starts against the Giants this year and neither of them went very well. On April 28 he struck out ten in six innings, but allowed four runs. Torres and Renteria hurt him in that game. Torres had an RBI-double and forced in another run with a walk. Renteria had a two-run single in the sixth. On August 19 he allowed five runs in five innings and the Giants topped the Phils 5-2. Sandoval hit a home run off of him in that game and Posey, Guillen and Uribe all drove in runs.
He has made eight career starts against the Giants, going 4-2 with a 4.67 ERA and a 1.24 ratio.
Cody Ross has had success against Hamels in his career, going 9-for-30 with four home runs. He hit two against Hamels in 2008 and another pair again in 2009. Renteria has also seem him a lot, going 6-for-24 with two doubles.
It seems likely the lefty Fontenot will be out of the lineup today with Hamels on the mound. It has been suggested that Renteria may be in the lineup whether Uribe can go or not, with Sandoval at third and maybe Rowand in center. Torres hit just .226 against lefties for the season. We’ll have to wait and see.
Sanchez is 5-for-12 against Hamels with a double. Sandoval 3-for-9 with a double and a home run. Huff 1-for-7. Uribe 1-for-8. Torres 1-for-3 with a double. Posey 2-for-3 with two doubles. Burrell 0-for-2 and Fontenot 0-for-2. Rowand 3-for-15 with a triple.