Our Phillies & Giants blogs held a pre NLCS summit to talk about the series and their respective teams. You should certainly check out the full Q&A, but I found what the Giants blogger had to say about the much vaunted pitching matchups in this series interesting.
If the Phillies pitchers are able to throw either pitches in the strike zone or pitches out of the strike zone,they’ll have a pretty good chance at getting the Giants to flail. If the Phillies pitchers throw pitches that are neither in nor out of the strike zone, instead existing in a limbo-like state called antarabhāva, the Giants will have a shot, probably because that sort of nonsense is against the rules.
The Giants have problems with quality sliders and changeups. They’re not exactly unique in that regard, but it sure seems that they have more of a problem with offspeed stuff than other teams.
It’s hard to know how the Giants’ three will exploit the Phillies because it’s totally dependent on what is working for them that night. If Lincecum is commanding his slider, he’ll throw it often in strikeout counts. If he doesn’t have the command of his slider, he’ll stick to his changeup. It all depends, which is kind of how it is for every pitcher, I guess. They’ll have specific game plans for attacking Phillies hitters in mind, but I couldn’t guess at what those would be. Maybe Lincecum’s dossier on Ryan Howard is just a sheet of paper with “Be left-handed” written in 29-point comic sans.