We now have Championship Series rotations for three of the four involved teams. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel refused to name Roy Halladay as his Game 1 starter Monday, but that should change by Thursday morning.
The Giants, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, announced their NLCS pitchers late Wednesday evening.
Tim Lincecum is the no-brainer pick for Game 1 at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park. He delivered one of the most dominant postseason performances of all time in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Braves, striking out 14 batters while allowing only two hits over a complete-game shutout. The 26-year-old didn’t have the greatest regular season, but he’s capable of handling any lineup on any night in any ballpark.
Jonathan Sanchez will take on the Phillies in Game 2. The 27-year-old took a no-hitter into the sixth inning during his lone NLDS start against Atlanta and was brilliant throughout the regular season. Matt Cain drew the Game 2 start last series but Sanchez has missed more bats this year and is the better fit for the tiny confines in Philadelphia.
Cain will go in Game 3, and might be followed in Game 4 by 21-year-old Madison Bumgarner.
The Giants easily have the weakest lineup of the four teams remaining, but their starting rotation is as dangerous as any. The Phillies weren’t exactly explosive at the plate in the first round.