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Phillies Look To Exorcise Some Demons Against the Giants

The Philadelphia Phillies got a big win last night against the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants. The Phillies got another outstanding effort from Cliff Lee (11-7, 2.96 ERA) as he notched his 5th complete game shutout of the season.

It was a good win for the Phillies who lost 2 out of 3 to the Giants just last week at Citizens Bank Park.  Of course, that was before the Phillies traded to acquire Hunter Pence from the Houston Astros for a package of prospects. And that was before this current 7 game winning streak.  It was right as the Giants made their move to acquire slugger Carlos Beltran. Last night was a proclamation from Hunter Pence that the Phillies made a good move in passing up Carlos Beltran, who went instead to the Giants, and acquiring him. Pence, who has a hit in every game as a Phillie, homered in first at bat last night and then singled in a run later in the game.

It wasn't just a big win because the Phillies beat another division leader in the Giants, or because they lost to the Giants last week. It actually has more to do with the loss to the Giants in last year's NLCS, and the prospect of a looming postseason.  There's plenty of baseball left to be played, certainly, but for the Phillies, every win that they put together makes the rest of this season look more and more like a formality.  Currently, they have a 8.5 game lead over the 2nd place Atlanta Braves in the NL East.  The Phillies' 72-39 record represents the best mark in all of baseball.  But as great as this season has been, the Phillies may still have a little bit of a bad aftertaste in their mouths.

As nice as last night's 3-0 win was, I'd still like to see the Phillies at least win this series. They need to win 3 out of these 4 games, because soundly defeating the San Francisco Giants in this series may go a long way toward exorcising last week's and last October's demons.  And that could be huge in the postseason.


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