The two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner and former World Series MVP will square off Wednesday as the Giants look for their first home sweep of the Phillies in almost a decade.
For the first time during his brilliant four-year career, Lincecum (4-0, 1.00 ERA) has won his first four starts. He gave up one run and struck out eight in seven innings of a 4-1 win over NL Central-leading St. Louis on Friday.
“You just come out and battle every time,” said Lincecum, who went 4-0 in his first five starts in 2008, en route to his first of two straight Cy Young awards.
Lincecum threw a season-high 120 pitches in his last outing, marking the third straight game he’s thrown more than 100 and failed to last past seven innings, but the Giants aren’t worried about his high pitch counts.
Winners of four of five overall and the first two games of this set, the Giants (12-8) are seeking their first home sweep of the Phillies since Sept. 4-6, 2000.
Philadelphia (11-9) will try to avoid a season-high fourth consecutive loss after falling 6-2 on Tuesday. That defeat dropped the Phillies out of first place in the NL East for the first time since last May 29.
Lincecum is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA in six starts against the two-time defending NL champion Phillies. Both wins came at home, where the right-hander allowed seven hits and struck out eight in eight innings of a 2-0 win over Philadelphia on Aug. 1.
While Lincecum seeks to extend his torrid start, Hamels (2-2, 5.11) will try to avoid a third consecutive loss.
After winning his first two starts, Hamels took the loss April 18 despite throwing eight innings in a 2-0 defeat to Florida. He then gave up six runs and four homers in six innings of a 7-4 loss at Arizona on Friday.
That rough outing dropped Hamels to 12-13 with a 4.41 ERA since being named MVP of both the NL championship series and World Series in 2008.
“I’m not (frustrated),” he told the Phillies’ official website. “I still feel good. It’s just a matter of making effective pitches and avoiding the big inning.”
The left-hander is 4-1 with a 3.98 ERA in six career starts against the Giants, but has a 6.16 ERA in San Francisco.
Aubrey Huff(notes) homered and Edger Renteria added three hits with two RBIs on Tuesday for the Giants, whose 11 runs in the first two games of this series match their total from the previous seven contests.
“You start getting hits early and that loosens up the offense,” said Huff, who’s batting .313 in his last four games against the Phillies.