Originally written on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 4/16/12

The Phillies will see the new $35 million man Bumgarner in Game two. (US PRESSWIRE)

At 4-5, this is hardly a deal-breaking series for the Phillies. Nine games won’t tell you much about how the season will go from start to finish. But I don’t think you can doubt that there is a good amount of importance resting on the west coast.

The Phillies embark on a 10-game road trip through San Francisco, San Diego, and Phoenix to battle three-fifths of the NL West. The first three are against a Giants team that has had to deal with a major setback with the loss of closer Brian Wilson, presumably for the entire season. It’s likely he’ll need Tommy John surgery. They still have a very good bullpen, but overall, their pitching hasn’t been stellar in the early going.

The Giants 4.21 ERA ranks 21st in MLB, a number skewed a bit by Tim Lincecum‘s 12.91 ERA through two starts. “The Freak” has allowed 11 earned runs in just 7 2/3 innings so far. The Phillies have had some trouble with him in the past, but perhaps they can beat up on him while he’s still attempting to find his velocity.In nine career starts against the Phillies, Lincecum is 4-1 with a 2.61 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP, not including the postseason.

I still think runs will be hard to come by out in by the bay this week. For Game one of the series, it’s Halladay and Lincecum, followed by Joe Blanton against Madison Bumgarner in the second matchup. Bumgarner just inked a 5-year, $35 million contract with the Giants today.

In the final game of the series, Cliff Lee battles Matt Cain. Is this one even better than the Halladay/Lincecum matchup? Could be. Cain was incredibly dominant in his last start, falling just a hit short of a perfect game against the Pirates last week, while striking out 11. I’m looking forward to this one the most.

When the Phillies get to San Diego, they’ll have four winnable games in front of them. The Padres are a rotten offensive ballclub, sitting 27th in baseball with a .604 OPS. Last season, the Phillies scored a four-game sweep in San Diego in late April, holding the Pads to three runs in four games.

Arizona is the final leg of the trip, a place where the Phillies have had mixed results. They’ve lost four of their last six at Chase Field.

For it to be a successful series, what record do the Phillies need to come back with after 10 games? A 7-3 road trip is doable, and maybe necessary if the Phillies want to shake the early-season cobwebs they’ve wrapped themselves in.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Junior Seau family says Hall of Fame went back on its word

Kobe will probably see time at power forward next year

Angels acquire Shane Victorino from the Boston Red Sox

Clemson's Swinney wants Notre Dame in a conference


Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel as Browns starter

David Price won't rule out Red Sox despite testy past

Bullying victim Jonathan Martin retiring from NFL

Why Jay Gruden may lose job if he can’t fix Robert Griffin III

Report: T.Y. Hilton wants similar contract to Dez Bryant

Norv Turner sees Teddy Bridgewater as top-five NFL QB

Nik Stauskas trolls Thad Matta

Will Smith fires back at former teammate Junior Galette

Sammy Watkins: It's a "problem" if Bills don't win AFC East

The most important quarterback in the game?

Boston Mayor Walsh refusing to sign Olympic host contract

Chris Johnson accused of smashing up Rolls-Royce rental

Astros’ playoff push prompts rescheduling of Taylor Swift

Answering the AFC East's biggest questions in 2015

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

College football's top 10 coaches on the hot seat for 2015

Was Gregg Popovich close to retiring last year?

Projecting the prospects in the Johnny Cueto trade

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Galette appears to unload on Payton

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

Top 10 CFB coaches on the hot seat

Was Popovich close to retiring last year?

Kyle Busch continues historic run with Brickyard win

WATCH: Mike Trout HR lands in 'Trout Net'

With Cueto dealt, what's the market for other pitchers?

Report: Vlade Divac is against analytics

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker