For two underperforming clubs, Wednesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline came and passed without any action. The Phillies and Giants are relieved it's over, and now the two clubs can focus solely on turning around their sub-.500 seasons.
When Phillies manager Charlie Manuel looked out to the outfield clock just after the 4 p.m. ET Deadline passed, he said to reporters, "Is the Trade Deadline over? Feels good, feels real good."
Philadelphia hopes to finish the last two months of the season the way it did in 2012 after trading away Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino. After July 31, the Phillies went 36-24 to finish 81-81 and avoid their first losing season since 2002.
"You never know," Manuel said on whether a similar streak can occur in 2013. "Sometimes, if you play the game the right way and things like that, you never know how good you can be. I think every team I've kept up with sometime during the summer has hit a streak. We haven't hit a streak yet, so maybe we got one coming to us."
It's a similar sentiment in the away clubhouse for manager Bruce Bochy, who said last weekend that he's never seen a team struggle for runs the way his has this season.
After deciding to retain pending free agents Tim Lincecum, Pence and Javier Lopez, Bochy said it's time for the club to start playing to its capabilities and put on its "big-boy pants."
The club heeded Bochy's message in Philadelphia on Wednesday and broke out for nine runs on 14 hits. The lineup was sparked by Roger Kieschnick's two hits and two RBIs in his Major League debut.
Giants dependent on Cain for improvement down stretch
Matt Cain showed signs of his previous self Friday when he allowed just one run in seven innings against the Cubs. He won his previous start against the D-backs after getting shelled in consecutive starts to end the first half.
He failed to pitch through the third inning in each of those two starts. For one of the game's best starters -- one who has thrown deep into October in two of the past three years -- the performance hasn't been there for much of 2013.
He enters Thursday's start with a 6-6 record and 4.79 ERA.
Phillies' Hamels hopes for run support
Cole Hamels also has struggled at times in 2013, although his performance does not correlate with his 4-13 record. Only once has he finished with a higher ERA than his current mark (4.09). The bigger issue in many of Hamels' starts has been a lack of run support.
He lost, 2-1, in Detroit on Friday to lose his 13th decision of the season, and it marked the ninth time in his 22 starts that the Phillies have failed to score more than two runs for their dominant left-hander.
The Giants have given Hamels trouble at times, as the southpaw enters Thursday's series finale with a 5-3 record and 4.14 ERA in his career against San Francisco.
• Phillies outfielder/first baseman Darin Ruf has reached base safely in each of his last 27 games (since Sept. 25), which is the second-longest active streak in the Majors. During that stretch, Ruf is batting .312 with a .387 on-base percentage and .967 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage).
• Since the beginning of the 2008 season, the Phillies have the highest winning percentages against the National League West among all NL teams, going 127-90 (.586). The last time they finished with a sub-.500 record against the division was 2007, when they went 14-20. After Wednesday's loss to the Giants, Philadelphia dropped to 9-10 on the season against the NL West.