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Roy Oswalt gets it done on the mound, on the bases as the Phillies tie up the NLCS at 1

Oct 17, 2010, 11:46 PM EDT

APTOPIX NLCS Giants Phillies Baseball

The best part of this game came right after it was over, as FOX’s Ken Rosenthal was interviewing Jimmy Rollins:

Rosenthal: “What does this game do for you, Jimmy?”

Rollins: “Well, it puts us tied 1-1.”

Some things just are as they appear, you know?

Like Roy Oswalt dealing. There was no magic here. There was nothing more than what met the eye: Oswalt throwing lots of strikes, challenging Giants hitters to do something with them, only to have them fail over and over again. Cody Ross got another homer on what must have been a mistake pitch — no way that Chooch and Oswalt mean to throw him yet another middle-in fastball, right? Not after he hit that pitch out twice against Halladay, right? — but that was about it. Oswalt threw eight dominant innings, striking out nine and allowing only that homer and a couple of singles.

But that wasn’t all. Oswalt contributed on the basepaths as well, singling, then taking second on a sacrifice, then scoring from second on a Placido Polanco single. Which he really shouldn’t have scored on, by the way, as third base coach Sam Perlozzo had the stop sign up as Oswalt approached third. I guess Roy couldn’t hear him over the sound of the swooshing satin of the warmup jacket he was wearing while on base, because he kept coming and slid home ahead of the relay throw to make it 3-1 Phillies. There probably shouldn’t have been a relay throw. If the ball wasn’t cut off, Oswalt may have been nailed at the plate. It ended up being a moot point, though, as the Phillies scored three runs on a bases-clearing double by Rollins later in the inning, putting the game out of reach.

For the Giants part, Jonathan Sanchez started out shaky, unable to make the ball go where he wanted it to. He walked in the game’s first run during his 35-pitch first inning. If early in the game you would have told me that Sanchez would pitch into the seventh I would have said you were crazy, but he settled down and did just that. He had some help getting there though, as many Phillies hitters — notably Jayson Werth and Rollins — thought it was a good idea to do some first-pitch swinging. Such an approach prolonged Sanchez’s night, but the Phillies made it into the San Francisco bullpen eventually, and when they did it was goodnight Irene.

With this series, like the Yankees-Rangers series, tied 1-1, we have ourselves a competitive couple of League Championship Series, no? On Tuesday it will be Hamels vs. Cain by the Bay. Now that the Phillies have figured out how to pitch to Cody Ross — or at least they hope they have — someone in a cream, black and orange uniform had better figure out how to hit the ball, or else this thing isn’t coming back to Philly.

  1. apbaguy - Oct 18, 2010 at 1:07 AM

    Good game for the Phils. I wonder if this series will be like the 1960 WS. Each game the Yanks won was a blowout, and each game the Pirates won was tight. We’ll see if the Gigantes can hold the Phils close 3 times in the next 5. Stilll have to give the edge to the Phils though, nothings really changed as far as their offensive strength vs. the Giants. A real wild card for me will be Baumgardners’s start Wed against Blanton. That’s normally a distinct Giants pitching advantage but can Madison control the butterflies?

    • ultimatecardinalwarrior - Oct 18, 2010 at 3:38 AM

      Also, if the Giants can get a hit off of, well, anyone, really. I’m not sure they could do it against Blanton. Four runs off Halladay is God’s Providence, but I’m not sure they could do that again. Surely not against Hamels in the next game. To restate what you said, this had better be one low-scoring NLCS if they are to have any chance.

    • Jonny 5 - Oct 18, 2010 at 8:45 AM

      I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s a distinct advantage over Blanton to have Bumgardner. Sure the pitching numbers say that, but throw the Phillies offense and SF offense on a scale and the phills just have more to power top to bottom. Basically it will be anyone’s game, and it won’t be butterflies that decide that game at all. It’ll be the bats.

      • Utley's Hair - Oct 18, 2010 at 10:42 AM

        Though it did look like the Phightins were hacking at butterflies quite a few times last night, especially on the first pitch.

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 18, 2010 at 11:04 AM

        Nooo, they sat on every one of that dirty Sanchez’s first pitches.

  2. Jonny 5 - Oct 18, 2010 at 8:32 AM

    Jimmy Rollins is starting to sound like Charlie. Next he’ll be quoting George the animal steel. Raaaawr!!!

  3. Utley's Hair - Oct 18, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    Ya just can’t argue with JRoll’s comment. Short and to the point.

  4. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 18, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    The biggest problem with the Phillies right now is that they are playing tight. Game 1, they were down alot of the game and they were having bad at bats. But they also were getting to Lincecum and hitting some pretty hard shots off him. Ryan Howard hit a bomb double off him when NOBODY was on base. Soon as he got up with 2nd and 3rd, he struck out badly. Same thing last night. He hit a single, double, and had a great patient AB where he walked. Then he gets up with 2 men on, and he looks terrible in another strikeout. Then there’s Rollins. Saturday night, he struggled because he was putting too much pressure on himself and popping out. Then last night, with bases loaded and the Phillies WINNING 3-1, he let’s loose, and rips a bases-clearing double off the wall.

    They need to start playing like they KNOW they are better and they will win. If they keep pressing whenver there’s a little adversity, they will be in trouble. I’ll stick with my prediction of Phillies in 6, if only for the fact that there’s no way the Giants beat Oswalt, Hamels, and Halladay 3 times.

    • Jonny 5 - Oct 18, 2010 at 12:20 PM

      Good one, too true. How about how they played Atlanta when they already clinched? I mean damn, Oswalt had to pretty much go out throw meatballs up the middle to Atlanta before they could get that one game in that very important last series (for Atlanta it was). I’m not saying he was giving it up to Atlanta on purpose, but he was giving them up to Atlanta on purpose.

    • Jonny 5 - Oct 18, 2010 at 12:23 PM

      My point was, they play better when it’s for fun I think.

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