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And That Happened: NLCS Edition

Oct 22, 2010, 5:51 AM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v San Francisco Giants, Game 5 Getty Images

Phillies 4, Giants 2: The Giants had a shot here, and no matter what Tim Lincecum said after the game about not making good pitches in the third inning — which he didn’t — Aubrey Huff and Pablo Sandoval’s defense was the real killer here. A pitcher shouldn’t have to be perfect. He should get picked up from time to time by the guys behind him, and that’s just not possible with the dudes in the Giants’ infield. Not that this game was over in the third inning. Kudos to Roy Halladay for fighting through an injury and gutting one out, and kudos to the Phillies bullpen for being on point. Not once in the final three innings did it feel like San Francisco had much of a chance to do anything.

Now back to Philly, which has to be deflating for the Giants. Are they still favored? They probably have to be because winning one of two is still an easier trick than winning two of two. But in losing at home with their ace on the hill on a night when one of the Phils’ big three wasn’t as sharp as he could have been was absolutely their best shot to close this series out. And quite frankly, the Giants blew it.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 22, 2010 at 8:00 AM

    One things a lot of people, including myself, have forgotten about is that the series is now back on serve. It is 3-2 and the Giants have had 3 games at home and the Phillies have had 2 games at home. This is how the series should be, when the teams are evenly matched, which it obviously appears the Giants and Phillies are with their pitching being what it is. It isn’t like the Yankers, who have to now win two games, on the road, one of which will be against the best postseason pitcher of all time if it gets that far. The Phillies will be home, and will have two of the best pitchers in the game themselves. I have a feeling SanCHEZ will have a better game tonight so it comes down to whether the Phillies can work the counts, get some walks and rattle him a little bit. I honestly have no worries about game 7…Cain had a great game 3, in front of the home crowd, at 1pm local time. I don’t think he will have near the game he had, on Sunday night, in Philly, with the towels going. The Phillies just have to get it that far.

  2. Jonny 5 - Oct 22, 2010 at 8:24 AM

    High hopes baby….

    Man I never forgot that Chris. I’ve been thinking about it since the first loss in SF. This is why flipping around the pitching, (while it’s very tempting and not a bad idea) probably wasn’t the best move. We now have Oswalt, who’s undefeated lifetime in CBP on full rest pitching the next game, with a rested Hollywood Hamels for the next night if it goes that far. Which is a night game btw, praise the baseball gods for that. GO PHILLS!!!

    • Utley's Hair - Oct 22, 2010 at 12:06 PM

      It was suhweet to see Harry singing on the postgame last night. But tomorrow’s game is at 330, unless the Walkers win tonight, then it’s 730.

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 22, 2010 at 9:31 AM

    Another thing I loved about last night’s game was how Madson simply blew away Ross. Everybody’s NLCS darling struck out swinging. Maybe Oswalt and Hamels took notice and hopefully realized…”OH, I see how to get this middling player his whole career out…you simply give him high hard outside heat and he’ll swing. Maybe I should stop throwing the ball inside right into his wheelhouse? Garsh!!!”

  4. Jonny 5 - Oct 22, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    Halladay threw him some inside stuff again….. Didn’t Ross already learn him on that? The best part of last night was Madson and Lidge. They were lights out. As Mitchy poo said last night. Madson got the save in the 8th. BTW, I still think Mitch Williams should be barred from CBP. He has bad Mojo and no JuJu. We don’t any of that rubbing off.

  5. doctorfunke - Oct 22, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    Funny how no one has mentioned the foul ball in the third. I remember someone was whining yesterday about the Giants getting all of the calls. That was a pretty important play, and it was once again blown by the umps. There’s your favorable call, Phillies fans.

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Oct 22, 2010 at 10:08 AM

      I, too, am surprised that nobody’s making a big stink about the foul ball. With the amount of scrutiny the umpires have been under, you’d think a play that was called the “play of the game” by the TV announcers revolving around a foul ball that was called fair would get a little more press. Of course, if Sandoval would have just had his foot on the bag, it might be the Phillies fans complaining that the ball shouldn’t have been called fair…

    • soccermom17540 - Oct 22, 2010 at 10:08 AM

      Officiating has been bad all season. So you take ’em when you can! (BTW: A retired ump did say the call was right but I still don’t see it . . . )

    • Utley's Hair - Oct 22, 2010 at 11:50 AM

      The one whining about the Dwarves getting all the calls is an unabashed Braves fan who is still pissed that Atlanta tanked at the end.

      • doctorfunke - Oct 22, 2010 at 12:36 PM

        My apologies. Since it seems that the only people left here are Phightins’ fans, I just assumed. I guess I should know what it means when you assume. You get tased. Or beer puked on you.

    • delawarephilliesfan - Oct 22, 2010 at 1:05 PM

      Funny how no one has mentioned the foul ball in the third. I remember someone was whining yesterday about the Giants getting all of the calls. That was a pretty important play, and it was once again blown by the umps. There’s your favorable call, Phillies fans.

      I agree the ball was foul, but I disagree it favored the Phillies. The correct call would have made it 0-1 on Halladay, Ruiz goes back to 1st and Ibanez back to 2nd. Let’s assume Halladay later made an out without a sacrifice – BIG assumption, but we will say he did. That would have been 1st and 2nd one out. Victorino’s grounder gets booted – now it’s 2nd and 3rd and one run in. Next up is Polanco with his single which scores Victorino and Ruiz. Identical to what happened anyway.

      The only way that call helped the Phillies is if Halladay would later have hit into a Double Play, and that is extremely unlikely. Heck – the Giants SHOULD have turned a double play on the blown call – the Phillies were a few inches away from getting screwed on this “favorable” call you refer to.

      • Utley's Hair - Oct 22, 2010 at 1:47 PM

        Not to mention that after the play, 2/3 of the game remained for them to score even one more run to tie. What? Oh, they didn’t do that? Hmm…

      • Utley's Hair - Oct 22, 2010 at 1:50 PM

        Oops…sorry, my math was off. It wasn’t 2/3 left, it was 72 percent of the game left.

  6. jhu1997 - Oct 22, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    So that’s how it happens.

    The joy of being a lifelong Giants fan is knowing that they’ll break your heart. The fun comes in finding out exactly how they’ll do it. Maybe McCovey hits it three feet too low; maybe Spiezio hits it three feet too high; maybe Cruz drops a can of corn; maybe there’s an earthquake. You don’t know how it will happen, but they will break your heart.

    I let them fool me into believing they’d be allowed to lose the World Series. Not this year. The Giants don’t stand a chance, not after one blown call, two defensive mistakes, and three bloop singles. Thinking back over our long, long, long, long history of heartbreak, I can’t remember a single time we were sent home thanks to a blown call. I guess we have our Denkinger now.

    What drives me crazy is that this is the peak of our current success cycle. Brian Sabean’s blind spots are nearly as enormous as Madson’s strike zone last night, and if we can’t get it done with a historically great pitching staff, four unexpected career years, and a $96MM payroll, well, we’re never getting it done.

    • Utley's Hair - Oct 22, 2010 at 12:04 PM

      Wow…step back from that ledge, my friend. The Dwarves still lead the series 3-2. They have two games left to win one. Sure, it’ll be tough to do it against the peroxide the Phightins will be throwing at them at the Bank…in front of the Phils’ fans…and Oswalt still has yet to lose in the postseason…at the Bank…and the bats finally have been doing something other than taking up space…and Hamels has been on his game recently…and, uh, where was I going with this? Oh…damn…I guess it’s tougher for the Dwarves than I thought. Sorry.

      And the zone was bad last night–but it was consistently bad, especially with the bottom up around the elbows. You think Nelson would change it just for Mad Dog?

      • jhu1997 - Oct 22, 2010 at 12:59 PM

        Sure, I just wanted to make a little joke about the zone… I could have used any pitcher. :)

        No team in baseball history has inflicted more *frequest* heartbreak than the Giants. That the team with the most victories in the history of baseball hasn’t won it all since 1954 is insane. Only the Yankees have lost the World Series more often. We’ve finished second twenty-seven times, including five times in a row in the sixties (admittedly before my time).

        Because it’s all I know, I don’t know if it’s worse to follow a team that loses year after year after year, only to suddenly put together a run and win it all – say, for instance, the 1980 Phillies. Is that better or worse? Winning baseball – which is, in the general case, what we get to see in San Francisco – is great, but the inevitable collapse really begins to wear on a fan.

        But, man, I feel for Cleveland.

      • Utley's Hair - Oct 22, 2010 at 3:26 PM

        Just be glad you don’t have four pro teams sticking it to you. 1983-2008. 25 years of four teams dashing your hopes. Toward the end they even took turns in getting to the precipice, only to drown at the end. 1987: Flyers; 1993: Phightins (damn Joe Carter); 1997: Flyers again; 2001: Sixers; 2005: Eagles (after repeated bites at the NFC Championship apple). But Frisco at least had that run of Montana-Young.

      • jhu1997 - Oct 22, 2010 at 4:02 PM

        You’re absolutely right. I never found it in me to care about football, not one bit. I wish I had. I think I’m just a masochist. (I’m from Sacramento, and don’t get me started on the Kings, or the officiating in the 2002 western conference finals.)

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