Neither, apparently, did the Phillies. Led by Roy Halladay and the bullpen, the Phils gutted out a 4-2 win last night to stay alive in the NLCS. The Phillies still aren’t firing on all cylinders, but they’re getting closer. The cylinders that keep them giving everything they’ve got are the most important ones and they seem to be firing just fine.
If the Giants came into last night’s game not knowing they have work to do if they’re going to win the series, they know now.
We’ve seen Halladay nearly perfect this year, but he was far from it last night. I’m not sure we’re ever going to know exactly what was going on with him, but we’ll know part of it. From the opening batter when he didn’t get two close pitches to start the game, Halladay looked off. He looked like he was physically ill and we know he was injured. He made it through six innings, though, and he took the Phillies with him.
Halladay walked Andres Torres to start the bottom of the first. Torres moved to third on a single by Freddy Sanchez and came home on a grounder by Buster Posey to put the Giants up 1-0. The Phils jumped ahead in the third. Ibanez led off with a single and moved to second when Ruiz was hit by a pitch. Halladay bunted them to second and third on a ball that should have been called foul before Victorino smashed a ball to first. It went off of Aubrey Huff’s glove for a two-base error that allowed both runners to score and put the Phils up 2-1. Polanco followed that with an RBI-single that scored Victorino and made it 3-1. The Giants got another run in the bottom of the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Pat Burrell and Cody Ross, but Halladay held them to two runs over six innings and Contreras, Romero, Madson and Lidge backed him up with three shutdown frames.
Madson in particular looked like the rest of the world didn’t belong on the same field as he was. And he had thrown 32 pitches the day before.
The Phils trail the Giants three games to two in the NLCS after a 4-2 win last night.
Roy Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out five.
That guy is unbelievable. They ought to charge people money just to watch him pitch.
He faced a Giants lineup that went (1) Andre Torres (CF/S) (2) Freddy Sanchez (2B/R) (3) Aubrey Huff (1B/L) (4) Buster Posey (C/R) (5) Pat Burrell (LF/R) (6) Cody Ross (RF/R) (7) Pablo Sandoval (3B/S) (8) Uribe (SS/R). Torres back in the starting lineup and leading off with Rowand on the bench. Uribe plays short with Renteria back on the bench. Sandoval at third with Fontenot out of the starting lineup.
The Giants had six players on the bench to start the game. Lefties Travis Ishikawa, Mike Fontenot and Nate Schierholtz and righties Eli Whiteside, Edgar Renteria and Aaron Rowand.
Torres led off the bottom of the first and walked on a 3-2 pitch after Halladay didn’t get a call on two close pitches to start the at-bat. Sanchez showed bunt and took strike one. Torres was running on the next pitch and Sanchez singled into center. It brought Huff to the plate with nobody out and men on first and third. Huff smoked a ball, but Howard made a diving play at first for the first out. Posey hit a 1-1 pitch slowly to second. Utley charged and looked like he was going to field, tag Sanchez and throw to first for the double-play, but didn’t handle the ball cleanly. He picked it up in time to get one out at second as Torres scored to make it 1-0. Burrell struck out looking 1-2 to end the inning.
The play that Howard made on the ball smashed by Huff might be about as big a defensive play you can make in the first inning. Starting Torres helps the Giants get a run. The Utley miscue wasn’t a sure double-play, but it would have been nice to have.
Halladay threw 18 pitches in the inning.
He struck Ross out swinging at a high fastball 1-2 for the first out in the second. Sandoval was next and had a long at-bat, grounding to short 3-2 on the tenth pitch. Uribe hit a 3-2 pitch hard, lining to short on the ninth pitch of his at-bat.
Long inning for Halladay. He had thrown 43 pitches through two innings.
He started the third with a 3-1 lead and got Lincecum on a ground ball to short for the first out. Torres was next and hit a ball to first that went off the glove of Howard and to Utley. Utley threw to Halladay covering first, but the throw was wild and backup up nicely by Ruiz. Torres was given a single. Sanchez lined to right for the second out and Huff swung at the first pitch and grounded to Utley to end the inning.
Short inning for Halladay that time. He was at 55 pitches after three.
Posey grounded to short to start the fourth. Burrell was next and he lined a 1-1 pitch into left for a double. Ross followed him and inside-outed an inside pitch down the right field line an into the right field corner for another double. Burrell scored to cut the lead to 3-2. Sandoval flew to right for the second out and Ross tagged and tried to go to third. Werth made a fantastic throw and Polanco tagged Ross out on a close play to end the inning.
Great throw by Werth. Halladay was up to 66.
Uribe swung at Halladay’s first pitch of the fifth and flew to center. Lincecum struck out looking 0-2 for the second out. Torres was next and smashed a ball to first that went off the glove of Howard for an error. Sanchez followed and singled to left on a 2-2 pitch with Torres moving to third. Huff dribbled a 1-2 pitch out in front of the plate. Ruiz got to it quickly and threw him out to set the Giants down.
Halladay was up to 82 pitches. The Howard error made him throw ten more than he should have, but Torres really crushed the ball.
Posey walked on a close 3-2 pitch that might have been low to start the sixth. Burrell was next and popped to Rollins 0-2. Ross struck out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Sandoval moved Posey to second with a single to right, but Halladay struck Uribe out swinging 3-2 to end the inning and leave both men stranded.
Halladay threw 26 pitches in the inning and was at 108 for the game.
Contreras started the seventh. Lefty Mike Fontenot hit for Lincecum and Contreras struck him out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Torres was next and chopped a 2-2 pitch back through the middle and into center for a single. Sanchez lined a 1-0 pitch to third for the second out and Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Huff. Huff got ahead 2-0 and hit a soft liner near second. Utley made a jumping ice cream cone catch for the third out.
Super catch by Utley at a big time. I’m still not exactly sure how he brought the ball down after he caught it, cause about half of it was hanging out of the end of his glove.
Contreras has allowed one hit, the single by Torres, over three innings in three appearances in the series.
Madson pitched the eighth having thrown 32 pitches in game four and was just silly good. He struck Posey out swinging 2-2, Burrell out swinging 0-2 and Ross out swinging 1-2.
Madson has allowed two hits and two walks over 4 2/3 scoreless innings in the series, striking out seven.
Lidge started the ninth with a 4-2 lead. He got Sandoval on a fly ball to right for the first out. Uribe was next and grounded to short for the second. The lefty Ishikawa hit for the pitcher Affeldt and Lidge struck him out swinging 2-2 to end the game.
Everyone in the pen gets an off day today and should be available on Saturday. Madson threw 13 pitches in the game, Contreras 11, Lidge ten and Romero three. Oswalt didn’t even pitch this game.
The Phillies lineup against righty Tim Lincecum went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Rollins (7) Ibanez (8) Ruiz. Utley drops to third with Polanco moved up to second. Ibanez back in the lineup after Francisco played left against the lefty in game four.
The Phillies bench had six offensive players to start the game, lefties Brian Schneider, Ross Gload, and Domonic Brown and righties Ben Francisco, Mike Sweeney and Wilson Valdez.
Victorino started the game grounded to first on a 2-1 pitch. Polanco got ahead 3-1 and flew to center for the second out. Utley grounded to second 1-1 to set the Phillies down.
Lincecum threw 12 pitches in the first inning.
The Phillies were down 1-0 when they hit in the second. Howard struck out swinging 2-2 for the first out. Werth was next and struck out looking at a 2-2 pitch on the outside corner for the second. Rollins grounded to Huff at first on an 0-1 pitch for the third.
Lincecum had thrown 22 pitches.
Ibanez led off the third and flared a 1-0 pitch into right center for a single. Ruiz got behind in the count, but Lincecum hit him on the arm with an 0-2 changeup. It put men on first and second for Halladay and Halladay bunted the first pitch from Lincecum near the plate. Posey picked the ball up next to the plate and threw to third. Sandoval wasn’t at the bag and Ibanez slid in safely, but Halladay hadn’t run to first because he thought the ball was foul (it was). Sandoval threw to first to force Halladay for the first out. Victorino was next and hit a ball hard to first. Huff got in front of it, but it went off his glove, then off his leg and bounced into shallow right center. Both runners scored on the error and Victorino took second with the Phils up 2-1. Lincecum’s first pitch to Polanco was way up and in and Polanco stared back out at him before singling into left on a 1-1 pitch, scoring Victorino to put the Phils up 3-1. Polanco was running on the 3-2 pitch to Utley and Utley singled into center, sending Polanco to third. Howard struck out swinging as Utley stole second. Werth came to the plate with men on second and third and flew to left on an 0-2 pitch to leave both men stranded.
No RBI for Howard with one out and a man on third. The Halladay bunt was clearly foul. Would have been nice to have run anyway. Victorino taking second on the error by Huff when the ball got away helped him score on the single by Polanco, but he would have scored on the single by Utley if he hadn’t.
Lincecum was up to 53 pitches.
Rollins struck out swinging 3-2 for the first out of the fourth. Ibanez broke his bat lining a 2-1 pitch to third for the second. Ruiz grounded to second 0-2 to set the Phils down.
Lincecum at 67 pitches after four innings.
It was 3-2 when Halladay led off the fifth. Halladay struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Victorino flew to right for the second. Polanco hit a 1-1 pitch hard, but Uribe made the play moving to his left and threw him out for the third out.
A nine-pitch inning had Lincecum at 76 for the game.
Utley grounded to first for the first out in the sixth. Howard was next and struck out swinging 2-2. Werth flew to center 0-2 for the third out.
Lincecum had set down 11 in a row and thrown 89 pitches for the game. Howard was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts.
Rollins led off the seventh and hit a 1-0 pitch hard to second. Sanchez didn’t handle it and Rollins was given a single. He stole second as Ruiz took strike two and the count went 1-2. He stole third as the count went full on Ruiz. Lincecum’s 3-2 pitch to Ruiz was inside and the Phils had men on first and third. Gload hit for Halladay and smashed the first pitch he saw, but Huff caught the line drive and Ruiz was doubled off of first to end the frame.
Whacha gonna do? Gload hammered the ball. His second good at-bat in two days with nothing to show for it. This series is hard for me to watch as a fan — I can’t imagine what it must be like to wait eight hours to get your chance and hit into that. The Phils got lucky that Gload got to hit against Lincecum and the Giants got lucky that he hit it right at someone.
Righty Sergio Romo started the eighth for the Giants. Victorino led off and hit a 1-2 pitch to first. Romo fell down on the mound trying to cover first, so Huff took it to the bag himself. Romo was shaken up, but stayed in the game and walked Polanco on a 3-1 pitch that was inside. Lefty Javier Lopez came into the game and struck Utley out looking 2-2 for the second out. Howard flew to left of a 2-1 pitch for the third.
Manuel hits Utley third in the lineup with Polanco second and it allows the Giants to use Lopez against Utley and Howard without a right in-between. First non-strikeout of the game for Howard.
Righty Ramon Ramirez started the ninth for the Giants. Werth led off and hit a 2-1 pitch out down the right field line for a home run, putting the Phils up 4-2. Rollins flew to center for the first out and San Francisco left Ramirez in to face the lefty Ibanez. Ibanez singled to center, but Ruiz flew to center behind him for the second out. The righty Francisco hit for Madson and chopped the first pitch from Ramirez to third. Sandoval charged and fielded, but his throw to first pulled Huff off the bag for an error. It put men on first and second with two down and lefty Jeremy Affeldt came in to pitch to Victorino. Victorino struck out swinging 3-2 to leave both runners stranded.
Francisco against the righty is a strange choice. Manuel had the lefty Brown and could hit Sweeney for Brown if the Giants brought Affeldt in to pitch to Brown. He also let Ibanez play left in the ninth. I don’t understand the thinking on using Francisco against the righty.
Victorino was 0-for-5 in the game with an RBI. He hit the ball to Huff that Huff didn’t handle, which would have gotten the Phillies a run even if it had been fielded cleanly. He’s 3-for-20 in the series with a double and two walks.
Polanco was 1-for-3 with his second huge hit in two games and an RBI. 5-for-17 with two doubles and a walk in the series.
Utley continues to struggle both offensively and defensively in the series. He was 1-for-4 with a stolen base last night and is 3-for-19 with three walks in the series. He didn’t field a potential double-play ball cleanly early and threw a ball to first away that was backed up nicely by Ruiz. He did make a huge play to end the seventh.
Howard was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, the worst of which came in the third with a man on third and one out. 5-for-17 with three doubles, three walks and nine strikeouts.
Werth 1-for-4 with a home run. He also made a fantastic throw in the fourth inning to get Ross trying to go to third. 4-for-16 with a double, three walks and two home runs. The win means you get to see Jayson Werth play in a Phillies uniform at least one more time.
Rollins was 1-for-4 and stole two bases. 5-for-19 with a double and a walk in the set.
Ibanez was 2-for-4 in the game and is 2-for-15 with a walk in the series. He also lined to third in the fourth inning last night on a well-hit ball. We’ll see who plays left on Saturday against the lefty. I’m guessing Ibanez.
Ruiz was 0-for-2 with a walk. 3-for-15 with a home run and a walk in the series.
Oswalt and lefty Jonathan Sanchez tomorrow in game six. It will be a rematch of game two, which the Phillies won 6-1.