The Phils head to California with a split and a spring in their step, thanks largely to the efforts of Roy Oswalt and Jimmy Rollins. Both players came into last night’s game in a funk. Oswalt’s funk was just a one-game event, but the game was big. The injury-slowed Rollins has been struggling for a long time. Oswalt gave the Phils eight strong innings and Rollins drove in four runs as the Phils topped the Giants 6-1 to even up the NLCS after two games.
The Phils were all over Jonathan Sanchez early. Sanchez walked three and had to work around an error in the first, but the Phils managed just one run on a bases loaded walk by Rollins. Cody Ross homered yet again in the fifth, a solo shot that tied the game at 1-1. Victorino started the bottom of the fifth with a double and came around to score on fly balls by Utley and Polanco, putting the Phillies back on top 2-1. The Phils broke it open in the bottom of the seventh. Oswalt led off with a single and came around to score. Later in the inning, Rollins delivered the swing of the game, blasting a double high off the wall in right center with the bases loaded to plate three runs and put the Phils up to stay at 6-1.
The swing was huge for Rollins because of the situation, but also because it came against a right-handed pitcher. Rollins had looked awful against righties in the series after hitting .218 against them in the regular season. The Giants put the righty Werth on base in front of him to get a chance to go at Rollins with a righty and Rollins made them pay.
The Phillies beat the San Francisco Giants 6-1 last night to even the NLCS at a game apiece as the teams head to San Francisco.
Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on three hits and three walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a solo home run by the cursed Cody Ross. He struck out nine.
He faced a Giants lineup that went (1) Andres 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) Mike Fontenot (3B/L) (8) Edgar Renteria (SS/R). Uribe did not start the game due to a problem with his left wrist. Renteria takes his spot at short with Ross moving up from eighth in the order to sixth.
The Giants had six players on the bench to start the game. Lefties Travis Ishikawa and Nate Schierholtz, switch-hitter Pablo Sandoval and righties Eli Whiteside, Juan Uribe and Aaron Rowand.
Torres led off the game and struck out swinging 1-2. Sanchez hit a one-hopper to short 2-0 for the second out. Oswalt got ahead of Huff and Huff flew to Ibanez near the left field line on an 0-2 pitch to set the Giants down.
The Phils were up 1-0 when Oswalt started the second. Posey led off and got ahead 3-0 before he flew to Victorino 3-1 for the first out. Burrell fouled out to Polanco in foul territory on a 1-1 pitch for the second out. Oswalt walked Ross on a 3-1 pitch that was outside after going way up and in to him earlier in the count, but struck Fontenot out looking at a 1-2 fastball on the inside part of the plate to leave Ross at first.
Oswalt had thrown 27 pitches through two innings.
He set the Giants down in order in the third. Renteria flew to shallow right on an 0-1 pitch for the first out. The pitcher Jonathan Sanchez struck out swinging 1-2 for the second. Torres got ahead 2-0, but Oswalt struck him out swinging 2-2 to end the frame.
Oswalt had thrown 38 pitches through three innings.
Freddy Sanchez led off the fourth and struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Huff flew to Ibanez in left on a 1-1 pitch for the second out. Posey flew to Victorino 0-1 to set the Giants down.
Oswalt had thrown 47 pitches through four innings, striking out five and allowing one batter to reach (the walk to Ross).
Burrell fouled out to Ruiz to start the fifth. Ross was next and Oswalt threw him a 1-0 fastball on the inside part of the plate. Ross knocked it out to left for his third home run of the series, tying the game at 1-1. Oswalt walked Fontenot on four pitches, which seemed somehow appropriate given the recent developments. Renteria smoked a 2-2 pitch, but right at Rollins for the second out. Sanchez, who had thrown 77 pitches in the game, hit for himself and struck out swinging 0-2 to leave Fontenot on first.
Oswalt led again when he started the sixth, this time 2-1. He struck Torres out on three pitches for the first out. Freddy Sanchez was next and he singled to left on a 2-0 pitch for San Francisco’s second hit of the game. Huff swung at the first pitch and fouled out to Polanco for the second out. Posey grounded to short 2-2 for the third.
Oswalt had thrown 78 pitches in the game.
Burrell struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out of the seventh. Ross was next and he hit a 1-0 pitch hard, but Victorino took the ball on the warning track for the second out. Fontenot grounded back to the mound to set the Giants down.
Oswalt was at 88 pitches for the game.
He pitched the eighth with a 6-1 lead. Renteria led off and popped to first for the first out. Sandoval, who had been doubled-switched into the game in the bottom of the seventh, was next and drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Oswalt struck Torres out swinging 0-2 for the second out and Torres was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in the game. Sanchez followed that with a single into center that moved Sandoval to second and brought the lefty Huff to the plate. Manuel visited the mound, but left Oswalt in the game. Huff flew to Victorino on a 1-2 pitch to leave both runners stranded.
Madson started the ninth after throwing nine pitches in game one and walked Posey on four pitches. Burrell was next and hammered a 2-1 pitch deep to left, but Ibanez made the play falling down on the warning track for the first out. Ross was next and Madson struck him out looking at a 3-2 fastball down the middle and a little high for the second out. Lefty Travis Ishikawa hit for the pitcher Sergio Romo and lined an 0-1 pitch into right for a single that moved Posey to third. Renteria was next and grounded to short on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.
Madson threw 22 pitches in the game, but should be fine for game three with the off-day today.
The Phillies lineup against lefty Jonathan Sanchez went (1) Victorino (2) Utley (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Rollins (7) Ibanez (8) Ruiz. Utley and Polanco switch places in the two-three spots against the lefties. Polanco isn’t a three-hitter. One way you can tell is that he slugged .283 over his last 185 plate appearances in the regular season. The struggling Rollins says in the lineup against the lefty and stays in the six hole. Letting Rollins hit sixth and ahead of Ibanez is a little better than against a righty — he hit 297/368/405 against lefties this year and 218/297/360 against righties.
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 led off and struck out looking 0-2 for the first out. Utley got ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 pitch that was low. He was running as Polanco took strike one and slid in safe to second with a stolen base. Polanco grounded a 1-2 pitch to third. It took a weird hop on Fontenot. Fontenot fielded, but his throw to first was low and pulled Huff off the bag at first. Huff didn’t come up with the ball. Fontenot was charged with an error and Utley moved to third. Howard walked on a 3-2 pitch that was low to load the bases for Werth. Werth got behind 0-2 and struck out looking at a 1-2 breaking ball that was high but called a strike. Rollins was next and walked on a 3-1 pitch that was probably a strike, but was called ball four. Utley was forced in from third and the Phils led 1-0. Ibanez struck out swinging 1-2 to end the inning.
Long inning for Sanchez, who threw 35 pitches and walked three. Big error by Fontenot sure didn’t help him. Guillermo Mota was warming in the pen after the walk to Rollins forced in Utley. Nice to see the Phillies running early. Nice to see Rollins not make an out. Werth and Rollins both had their plate appearance end on a missed call by the home plate ump.
Sanchez came back and needed just seven pitches to set the Phils down in order in the second. Ruiz grounded to third on a 1-1 pitch for the first out. Oswalt grounded to second 1-1 for the second. Victorino lined to Burrell in left 0-1 for the third.
Utley started the third and struck out swinging at a 2-2 fastball that was high. Polanco flew to left on a 1-0 pitch for the second out. Howard was next and he smoked a 2-0 pitch into left center. The ball landed on the warning track and bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double. Werth was next and he struck out swinging 2-2 to end the inning with Howard stranded.
Nice to see Howard on base twice in his first two times to the plate. Less nice to see Werth strike out twice. Sanchez was up to 57 pitches for the game.
Rollins swung at the first pitch of the bottom of the fourth and popped a ball up to the mound that dropped with Fontenot, Huff, Sanchez and Posey all looking at it. Ibanez flew to right 1-1 for the first out. Ruiz had a long at-bat and finally dribbled a 3-2 pitch out in front of the mound. Sanchez fielded and threw to first to get Ruiz for the second out with Rollins moving to second. Oswalt had a long at-bat at well. His ended when he went out of the strike zone to fly to center on a 3-2 pitch to set the Phillies down.
That’s going to look like a hit for Rollins in the box score forevermore. It wasn’t. Phils couldn’t do anything with the second gift from Fontenot in two innings. What must Sandoval look like defensively? Sanchez was up to 77 pitches for the game.
The game was tied at 1-1 when the Phillies hit in the fifth. Victorino led off and doubled into the left field corner. Utley showed bunt but took ball one and then flew to right for the first out with Victorino tagging and going to third. Polanco swung at the first pitch and flew to center, deep enough for Victorino to tag and score, putting the Phils up 2-1. Howard lined an 0-1 pitch into center for a single, but Werth swung at the first pitch and grounded to third to end the inning.
Howard 2-for-2 with a double. Werth 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. It doesn’t seem like that long ago when the Phillies getting a run on a double and two fly balls in the fifth inning wasn’t really that big a deal.
Rollins started the bottom of the sixth and popped an 0-1 pitch into shallow left center. Renteria made a great catch with his back to the infield, bobbling the ball but holding on for the first out. Sanchez made Ibanez and Ruiz look bad after that, striking Ibanez out waving at an 0-2 pitch that was outside and low and getting Ruiz looking at an 0-2 fastball in the middle of the plate.
Great play by Renteria before the Phils even got anything started. Sanchez was up to 95 pitches.
Oswalt hit for himself to start the seventh. He had thrown 88 pitches in the game. He got ahead 2-0 and then lined a 2-2 pitch just in front of the sliding Torres for a single. Righty Ramon Ramirez came in to pitch to Victorino and Victorino put down a nice bunt for the first out, moving Oswalt to second. Ramirez walked Utley intentionally, putting men on first and second for Polanco. Polanco lined a 1-0 pitch into center for a single. Oswalt got the stop sign at third. He hesitated, then ran through it. He would have been out by ten feet if Huff hadn’t cut off the throw from Torres, but Huff did, then relayed home. Oswalt slide in safely and the Phils led 3-1. Lefty Jeremy Affeldt came in to pitch to Howard with one down and men on first and second. Utley and Polanco pulled off a double-steal as Howard swung and miss to make the count 2-2. Affeldt struck him out swinging at an inside fastball 2-2 for the second out. Werth was next and the lefty Affeldt stayed in to walk Werth intentionally, loading the bases for Rollins. Righty Santiago Casilla came into the game to pitch to Rollins, with Pablo Sandoval double-switching into the game to play third. Rollins took two balls and then blasted a pitch high off the wall in right center, scoring all three runners to put the Phillies up 6-1. Casilla stayed in to pitch to the lefty Ibanez. He got ahead of him 0-2 before Ibanez ripped a ball to third that Sandoval handled for the third out.
Just an enormous hit for Rollins, hopefully that’s the one we’ve been waiting for. The Giants could have just brought Casilla in to pitch to Werth, but they wanted Rollins and with good reason. J-Roll made them pay.
Not a fan of the Victorino bunt, but it sure worked out great. Huge hit for Polanco. Howard can’t bring in the runner from third with less than two outs after reaching each of his first three times to the plate in the game.
Righty Sergio Romo started the eighth for the Giants. He struck Ruiz out swinging for the first out. Gload hit for Oswalt and grounded to second hard for the second. Victorino dumped a single into left center, but Utley chopped a ball to Huff at first for the third out.
Victorino was 2-for-4 in the game with a double, a run scored and a big bunt in the seventh. He’s 2-for-9 in the series.
Utley was 0-for-3 with two walks and an important sac fly to move Victorino to third in the fifth. 1-for-6 with three walks in the series.
Polanco was 1-for-3 with a single and two RBI. He drove in Oswalt in the seventh after bringing Victorino in from third with a fly ball in the fifth. 2-for-7 in the series.
Howard was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. 3-for-7 with two doubles in the series.
Werth was 0-for-3 with a walk and five men left on base. He’s 2-for-6 with a home run and two walks so far.
Rollins had the hit of the series so far. He was 2-for-3 in the game with a walk, a double and four RBI. 2-for-7 in the series.
Ibanez was 0-for-4, struck out twice and left five men on base. 0-for-7 in the series.
Ruiz was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts last night and is 1-for-7 with a home run in the series.
Game three is Tuesday afternoon.