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Phillies Beat Giants in Nail-Biter, NLCS Returns to Philly

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    Shane Victorino  Roy Halladay  Ryan Madson

                      Brad Lidge       Jayson Werth

Phillies ace Roy Halladay labored through a 108 pitch, 2 run, 6 hit six inning outing after suffering a pulled groin in the second inning, but still bested San Francisco’s ace Tim Lincecum in the rematch of their game 1 pairing.  The Giants scored single runs in the first and fourth innings but the Phils plated a 3 spot off of Lincecum in the third, with 2 of the runs scoring on a fielding error as centerfielder Shane Victorino’s hard grounder hit off the bottom of 1st baseman Aubrey Huff’s glove and bounded into centerfield.  Halladay fought his way out of tight spots in the fifth and sixth innings clinging to the narrow 3-2 lead.  Then the Phils bullpen took over in the seventh inning locking down the Giants allowing them but 1 hit over the final three innings.  Ryan Madson impressed striking out the side on 13 pitches in the eighth inning while closer Brad LIdge took 10 pitches to go clean on the Giants in the ninth.  Rightfielder Jayson Werth added an insurance run leading off the Phillies ninth by slamming a homer on a 2-1 pitch from Giants reliever Ramon Ramirez as the Phillies beat the Giants in a nail-biter sending the NLCS back to Philly with the Giants still up by 3 games to 2.

The Giants opened in the first inning against Halladay with a walk and a single which put runners at the corners.  Number 3 hitter Huff lined out to 1st base but rookie catcher Buster Posey grounded into a fielder’s choice with the 1st run scoring.  Halladay ended the inning by striking out former Phil leftfielder Pat Burrell looking on a pitch which Pat ‘the bat’ took issue with.

Meanwhile, Lincecum retired the first 6 Phils’ hitters in a row before leftfielder Raul Ibanez singled to right centerfield to lead off the third.  Then Lincecum hit catcher Carlos Ruiz to put 2 runners on.  Halladay sacrifice bunted moving both runners up a base.  Victorino then reached on Huff’s fielding error with both Ibanez and Ruiz scoring and the “Flyin’ Hawaiian” taking 2nd base.  3rd baseman Placido Polanco followed with an RBI single plating Victorino with the 3rd run.  The Phils could have had more as 2nd baseman Chase Utley singled to center moving Polanco to 3rd base.  But Lincecum struck out 1st baseman Ryan Howard for the 1st of 3 times Howard struck out in an 0-4 collar for the game.  For Howard, it was the 9th time he’s been struck out in the NLCS.  Werth ended the inning by flying out to leftfield.

With the Phils up 3-1 after three innings, Burrell and troublesome hot-hitting rightfielder Cody Ross slammed back-to-back doubles in the fourth as the Giants narrowed the lead to 3-2.  From there, Halladay worked out of fifth and sixth inning jams enroute to walking 2, striking out 5 and clinging to that 1 run lead for dear life, as did Phillies’ relievers.

With the series returning to Philadelphia for game 6, and hopefully a game 7, the AP recap for Yahoo sports provides background on another pitching rematch:

[Lefthander] Jonathan Sanchez starts for the Giants against  Roy Oswalt, who is 10-0 in 12 starts in Philly this year. Oswalt was the loser in relief in Game 4.

Philadelphia will try to become the 12th team to rally from a 3-1 deficit in a best-of-seven series. The Red Sox were the last to do it, in the 2007 ALCS against Cleveland.

If the Phils are able to beat the Giants in game 6, it would bring about a 3rd rematch for game 7 with lefthander Cole Hamels opposed by Matt Cain at Citizen’s Bank Park.  Hamels was narrowly defeated in game 3 in San Francisco as the Giants shut out the Phils by 3-0.

To view the Championship series games in both leagues on Friday and Saturday, click here and here.

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2 Responses to “Phillies Beat Giants in Nail-Biter, NLCS Returns to Philly”

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