Massive 230 pound San Francisco shortstop Juan Uribe’s eighth inning 2 out homer off of Phillies reliever Ryan Madson broke a 2-2 tie and ruined a gutty six inning effort by starter Roy Oswalt. Oswalt worked out of tough spots in the second inning, the third when the Giants scored twice, the fifth and the sixth innings and was twice aided on defense by ground doubleplays. But the Phils offense struck for 2 second inning runs on 3 hits to take the early lead before going silent for the rest of the game for lack of clutch hitting and scoring. Giants starter lefthander Jonathan Sanchez was pulled after a third inning near-altercation resulting from Sanchez’s hitting 2nd baseman Chase Utley with a pitch. The Giants used 5 relievers including an attempt to bridge ace Tim Lincecum in the eighth to get to closer Brian Wilson. Lincecum struck out rightfielder Jason Werth but gave up shallow singles to centerfielder Shane Victorino and leftfielder Raul Ibanez. Wilson was rushed in and catcher Carlos Ruiz’s liner found it’s way into 1st baseman Aubrey Huff’s glove (rather than down the rightfield line for extra-bases and Phillies runs) for an inning-ending doubleplay. Wilson then had a dicey ninth inning walking 2 Phillies while getting 2 groundouts. But 1st baseman Ryan Howard stood looking at a knee-high 3rd strike slider as Uribe’s homer pushed the Giants past the punchless Phillies to the NL Pennant.
Outfielder Cody Ross, who terrorized the Phils early by hitting 3 solo homers, 3 doubles while collecting 7 hits and driving in 5 runs, was selected as MVP for the series.
The Phils had trouble jelling on offense throughout the playoffs. Over all, through the season, they showed incredible, almost miraculous heart while suffering through some horrendous shutout strings. Yet, with a regular starting lineup scarcely together for any length of time this season, they still went on to win 97 games, lead MLB in wins for the first time in franchise history and win a 4th consecutive NL East division title.
General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr.’s late season acquisition of Roy Oswalt, to go along with ace Roy Halladay and fine lefthander Cole Hamels, sealed the regular season for a Phillies team which won the NL East going away.
The bats of Chase Utley went totally cold in the off-season, while Ryan Howard hit for average against the Giants yet struck out a ton and was totally absent in the clutch as epitomized by the embarrassment of staring at that game 6 ninth inning 3rd strike slider to end the game and the series.
Well, I guess I’ll jsut have to suffer and hang my head in shame before all of those local Yankee fan kids who have been saying that “the Phillies are goin’ down”? But yes, there is some solace here. The Yankees went down in 6 games too.
It is the proverbial day-after and I am trying to put game 6 and the lost 2010 NL pennant into perspective. There are a couple of comprehensive AP recaps and analysis for Yahoo here and here as well as a fine day-after piece on the Phillies Nation blog which begin to do just that. There will be more to say about the 2010 season after the dust settles.