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Thursday, October 21, 2010

NLCS Heads Back to Philly For Game 6

Roy Halladay didn't have his best stuff, and Tim Lincecum actually looked better than Doc again out there Thursday night, but the Giants defense cost Lincecum the game. They also didn't do a whole lot at the plate, but if they make a few plays that they didn't, they very well could have taken this ballgame.

The big play that comes to mind was Aubrey Huff's blunder on that ground ball off the bat of Shane Victorino in the second inning. A play which led to the Phillies scoring 3 runs rather than the likely goose egg that would have gone up had Huff fielded that ball cleanly. That was all the Phillies really needed though, as the Giants wouldn't score more than 2 runs on the night, even though Roy Halladay didn't have his uncanny control, or his sharp breaking pitches really working for him throughout the night. The Giants collected just 7 hits on the night, as the middle of their order (Huff, Posey, Burrell) went a combined 1-11, and series superman Cody Ross k'd three times on the night, although he did have a big RBI double to make the score 3-2 in the 4th. At that point, I had a pretty good feeling about things, as I knew Halladay was hittable, and the Giants looked like they were ready to rally, but they never were able to get anything going after that. Halladay settled down, then Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge took care of business in the 8th and 9th innings respectively, and the Phills showed Giants fans why they've been in the World Series for 2 consecutive seasons ('08, '09). For good measure, Jayson Werth added a sold homer of Ramon Ramirez, who's been atrocious this postseason, to give Lidge a 2-run cushion in the 9th. Doesn't seem like a huge deal since the Giants didn't score, but I think the 2-run lead definitely allowed Lidge to pitch differently (with slightly less pressure, for an occasional choker) in the 9th, no doubt about it.

Even though the series is headed back to Philly, I'm still very confident in this Giants team, but I'm starting to grow a tad leery of this bullpen. Outside of Brian Wilson and Javier Lopez, there aren't a whole lot of guys who I'm %100 confident in right now. Sergio Romo has looked better in this series than he did in the NLDS, but he's still a bit wild, and has been hanging that slider a little too often. Ramon Ramirez has turned into a launching pad though, and I think he has to be relegated to long relief at this point, and I'd use Guillermo Mota in the 6th/7th inning if needed in game 6 in place of Ramirez. I still like Santiago Casilla as the right-handed set-up man to Wilson, but even he gave up a big hit in game 2 which allowed a few runs to score. Still, at this point, Casilla, Lopez and Wilson seem to have the best stuff, and those are the only 3 guys who I'm really confident in handing the ball to after the 7th inning in close 1-2 run ballgames. With Jonathan Sanchez set for game 6, the bullpen has to be ready for anything too, cause Sanchez is a guy who typically won't go much more than 6 innings (because of pitch count), even when he's throwing really well.

Now, I'm confident this team will rebound offensively against Oswalt, who shut them down in game 2, but had to pitch in relief in Wednesday's game and threw over 20 pitches in that outing. I think the Giants are ready for him this time around. The thing I'm worried about, and the area that was pointed out after game 2's loss, was the Giants defense. They don't have the firepower to hang with Philly when they commit costly mistakes and errors like they did Thursday. The only 2 games they lost where games in which the defense put them behind the 8-ball early, and they were never fully able to recover from it. And you can't necessarily blame the offense, as they're going up against one of the best pitching staff's in all of baseball. If the Giants give the Phillies extra outs, and free base runners, they won't be able to beat them. They have to play their A-game and force Philly to make the mistakes, and that becomes even tougher now as they head back to that raucous Philadelphia environment.
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13 Comments:

  • At 9:47 PM, Blogger drowningboy said…

    Can you say Clockwork Orange???

    http://slumwords.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/whoops-one-series-off/

     
  • At 9:47 PM, Blogger drowningboy said…

    Can you say Clockwork Orange???

    http://slumwords.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/whoops-one-series-off/

     
  • At 12:04 AM, Anonymous Baseball Birthday Favors said…

    They really play a good fight on their last game.

     
  • At 5:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    sorry san fran, you run just became short lived.

     
  • At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Kach said…

    Tough loss last night but we are going to take this series! Check out this song about the Giants 2010 playoff run to get pumped before next game - "Black and Orange" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyVdbfyvwso&feature=fvwk

     
  • At 9:52 AM, Anonymous San Francisco Giants Tickets said…

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