Lincecum, Giants Top Phillies in Game One

The Phillies dropped Game One of the National League Championship Series to the San Francisco Giants behind an uncharacteristically human effort from ace right-hander Roy Halladay. Although Halladay did not walk any Giants hitters, he was around the middle of the plate too often and paid the price with two Cody Ross solo home runs, a Pat Burrell RBI double, and a Juan Uribe RBI single.

Both Halladay and Giants ace Tim Lincecum were battling the inconsistent strike zone of home plate umpire Derryl Cousins. Halladay responded with a few too many hittable pitches. He was not helped when Raul Ibanez failed to catch a Burrell fly ball against the left field wall in the top of the sixth inning, leading to the Giants’ third run. The pitch before, Halladay had walked off the mound thinking he had thrown a called strike three to end the inning, but Cousins stood motionless, beckoning the author of baseball’s second post-season no-hitter back to the mound, only to further expand his team’s deficit.

Lincecum was not as sharp as a two-time defending National League Cy Young award winner should be, but was able to get out of several situations where the Phillies threatened to score runs. The Phillies had the lead-off runner on in four of Lincecum’s seven innings but aside from the home runs, they never advanced a runner with a batted ball.

The Phillies’ offense was predicated on the home run, scoring their three runs on a solo shot by Carlos Ruiz in the bottom of the third and a two-run shot by Jayson Werth in the sixth. Aside from that, the Phillies were inefficient manufacturing runs and hitting with runners in scoring position — an issue that noticeably plagued them throughout their championship run in 2008.

Both teams’ bullpens held serve, keeping the score 4-3 in their two respective innings of work. Ryan Madson pitched a clean top of the eighth inning, retiring all three batters he faced. In the bottom of the eighth, Giants left-hander Javier Lopez retired lefties Chase Utley and Ryan Howard and Brian Wilson finished the inning by striking out Jimmy Rollins. Werth had reached base on a single to left-center and was running with a 3-2 count to Rollins, vastly increasing the Phillies’ odds to tie the game.

Brad Lidge kept the Phillies within one run with a scoreless ninth, escaping a bases-loaded one-out nail-biter. Wilson finished the job with three more outs in the bottom half of the ninth. Raul Ibanez, Ross Gload, and Shane Victorino each struck out in the ninth. Victorino had the benefit of pinch-runner Wilson Valdez — the pinch-runner for Ruiz, who was hit by a pitch — running on a 3-2 pitch, but was not able to make contact.

The Phillies drop the first game but have the opportunity to even the series tomorrow night before flying out to San Francisco for Game Three. Roy Oswalt will oppose Jonathan Sanchez.

Notes: Halladay allowed two home runs in one game to one batter for the first time since September 4 when Corey Hart of the Milwaukee Brewers accomplished the feat. … Halladay went 11 and one-third innings before allowing his first hit and run of his post-season career. … Halladay allowed his first hit since the eighth inning on September 27 against the Washington Nationals, and his first run since the seventh inning on September 21 against the Atlanta Braves. … The Phillies lost the first game of a post-season series for the first time since the 2007 NLDS against the Colorado Rockies.

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13 comments

  1. PANICK

    October 16, 2010 10:12 PM

    WE’RE FUCKED, ABANDON SHIP!!!!!

  2. E

    October 16, 2010 10:18 PM

    ” I think Ibanez is about an average or better defender, I don’t use defensively metrics.” R. Amaro

    That contract howard is going to get is going to be hilarious. When his batspeed starts to slow down, w hich it will soon, he will only be able to hit soft tossing righties.

  3. james

    October 16, 2010 10:26 PM

    Cliff Lee would have won tonight’s game.

  4. Jim

    October 16, 2010 10:41 PM

    ” Jayson Werth didn’t hit a HR for the Philies, he hit it for more money in free agency.”

  5. Scott G

    October 16, 2010 10:43 PM

    Cliff Lee would have coerced Derryl Cousins to call a strike a strike? No shit?

  6. Josh

    October 16, 2010 11:09 PM

    Phillies had Lincecum on the ropes early but failed to hit with RISP. While the Giants did hit the ball with RISP, if Ibanez makes that catch…well…and what do we do with Rollins? I think hitting him 8th has to be a start.

  7. micah

    October 16, 2010 11:16 PM

    Roy Halladay took the loss and Derryl Cousins got the win in a close contest saturday night…

  8. Scott G

    October 17, 2010 12:06 AM

    I agree, Josh. The scary thing is that in the postgame press conference, someone asked a question about batting Rollins lead off because the lead off men aren’t being productive. Really? I too try to promote people who are failing more than anyone else on my team. Manuel said he’s thinking about it. Awful

  9. Rich

    October 17, 2010 03:03 AM

    From what I heard, the one team the Phillies’ management did not want to play in the entire postseason field was the Giants, and you saw the reason why tonight. The Giants are the only team with a starting staff that neutralizes’ the Phillies big 3. Like Crashburn said, the Phillies might have the slight edge there, but it’s closer than against any of the remaining playoff teams. Meanwhile, I know it’s blasphemy but I’ll take the Giants’ lineup over the Phillies. The Phillies’ lineup looks like an aging mess to me as a neutral observer right now. The only guy that I’d worry about each time up is Werth. The rest can be stopped. Giants wrap this up in 5 or 6 IMO.

  10. Steve

    October 17, 2010 08:07 AM

    @Jim,

    Werth broke up the double play for his free agent contract too, right?

    Give me a break. Just like all the comments about how he looks like he doesn’t care. If the Phils choose not sign him, it will be their DECISION, not that they can’t afford it. It’s all about priorities. Do you want to win, or do you want to please the media with reporter friendly avg players.

  11. Matty B.

    October 17, 2010 09:05 AM

    I was surprised Manuel didn’t have anything to say to Cousins after that call, especially with Halladay freaking out like that.

  12. jim

    October 17, 2010 09:07 AM

    @Steve

    Steve, Jayson is about the free agency market. That HR was for him, not the phillies, trust me. As for the slide, he was just showing off his base running ability. He doesn’t have that aura, and doesn’t come off as he cares. It’s been on record.

    ( please pick up my sarcasm :) )

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