Oswalt Pitches Phillies to 1-1 Split

The Phillies evened the National League Championship Series at one game apiece, defeating the San Francisco Giants 6-1 behind a strong eight-inning performance by Roy Oswalt, and a seventh-inning bases-clearing double by Jimmy Rollins.

Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez battled the inconsistent strike zone of home plate umpire Dan Iassogna, walking three batters in the first inning, including a controversial RBI ball four to Jimmy Rollins that was a strike according to Pitch F/X.  Sanchez allowed the second run when Shane Victorino led off the bottom of the fifth with a double down the left field line, then advanced to third and home on Chase Utley and Placido Polanco outfield fly balls. Otherwise, Sanchez limited the damage.

Right fielder Cody Ross accounted for the only Giants run in the fifth inning, when he drove an inside fastball over the left field fence for his third solo home run of the series.

The Phillies broke the game open in the seventh after Oswalt led off the inning with a line drive single to center field. Victorino bunted him to second, forcing reliever Ramon Ramirez to intentionally walk Utley. Polanco then ripped a single back through the middle. It appeared the Phillies would have to settle for a bases loaded, one out situation, but Oswalt ignored third base coach Sam Perlozzo’s hold sign and scored easily.

The Giants then brought in left-hander Jeremy Affeldt to pitch to Howard. Polanco and Utley pulled off a double-steal, but Howard was unable to make contact, striking out for the second out of the inning. After Affeldt intentionally walked Jayson Werth, manager Bruce Bochy brought in his third reliever of the inning in Santiago Casilla. Rollins, batting left, lined a low-and-inside fastball to right-center field, narrowly missing the Phillies’ first post-season grand slam since Game Two of the NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers. Three Phillies crossed home plate as Rollins jogged into second base, with two hits and four RBI on the night.

Oswalt found himself in trouble in the eighth inning, walking Pablo Sandoval with one out, and serving up a hit to Freddy Sanchez with two outs. Charlie Manuel chose to let Oswalt finish the inning rather than make a call to the bullpen. Oswalt got Aubrey Huff to line out to center field to end the threat. He finished with nine strikeouts and allowed only three hits.

Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless ninth, working around a lead-off walk to Buster Posey and a two-out Travis Ishikawa single, to ensure the Phillies would fly to San Francisco splitting the first two games. Both teams will have the day off tomorrow to travel and will resume the series on Tuesday with an official start time of 4 PM ET.

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9 comments

  1. Scott G

    October 17, 2010 11:01 PM

    Anthony Gargano just said that the Phillies approached Sanchez correctly tonight on Fox News. They made him work and take pitches. Yes, in the first inning. After that, it was simply terrible approaches from literally everyone in the Phillies lineup through the 6th inning (if you’re interested in specific examples, click on my name for a link to my blog post). It was almost like they forgot about running his pitch count up and getting runners on in the first inning.

    Sanchez has a career 4.6 BB/9 and from the 2nd – 6th innings tonight, 13 different Phillies PAs featured their hitters swinging first pitch or up in the count (1-0 and 2-0). Many of these swings were at balls, and resulted in outs.

    I just don’t comprehend how Gargano, a decent baseball fan can watch that entire game and say that after most people that I know and have talked to were extremely frustrated watching this team’s complete lack of discipline after the first.

  2. Chris

    October 18, 2010 12:04 AM

    Victorino scored on Polanco’s sac fly, not Howard’s.

  3. Rich

    October 18, 2010 01:26 AM

    Not impressed with the Phillies’ effort tonight. If not for Bruce Bochy completely botching the bottom of the 7th inning by failing to go back to Javier Lopez (what are you saving him for, there’s an off day tomorrow) to pitch to Utley, this would have stayed as a winnable game for the Giants heading into the 8th and 9th against Madson and Lidge, and in a must-win situation for the Phils, that’s a red flag. Additionally, I thought Jonathan Sanchez pitched poorly tonight (lower fastball velocity than normal), and the Phillies were unable to take advantage, while the Giants saw the best Roy Oswalt had to offer and Cody Ross still managed to take him yard. All in all, I’m pretty confident in saying that I don’t think this series returns to Philadelphia.

  4. Dave

    October 18, 2010 06:44 AM

    Oh Rich, you’re so cute.

  5. Phylan

    October 18, 2010 09:23 AM

    Among all the other dumb things about that post:

    Sanchez avg FB velo 2010: 90.6 mph
    Sanchez avg FB velo gm 2: 89.6 mph

    WOWSER

  6. Jon

    October 18, 2010 10:37 AM

    Ryan Madson can’t close games! LOL

  7. Eric

    October 18, 2010 11:20 AM

    God Bless America

  8. Rich

    October 21, 2010 09:57 AM

    @Dave

    I think my analysis of this series was pretty darn spot on. Phillies were incredibly overrated going into this postseason. If the Reds weren’t peeing in their pants in the NLDS I don’t know if they make it alive out of that series either.

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