Saturday, October 16, 2010

2010 NLCS Game 1: SF 4, PHI 3

So much has been made of the fact that most of these Giants have no postseason experience. We've all heard about how this is Aubrey Huff's first postseason in his professional career. Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner are rookies who made great contributions during the regular season and have delivered so far in the postseason. Jonathan Sanchez clinched a playoff spot for the Giants and pitched a gem in his first ever postseason start. Tim Lincecum pitched one of the best games in playoff history. But nobody has talked about Cody Ross, who has also never been to the playoffs. It makes sense; he wasn't particularly impressive during the regular season, but he is quickly becoming the offensive hero for the Giants this postseason. In game 1 of the NLDS, he drove in the only run of the game. In game 4, he hit a home run to break up Derek Lowe's no-hitter and drove in the eventual game-winning run. And tonight, he hit 2 home runs off of the best pitcher in all of baseball, a pitcher who had just thrown a no-hitter in his last start. Even Mat Latos thinks that was a pretty great waiver claim.

Obviously, the big story coming into this game was the starting pitching. Both Lincecum and Halladay had pitched historic games the week before, and this was the most anticipated playoff pitching matchup in a long time. Neither pitcher was as dominant as last week, but they were both pretty good. The box score probably doesn't even show how good they were because the strike zone was ridiculous for both pitchers all night. Really, it was horrendous, but it's been talked about enough, so I won't elaborate. Still, besides a couple of mistakes to Cody Ross, a Pat Burrell RBI double (that Raul Ibanez probably should've caught) and a Juan Uribe single up the middle, Halladay was pretty good. Besides a couple of home runs from Carlos Ruiz and Jayson Werth that probably wouldn't have been homers at AT&T Park, Lincecum was great. His final line looked like this: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, and 8 Ks.

Bruce Bochy made some decisions that were again criticized, and I'll quickly defend him one more time. His decision to use Nate Schierholtz as a pinch runner for Pat Burrell in the top of the 6th was not received well. It would've normally been pretty early to take out Burrell, but on Uribe's single up the middle, Schierholtz scored and Pat Burrell would not have. It was the decisive run in the game. Bochy also brought in Brian Wilson for a 4-out save, and I don't know why people would have a problem with it, but some did. Brian Wilson was the best reliever in the National League during the regular season. That should be the end of that argument.

Lastly, I hate pointing out the negatives in a win, but with the bases loaded in the 9th inning and 1 out, Andres Torres had an abysmal at bat. He swung at 3 straight sliders, two of which were very much out of the zone. Torres had a great season, but that can't happen again. That could've ended very badly for the Giants.

I lied, that wasn't the last thing I'm going to say. That win was huge. I mean, you should never expect to win a game against the Phillies in Philadelphia when Roy Halladay is pitching. And the Giants have what could be a very favorable matchup tomorrow with Jonathan Sanchez pitching against Philly's lefty-heavy lineup. So today's game was huge. It may not have been a 0-0 pitcher's duel, but it certainly lived up to the hype.


  1. I don't understand why Brian Wilson is so successful, his stuff is so pedestrian.

  2. "Pedestrian"? Wilson may have trouble finding the strike zone from time to time but I hardly think that 48 saves indicates "pedestrian" stuff. 93 kays in 75 innings and a 1.81 ERA I think mean something else, maybe something having to do with 98 mph and the ability to put the ball where he wants it. Wilson may have a bit of the weirdness in him--though I notice he has dropped last year's Jonathan Papelbon-style pre-pitch glare at the hitter--but "pedestrian" is not a word I would associate with him or his pitching.

  3. I was being sarcastic with the pedestrian comment, it seems there are many Phillies fans that can't understand Wilson's awesomeness and have taken to Twitter to voice their unfortunate opinions. Sorry for the misunderstanding and I appreciate your enthusiasm, GO GIANTS!

  4. Thank you millerdunwoody for proving our point. Brandon was referring to a pretty dumb man on Twitter, so all 3 of us are in agreement about Wilson. He's a great relief pitcher. Hope you continue to comment on the blog!