Sunday, October 17, 2010

2010 NLCS Game 2: PHI 6, SF 1

Jonathan Sanchez pitched very well in Game 2, especially considering what he faced. The strike zone was terribly inconsistent and the defense by the Giants was painful to watch. The results were good, and could have been a lot better if those factors hadn't been in play. Sanchez a year ago would have fallen apart in the face of that; tonight, he limited damage in a potentially explosive 1st inning, and got stronger throughout the game. But none of it mattered, because the Giants (sans Cody Ross) simply could not hit Roy Oswalt. Looking at the game now, you had to figure it would be hard for the Giants offense to score against both Oswalt and Halladay. It's simply not likely for two great pitchers to give up many runs to a weak offense in back to back days.

Andres Torres struck out 4 times tonight. This is an issue. But what is to be done? He hasn't been the same since his appendix operation, and he was probably already going cold before that. In the playoffs, he has been pretty terrible at the plate; a few balls have been hit hard and caught for outs, but for the most part he just can't make contact at all. The thought of Aaron Rowand taking his spot scares me, but I wouldn't hate it if it was just for one game, to see what happens. But we have to remember something: Torres might look awful at the plate right now, but he is still a Gold glove caliber centerfielder, playing with an immobile left fielder. He still has value, and more than just a little. The best thing that could happen would be a change of approach, where he tries to go for contact more and use his speed. But who knows if a 32 year old career minor leaguer is capable of making an adjustment like that.

Cody Ross was the only true offensive force tonight, hitting his 3rd HR of the series. He just missed a 4th later in the game as well. It'll be fun to see what he can do against Hamels, a lefty who he has crushed, on Tuesday.

Even though Jeremy Affeldt struck out Ryan Howard in the 7th inning with runners on, I thought it was a strange move. Here was Ryan Howard, the powerful hitter who just can't hit lefties much, and Bochy leaves Lopez in the bullpen. What was he waiting for? Anyway, after Howard struck out, they intentionally walked Jayson Werth to get to Jimmy Rollins. And Rollins did something he's barely done all year: hit. The game was over after his bases clearing double. The Giants would get some baserunners on, but they really had no shot. They can be very happy with the 1 win they got in Philly: they now have 3 in SF, and 3 very winnable games. I will say, I'm looking forward to tomorrow when I can watch baseball without the nerves. Cliff Lee and his undefinable K/BB ratio, at Yankee Stadium? Sounds good to me.

Oh, and Raul Ibanez looks terrible at the plate. Just miserable.

1 comment:

  1. Was nice to see Sanchez pitch as strong as he did in the belly of the beast. He's grown by leaps and bounds this year and stepped up every time we desperately needed him to, I enjoy watching him pitch as much as Cain or Timmy. Torres has looked just awful and I agree maybe he should sit tomorrow, maybe it will help him get it going and give Rowand a chance to contribute lord knows he's probably dying to get in there. I'm interested in seeing what he can do with a games worth of ABs.