Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2010 NLCS Game 4: SF 6, PHI 5


Coming into this series, there was talk that Buster Posey was slumping and the Giants needed him to step up. I scoffed at that notion. I guess maybe it was technically true, but he was 1-for-11 in this series. Pretty much the definition of a small sample size. But if you were one of those people worried about Buster's "slump", he officially busted out of it, going 4-for-5, and getting the biggest hit in a game full of big hits. Sure, Juan Uribe hit the game winning sac fly, but Posey put Uribe in a great spot to give the Giants a 6-5 win. With Aubrey Huff on first base and 1 out, Posey had fallen behind Roy Oswalt (I'll explain why Oswalt was pitching a little later) 1-2. What came next was vintage Posey: he took a pitch on the outside of the plate and went the opposite way with it. He's only been around for less than a year, so it seems weird to call it vintage Posey, but I don't care, it was vintage Posey. Huff was now on 3rd with 1 out, and Uribe took care of it from there.

There's so much to talk about from this game. So many lead changes, so many big hits, quite a few torturous moments as well. I can start with the starting pitching. Madison Bumgarner's stat line doesn't look very good: 4 2/3 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 Ks but he wasn't that bad. It's just, all of a sudden in the 5th inning, Bumgarner couldn't get anyone out. To leadoff the inning, he gave up two line drive singles. Then the pitcher was out on a sacrifice fly. Shane Victorino then hit another line drive single, scoring 1 run, but Carlos Ruiz was also tagged out at the plate. Two outs with a runner on 1st. Bumgarner then allowed what would be his final line drive single to Chase Utley. It was bizarre, and Bochy brought in Santiago Casilla. Unfortunately, it was more of the same as Casilla allowed a Polanco double to score both runners, giving the Phillies a 4-2 lead.

There were so many heroes from this game. We've already talked about Posey, who got the scoring started with an RBI single in the 1st, doubled home the Giants' second run in the 3rd, tagged out a runner at the plate, and had that crucial hit in the 9th. And Aubrey Huff went 3-for-5, constantly setting Posey up for those RBI hits, and bringing the Giants back within 1 run with an RBI single after Philly's big 4-run inning. Pablo Sandoval had what was the biggest hit of the game at the time, driving an opposite field double, giving the Giants a 5-4 lead. Sergio Romo gave up the game tying hit to Jayson Werth in the 8th, but he kept his composure and didn't give the Phillies the lead. Javier Lopez and Brian Wilson were mostly great, no surprise there. And in addition to winning the game, Juan Uribe made a great play to erase a hit at the start of the top of the 9th. It was truly a team effort.

This turned out to be one of the greatest Giants games I've ever seen. The lead changed so many times, and the Giants missed so many opportunities, but the 9th inning was extremely intense. If the Giants had lost this game, all of a sudden they'd have to win 2 out of 3 vs Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels. Not an easy thing to do. And the Phillies knew the importance of the game too. Hell, they even brought in Oswalt, the scheduled game 6 starter, out of the bullpen. Everything was on the line. So when Aubrey Huff singled, Buster Posey did what he does, and Juan Uribe hit one deep enough to score Huff, the energy was unreal. It doesn't get much better than a walk-off win in Game 4 of the NLCS to bring your team within 1 game of the World Series. Hopefully, it does get even better tomorrow night. The Giants now need to win just 1 of the next 3, and while they're facing the best team in baseball tomorrow, it's a pitching matchup they've already won. Beating Roy Halladay twice in one week is almost unheard of, but Lincecum's no slouch and the Giants are playing at home this time. It's tough not to get excited. Win it tomorrow at home. One more time.

1 comment:

  1. Great write up. So true about this win requiring multiple heroes. 1 win away. And should that one win come, I like the Giants chances against either AL team (especially with home field advantage).

    Team of destiny? Looking that way.