File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Phillies try to even the series back up tonight at Citizens Bank Park.
So the pressure's on the home team tonight at Citizens Bank Park, with Roy Oswalt set to toe the rubber. Oswalt, of course, has postseason experience; he's made nine previous appearances (the first eight with Houston) and owns a 4-0 record and 3.83 ERA.
The Giants, though, have had success against Oswalt, beating him in three of four head-to-head meetings this season. And San Francisco starter, lefty Jonathan Sanchez, went 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Phillies this year.
One change to San Francisco's lineup: Juan Uribe was scratched with a left wrist injury sustained last night while sliding into second base. So veteran Edgar Renteria (hero of the 1997 World Series for the Marlins) gets the start, with Cody Ross (who homered twice last night off Roy Halladay) getting bumped up from the 8-hole to the 6-hole...
NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES — GAME 2
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 8:19 p.m.
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 8:19 p.m.
TV: Fox Radio: WTNT-570 AM
Weather: Clear, 63 degrees
GIANTS8:45 p.m. -- Well, that proved to be quite an eventful first inning, at least the bottom half. Jonathan Sanchez was all over the place, issuing three walks (one to Jimmy Rollins with the bases loaded, though ball four sure liked like a strike at the knees to this TV observer). An error on Mike Fontenot earlier didn't help causes. Yet at the end of all that, the Phillies managed only one run because Sanchez was able to strike out Raul Ibanez with the bases still loaded. It took 35 pitches, but Sanchez escaped the first with the Giants trailing only 1-0.
CF Andres Torres
2B Freddy Sanchez
1B Aubrey Huff
C Buster Posey
LF Pat Burrell
RF Cody Ross
3B Mike Fontenot
SS Edgar Renteria
P Jonathan Sanchez
CF Shane Victorino
2B Chase Utley
3B Placido Polanco
1B Ryan Howard
RF Jayson Werth
SS Jimmy Rollins
LF Raul Ibanez
C Carlos Ruiz
P Roy Oswalt
9:08 p.m. -- Two and a half innings in, and neither team has a hit yet. Interesting...
9:19 p.m. -- Ryan Howard collects the evening's first hit, an opposite-field double in the bottom of the third. Sanchez, though, battled back to strike out Jayson Werth for the second time tonight and keep the deficit at 1-0. Sanchez is quite the unusual pitcher. He has all kinds of trouble finding the strike zone, his fastball barely reaches 90 mph but he's really tough to hit. Just has great movement and changing of speeds to keep hitters off-balance.
9:22 p.m. -- The Phillies, by the way, are 0 for their last 16 with runners in scoring position, a streak that goes all the way back to Game 2 of the NLDS against the Reds.
9:38 p.m. -- Really ragged performance so far from the Giants, between some terrible infield defense, Sanchez's wildness and the lack of offense against Oswalt. They're quite fortunate to only be trailing 1-0 after four innings. Could be much worse.
9:45 p.m. -- I have to admit, I had no idea Barry Bonds had come out of retirement to play for the Giants again. Oh wait, that's not Barry Bonds. That's Cody Ross! What a beast. Homered off Oswalt to break up the no-hitter with one out in the fifth, tie the game 1-1 and deliver his third homer of this series and fourth homer in his last three games.
9:58 p.m. -- The Phillies still don't have a hit with a man in scoring position, but they did manage to push the go-ahead run across. After Shane Victorino led off the bottom of the fifth with a double, he advanced to third on Chase Utley's flyout to right and then scored on Ryan Howard's sac fly to center. Philadelphia back on top 2-1 thanks to a couple of productive outs.
10:20 p.m. -- Quite the pitchers' duel we've got here tonight. Oswalt has allowed only two hits through seven, striking out eight. Sanchez has allowed only four hits through six, striking out seven. This is no real surprise, of course. The bigger surprise would be if anyone scores five runs in any game in this series. The Giants are looking at their sixth consecutive one-run postseason game.
10:32 p.m. -- Well that was an odd way for the Phillies to score an insurance run: On a single by Oswalt, then a sac bunt, then a Polanco single to center, with Oswalt running through Sam Perlozzo's stop sign and still scoring. Weird. Phillies now lead 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh.
10:45 p.m. -- Yeah, so much for nobody being able to score five runs in any game in this series. Jimmy Rollins almost produced that much offense on one swing just now. Three-run double off the right-field wall, only a foot or two short of a grand slam, has blown this game wide open. Philly leads 6-1, and it looks like this series will head west tied at a game a piece.
11:22 p.m. -- That's a rap. Phillies win 6-1 behind a sterling pitching performance from Oswalt. Sanchez wasn't at all bad, especially after that first inning, but he takes the loss. Travel day tomorrow, followed by Game 3 Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. Eastern.