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Wizard of Oswalt Dazzles, Phillies Beat Giants to Tie NLCS

Posted By Christopher Rowe On Oct 19 2010 @ 5:02 pm In Philadelphia Phillies | 2 Comments

Roy Oswalt threw eight solid innings in Game 2 of the NLCS Sunday night.  Excellent starting pitching from Roy Oswalt and timely hitting from Placido Polanco and Jimmy Rollins lifted the Phillies to a 6-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday night.

The series is tied at a game apiece as it moves to San Francisco for Game 3 on Tuesday.

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Roy Oswalt was terrific rebounding from his last shakystart as the Phillies ties the series

Turning point
With the game tied at 1-1, Shane Victorino led off the fifth with a double. In one of the most important plays of the game, Chase Utley got Victorino to third with a fly ball to right. Victorino then scored on Polanco’s sacrifice fly to center.

Starting pitching

Oswalt rebounded from a shaky start in the Division Series with eight innings of three-hit, one-run ball. He walked three and struck out nine. The Phils are 13-2 in Oswalt’s 15 starts with the club.

Longtime Phillies nemesis Jonathan Sanchez was on the hill for the Giants and allowed three runs, only two of which were earned, over six-plus innings. He walked three and struck out six.

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Bullpen report
Ryan Madson got the final three outs. The Phils rallied for three runs against Giants relievers in the seventh. Still no idea whic Brad Lidge we are going to see for the remainder of this series.

At the plate
Utley was hitless but made important contributions. He walked twice, scored twice and helped set up the go-ahead run with a fly ball to right in the fifth. Placido Polanco knocked in that run with a sacrifice fly.

Oswalt began a four-run rally in the seventh helping his own cause with a single up the middle. He took second on a bunt by Victorino and scored on an RBI single by Polanco. That hit snapped an 18 at-bat hitless streak for the team with a runner in scoring position dating to Game 2 of the Division Series. Rollins snapped a postseason dry spell with a three-run double to highlight the inning. Ryan Howard singled and doubled.

Cody Ross had the Giants’ first hit, a solo homer in the fifth. It was his third homer of the series and 16th of his career against Phillies pitching.
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In the field

Victorino battled the wind as he fell to the warning track to make a long running catch on a drive to center by Buster Posey in the second inning.

Lineup shuffle

Manager Charlie Manuel broke up his two big left-handed hitters, Utley and Howard, against the lefty Sanchez. Utley hit second, Polanco third and Howard fourth. Word is he will maintain this lineup and see if it continues to work.
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Up next

Monday is an off day in the series. Game 3 is Tuesday afternoon in San Francisco. Cole Hamels and Matt Cain are the starting pitchers. Should be the pivotal game of the series prompting the Giants to change their starting lineup. Still no Pablo Sandoval but former Phillie Aaron Rowand could reappear. If Phils win Game 3, Blanton may start Game 4. If Giants win Game 3, it is likely that Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels will return on short rest.

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P.S. – Why in the world does FOX broadcaster Tim McCarver have so much difficulty pronouncing the name of Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz?? This is not just me picking on McCarver {reference my previous article “Tim McCarver compares Yankee front office to Communists and Nazis for not sufficiently worshipping Joe Torre”}. Ruiz has been in the league for more than 5 years. McCarver is an articulate professional broadcaster, having been in the business for 30 years. Prior to that McCarver was a Major League catcher for 21 seasons. So how does a man who has been around the game since 1959 have difficulty with a name as simple as “Ruiz”? For some reason, McCarver attempts to pronounce it “Rou-IZZZ” rather than the easier and more appropriate “Roo-ease.” Geez McCarver, it’s four letters!

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Carlos Ruiz is the silent MVP of the Phillies

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