They’re bringin’ it back…back. To Philly…Philly. The Phillies staved off elimination behind a gritty performance from Roy Halladay, beating the Giants, 4-2. If you noticed Halladay laboring throughout, there was good reason; he suffered a minor groin pull in the second inning.
The details are obviously sketchy, as Manuel said he hurt the groin in an at-bat against Buster Posey. However, the Giants catcher batted in the first inning. Halladay reiterated postgame that he indeed injured it in the second. In any case, on the bad-ass meter, thats about an 11. To go out there and beat the Giants who have been red hot with one healthy leg is quite impressive. It was quite noticeable, however, that something was amiss.
Halladay threw (by my unofficial count) just 12 fastballs on the night (excluding cutters). The Doc relied heavily on his offspeed stuff and somehow, someway, it worked. He pushed his way through six innings – throwing 108 pitches, 74 for strikes – allowing two runs on six hits and two walks.
Run support was still lacking for Halladay as the Phillies crossed home four times, three in a huge third inning. In the big third frame, Raul Ibanez got the ball rolling with a single to right field, followed by Carlos Ruiz being pegged on the right arm. With two on and nobody out, things got a little crazy around home plate.
Halladay bunted the ball off home plate, and it was hard to tell if the ball was fair or foul. Buster Posey quickly jumped on it and threw to third, but Pablo Sandoval missed the base and Ibanez was called safe. Halladay, however, did not run after thinking the ball was foul. Sandoval rolled around on the ground for a few seconds but still had plenty of time to throw out Halladay.
Aubrey Huff then allowed the Phils to grab the lead as Shane Victorino ripped one that caromed off the first baseman and into shallow right field, allowing Ibanez and Ruiz to score. Victorino was able to move to second on the error – he then scored on a Placido Polanco single to left field to push the Phils advantage to two.
San Francisco, as pesky as ever, grabbed a run in the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Pat Burrell and Cody Ross.
Backtracking to the first inning, an interesting situation occurred with Burrell and Halladay. Doc appeared to stare in at home plate umpire Jeff Nelson after a few questionable calls. Burrell took exception to it and yelled a few obscenities back at Roy, and the stares continued.
Back to Ross; he continues to pillage in the playoffs, knocking in his fifth run of the series. Luckily, those were the only two extra-base for the Giants on the night.
After Halladay came impressive performances from Jose Contreras, J.C. Romero, Ryan Madson, and Brad Lidge. Andres Torres singled off Contreras in the seventh and was the only Giants runner to reach base over the final three innings. Madson was torture on meat of the order, striking out Posey, Burrell, and Ross in succession.
Before Brad Lidge could come on to close it out, Jayson Werth gave him a bit of breathing room with an incredible opposite field home run. That made it 4-2, which was plenty for Lidge, who put the Giants down in order to send the series back home.
We’ll keep you abreast of the Halladay situation, which is not a hindrance at this point with Roy Oswalt going Saturday and Cole Hamels on Sunday, if necessary.
But I know what you’re thinking; Sunday will be necessary.