Giants go home with a split
It’s been a mantra all season for moresplashhits. We’ve been thinking it all season, even when we haven’t been posting it.
Win series at home. Play .500 ball on the road.
And that’s what the Giants need to do now. They got the split in Philly, now they need to win 2 of 3 in San Francisco.
Roy Oswalt was on Sunday night, and there wasn’t much the Giants could do about it but move on. But there are some points we’d like to make.
The Mike Fontenot-for-Pablo Sandoval experiement is over. Or at least it should be. Bruce Bochy made this move after Game 2 of the NLDS for two reasons: Braves pitchers Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe were groundball pitchers and Sandoval is a double-play machine. The second reason was defense. In Game 2, Fontenot made a key error in the first inning. With one out and Chase Utley on second, Fontenot fielded a grounder by Placido Polanco. With Utley holding at second, Fontenot made a wide throw to first allowing Polanco to reach and Utley to take third. After Ryan Howard walked, Jayson Werth struck out. It would have ended the inning if not for Fontenot’s error. Jimmy Rollins then drew a bases-loaded walk for the Phillies’ first run. In the fourth inning, Fontenot led an infield popup by Rollins drop for an infield single. If Fontenot is not going to give the Giants better fielding, then he needs to come out, because he’s not adding much with the bat. He’s 2 for 12 in the postseason. Left-hander Cole Hamles pitches Tuesday. The Giants would be better with switch-hitting Sandoval than the left-hand hitting Fontenot. Sandoval is 3 for 9 career against Hamels, including a double and a home run this season against Hamels.
ANDRE THE STRIKEOUT GIANT:
Andres Torres flew home to San Francisco wearing a golden sombrero, courtesy of Roy Oswalt. Torres fanned four times Sunday against the Phillies pitcher. That makes Torres 3 for 25 (.120) with 12 strikeouts and no runs in the postseason. He’s 1 for 9 with six whiffs in the NLCS. The Giants need offense to beat the Phillies and that has to start with Torres.
A LITTLE DEFENSE:
The Giants reached the NLDS with a little help from the Braves’ defense. In Game 2, they helped the Phillies out by not making plays in the field. There was Fontenot’s first-inning error, which led to an unearned run. Fontenot allowing a pop-up fall for a single. In the seventh, Torres could not make a solid throw home on Polanco’s single. Oswalt ran through a stop sign, and a good throw gets him out by a mile. Instead, he scored and the Phillies led 3-1. If he’s out, Rollins doesn’t bat with the bases loaded and deliver a three-run double. Since the Giants only scored one run, it doesn’t seem like a big deal. Put them all together, and it is a big deal. The Phillies are the stronger team, so the Giants need to do all the little things right to win.