More torture, but another win in Game 1
Cody Ross belted two home runs as the San Francisco Giants won Game 1 with a fifth consecutive one-run game in the postseason, beating the Phillies 4-3 in a tense victory.
Ross was the hero, hitting solo home runs of Roy Halladay in the third and fifth innings.
But another key component to the win was three consecutive two-out hits in the sixth inning to bring home the third and fourth runs.
In the sixth, Buster Posey had a two-out single, Pat Burrell hit a long double to the left field wall that was almost caught by Raul Ibanez, and Juan Uribe singled to center.
Here are some other notes from Saturday’s game.
GAME 1 SUCCESS: Saturday’s win was the seventh consecutive Game 1 victory for the Giants in the postseason, following Game 1 wins in the 2010 NLDS (vs. Braves), 2003 NLDS (vs. Marlins), 2002 World Series (vs. Angels), 2002 NLCS (vs. Cardinals), 2002 NLDS (vs. Braves) and 2000 NLDS (vs. Mets). In Game 2 of all of the previous six series, the Giants were 1-5, winning only Game 2 of the 2002 NLCS.
ROSS IS RIGHT: Cody Ross was picked off waivers in August in a purely defensive move. The Giants wanted to make sure the Padres didn’t put in a claim on the outfielder. The Giants were heavy on outfielders and Ross really saw most of his time with the Giants as a late-inning defensive replacement. But he’s been an offensive force for the Giants in the postseason, hitting three of the Giants four postseason home runs. Remember, Ross hit near the top of the lineup for the Marlins, but he’s been a real asset hitting in the No. 8 hole for the Giants. For all those Sabean-haters out there, this is a move that has really paid off for the Giants GM, not only adding Ross but putting him on the postseason roster and starting him.
OFF-SPEED WILSON: Normally, when Brian Wilson gets into the game, you expect him to rear back and bring the heat. But against the Phillies in Game 1, Wilson depended more on his slider. Against Jimmy Rollins in the eighth inning, he threw six consecutive off-speed pitches before finally striking him out with a 96 mph fastball. Similarly in the ninth, he seemed to go heavy with the slider, falling behind 3-0 to Shane Victorino before finishing him off to end the game with three straight fastballs.
OW! MY SIDE! Since Andres Torres returned from his appendectomy in September, he hasn’t been quite right. And it’s getting frustrating watching him fail to put the ball in play in contact situations. In Game 2 of the NLDS against the Braves, after Edgar Renteria reached on a bunt single, Torres could not get a bunt down to push Renteria over on two attempt. And then he struck out. On Saturday, Torres came up with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth after Brad Lidge had walked Cody Ross and hit Travis Ishikawa with a pitch. Lidge is known for losing the strike zone. So what does Torres? He swings at Lidge’s first pitch and fouls it off. It was a low borderline pitch. On the second pitch, he did the same thing. After watching a pitch sail wide for a ball, he s struck out on a pitch in the dirt. Torres has been a pleasant surprise this season for the Giants and a far better option at leadoff than Aaron Rowand or anyone else the Giants have. But he strikes out FAR TOO OFTEN for a leadoff hitter. The Giants really need to think about talking to Torres about maybe using a smaller bat next season and focus more on making contact and using his speed.