Friday, October 22, 2010

Game Five Roundup

As Published on
Too much is being made of this foul bunt called fair.  FOX couldn’t stop talking about it and Ken Rosenthal led off his post-game interview asking coyly for an admittance of a foul ball from Roy Halladay. Obviously that was a foul ball whether Doc admits it or not, but the result of the play was no better than had Doc just laid down a fair bunt: runners are moved over, one out. Had Doc been safe at first then that would’ve resulted in an extra out and baserunner for the Phils. Bases would have been loaded with no outs, but Doc stayed in the box and was out at first anyway.
Had Kungfu Panda not missed the bag at third, the Giants would’ve gotten a double play out of a foul bunt. The Phillies would’ve been screwed. So back off, FOX. That bunt was not a game changer as much as it was a hairy situation for the Phils that turned out neither as good or bad as it could’ve been.
Roy Halladay was visibly mad after a 1st inning showdown with the artist formerly know as “Trade Pat Burrell”. He was seething. Red in the face. The angriest Mitch Williams had seen him this year- that's angry, man. This was very uncharacteristic of Roy, who is normally all-business, cool as a cucumber. 
Ken Rosenthal, the only reporter who fits in Tim Lincecum’s pocket, asked Roy how he succeeded without having his best stuff.  Roy said he “battled”, and he did. He struggled, going deep into counts, but got all the outs he absolutely needed. Overall he pitched well, despite some booted balls, an unfavorable home plate umpire, and a Giants team that was having an unbreakable chain of quality at-bats. He did this while battling an injury, in an elimination game, on a rainy night, against the two-time reigning NL Cy Young winner.
Werth’s home run in the 9th inning, a towering opposite field poke, was gigantic. Some may look back and say it wasn’t necessary because the Giants failed to score in the bottom of the inning, but its impact on Brad Lidge’s confidence and freedom in the save situation can not be underestimated.
That extra run opened up the pitching bag of tricks for Lidge in the 9th. He could throw his regular slider and his dirty one. Perhaps more importantly, it served to deflate the Giants, who had been quite at home in the anti-home run dimensions of “The House that Steroids Built”. That long poke just may turn out to be the turning point of the series.

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