NLCS Game 1: Cody Ross Rocks Doc, Giants Beat Roy Halladay

October 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Regular season baseball is a funny game. Postseason baseball is knee-slapping, Will Ferrell in Anchorman game.

Of all the things that we thought about as we entered Game 1 of the NLCS, Cody Ross hitting two home runs off of Roy Halladay wasn’t one of them. Every postseason like clockwork, we see players who we would never expect to become heroes do the unthinkable.


Ross tagged Halladay for two solo HRs, and Tim Lincecum outdueled the Phillies’ ace as the Giants won 4-3 to take Game 1 of their best-of-seven NLCS.

This game featured two of the games best in Lincecum and Halladay, and the game kind of lived up to the hype. Were both pitchers great? Absolutely not. But they were both very good.

Halladay made four mistakes in his seven innings of work.

The first two came to Ross. Halladay tried to bury an inside fastball to Ross in the third, and he missed bad and Ross deposited it 417 ft into the leftfield bleachers. The hit by Ross was the first one Halladay had given up in the postseason.

Then in the fifth, Halladay made the same mistake to Ross. Again he tried to throw an inside fastball and again missed and again Ross hit it into the leftfield bleachers.

Take a look at the pitch plots on the two Ross ABs.


Ross AB in the third


Ross AB in the fifth

The turquoise plot indicates the ball that was hit in the AB and as you can see, the pitches that Ross hit out were almost in the same spot. The other mistakes Halladay made were in the sixth, and the pitch sequence to Pat Burrell was the turning point in the game.

With two outs and Buster Posey on first base, Halladay threw a perfect cutter to Burrell that home plate umpire Derryl Cousins called a ball. In all fairness to Cousins, he hadn’t called that pitch a strike all game, but that pitch was a strike.

On the very next pitch, Burrell ripped a ball to the wall for a *double. I put an asterisk next to the double because any other leftfielder besides Raul Ibanez would have caught that ball. Ibanez catches that ball and the non-strike call to Burrell doesn’t become such a big deal.

The last mistake Halladay made was to Juan Uribe, who was the next batter in the inning. Halladay left another fastball over the plate and Uribe singled up the middle to give the Giants a 4-1 lead.

On the flip side, Lincecum only made two mistakes.

The first one was to Carlos Ruiz in the third and the second one was to Jayson Werth in the sixth. Both were on fastballs out over the plate and both were hit for HRs to rightfield.

Lincecum struck out eight over seven innings of work. He only threw 41 percent first-pitch strikes, but rebounded in the count because of a wicked changeup that he threw for a strike 70 percent of the time.

Here are some other observations from Game 1…

Very impressed with Javier Lopez in this game. He went through Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the eighth with no problem what so ever. Didn’t think he had that in him.

I thought Bruce Bochy managed a great game. Pinch-running Nate Schierholtz for Burrell in the sixth was a smart move at the time, and I loved the fact that he went to Brian Wilson in the eighth to face Werth.

Jimmy Rollins has gotten old fast. The 2007 season seems like 10 years ago. He has a $8.5 million club option for 2011, which the Phillies will certainly pick up, but I doubt he will be in a Philly uniform after 2011.

I can’t wait for the WWE to have a lookalike tag-team match at WrestleMania. Edge and Werth vs. CM Punk and Wilson. This needs to be done.

Is Game 2 a must-win game for the Phillies? No, not at all. Winning Game 2 would certainly help, but the Phillies are a team that can come back from an 0-2 series deficit.

Game 2 is Sunday at 7:57 PM est and will pit Jonathan Sanchez against Roy Oswalt.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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