Sunday, October 24, 2010

Giants Down Phillies in Six; To Face Rangers in World Series

Players of the Day for Saturday, October 23, 2010

National League

In the top of the 8th inning, Juan Uribe lifted a fly ball deep to right field, close to the line. Jayson Werth raced to the edge of the warning track, waited, turned and looked up just in time to watch the ball sail into the third of of seats above the high outfield wall.

When Uribe hit the ball, it looked innocent enough, like another routine fly out in a game full of them, but it kept carrying and carrying until it finally left the park and gave the Giants the slim, one-run lead, which, an inning and a half later, became a game six, 3-2 victory over the Phillies, granting the Giants a pass to their first World Series since 2002.

Though it took a trip back to Philadelphia to finish off the NL champs, it was eventually the Giants' pitching that prevailed over the team that had taken the last two NL pennants. The Phillies scored a pair of quick runs in the first on a walk, three hits and a sacrifice fly off starter Jonathan Sanchez, but after that could muster only five more base hits as a string of five San Francisco relievers - including Tim Lincecum in the 8th - frustrated them the rest of the way.

Roy Oswalt, the Phillies' starter, pitched well enough to win in most circumstances, but he was gone after six innings with the game tied at 2-2. Both teams squandered chances; each left 11 men stranded.

The series was dominated by pitching. The cumulative score was Phillies 20, Giants 19, which works out to just over three runs per game for each team. The highest run total by the Phillies was 6, in game two, the same as the Giants scored in their game four win.

Cody Ross, acquired from the Marlins late in the regular season, took the MVP award for the series, batting .350 (7-for-20), with three home runs and five RBI. Ross had a hit in each of the six games. His two in game one were both homers.

By virtue of the National League winning the All-Star Game, San Francisco will host the Texas Rangers in the World Series. The Giants have not captured a world championship since 1954. Texas has never won one in its 49-year existence.

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