Thursday, October 21, 2010

Phillies Bullpen Staves Off Elimination; Giants Lead 3-2

Players of the Day for Thursday, October 21, 2010

National League

Needing to take game five, the third game in San Francisco, to stay alive in the NLCS, the reigning NL champion Phillies lived up to their billing and sent the series back to Philadelphia for game six and a possible game seven with a 4-2 win over the Giants.

Roy Halladay, the Philly starter, wasn't as sharp as he usually is, but still managed to hold the Giants to two runs over the initial six innings. Leaving with a 3-2 lead, Halladay watched as the bullpen made the lead stand up, allowing just one more hit, by Jose Contreras in the 7th, snuffing out even a hint of San Francisco offense.

Contreras got two outs in the 7th and turned the ball over to J.C. Romero, who finished the inning without incident. Ryan Madson (left) tossed a splendid 8th, fanning all three batters he faced. Brad Lidge (right) needed just 17 pitches to retire the side in the 9th for his first save of the series.

The Phillies were aided by a 3rd inning Halladay bunt that bounced off the plate and appeared to be foul, but both runners - Raul Ibanez (2-for-4) and Carlos Ruiz - moved up a base when Pablo Sandoval missed the bag at third. Halladay, who did not even leave the batter's box, was thrown out at first. Next, a boot on Shane Victorino's slashing grounder by first baseman Aubrey Huff, which caromed off his glove, knee and into center field, allowed both baserunners to score.

When Placido Polanco singled home Victorino, who wound up at second on the previous play, the Phillies had a 3-1 lead.

Jayson Werth tied a NL post-season record with his 13th career home run, a solo shot in the 9th.

The teams head back to Philadelphia for game six, slated for 3:57 pm ET on Saturday.

American League

The Rangers and Yankees meet for game six of the ALDS on Friday night at Arlington. Texas leads the series 3 games to 2.

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