Players of the Day for Wednesday, October 20, 2010
C.C. Sabathia didn't throw a no-hitter, a two-hitter or even a four-hitter. Sabathia allowed 11 hits over six innings but limited the Texas Rangers to two runs, a feat so mind-bogglingly obtuse as to stun the senses. In no single inning did Sabathia not allow a hit, yet he held the Ranges scoreless through the first four innings, allowed a home run in the 5th and one more run in the 6th, giving up three base hits, yet retiring the final two batters and leaving runners stranded on second and third before departing the game.
Sabathia reminded the assembled baseball community that one doesn't have to be perfect nor even merely close in order to be effective. The man simply bore down to get the big outs when they counted. His teammates, in addition to building a working lead with three runs in the 2nd and two more in the 3rd, turned two double plays behind him. Sabathia struck out 7 and didn't issue any walks.
A few runs to work with and a craftsman on the mound; all of a sudden the Yankees are only down 3 games to 2 after a well-played, 7-2 win.
Game six is Friday night, 8:07 pm ET in Arlington.
Jose Uribe drove a Roy Owalt offering to deep left field. Ben Francisco had no trouble fielding the ball, but it was deep enough to afford him no throw to the plate, where Aubrey Huff, tagging at third, would soon cross with the winning run and a 6-5 Giants' win.
Huff, who singled to lead off the inning, had gone from first to third on Buster Posey's fourth hit of the night, a sharp single to right field that Jayson Werth had to slide to stop from going all the way to the wall. Werth's play probably prevented Huff from scoring all the way from first, but Phillies fielders stood helpless a batter later when Oswalt, pitching on two days rest, couldn't retire Uribe.
Game four was a see-saw affair. San Francisco took an early two-run lead, but the Phillies struck for four runs in the 5th. The Giants came back with a run in the bottom of the 5th and two more in the 6th for a 5-4 lead. Werth tied the game when he delivered Ryan Howard to the plate in the 8th. Both doubled to lead off the inning, but the Phillies could get no more.
Manager Charlie Manuel had both closer Brad Lidge and Oswalt warming up in the 9th and made the choice of Oswalt, a move that will be questioned throughut the baseball universe. Normally a starter, Oswalt had twirled a masterpiece in game two, allowing 3 hits in 8 innings on Sunday night, throwing 111 pitches. Maneul apparently thought he would have good stuff. The results will forever refute his theory.
Giants' catcher Buster Posey continued to blister Philadelphia pitching. His 4-for-5 effort included two doubles and two RBI.
With a 3-1 lead in the series, the Giants have the opportunity to end it at home Thursday night. Game time is 7:57 pm ET. Starting pitchers are Roy Hallady for the Phillies and Tim lincecum for the Giants.