Roy Oswalt, Jimmy Rollins help Phillies even up NLCS

Philadelphia Phillies all-star pitcher Roy Oswalt delivers a pitch during first inning San Francisco Giants-Philadelphia Phillies NLCS Championship game two at Citizens Bank Park October 17, 2010.  .  UPI/John Anderson Photo via Newscom

And that’s why you pony up for a veteran starter like Roy Oswalt when he’s available via trade.

Oswalt was brilliant in Game 2 of the NLCS on Sunday night, striking out nine batters over 8 innings while allowing just one run on three hits in the Phillies’ 6-1 win over the Giants. His only blemish came in the 5th inning when Cody Ross took him deep to tie the game at, 1-1. But Oswalt has nothing to be ashamed of there, because Ross has proved this postseason that he’s the greatest baseball player ever to have walked the face of the earth. (The home run off Oswalt was his fourth in the playoffs and his third in back-to-back nights in Philadelphia.)

It was also a great night for shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who has struggled mightily at the plate of late. In the seventh inning, he drove in three runs on a double to deep right off Giants’ reliever Sergio Castillo, who was trying to mop up the mess left by starter Jonathan Sanchez (who allowed Oswalt to reach on a base hit) and Ramon Ramirez (who gave up a single to Placido Polanco, which scored Oswalt to give Philly a 3-1 lead). Rollins’ double scored Chase Utley (who had been intentionally walked), Polanco and Jayson Werth (also intentionally walked) to essentially put the game out of reach at, 6-1.

For everyone but Ross, it was a night to forget for the Giants, who seemed rather content with taking Game 1 of the series and heading back to San Francisco after earning a split. Granted, that’s what road teams are supposed to do in a seven-game series and the loss certainly doesn’t diminish what the Giants did on Saturday. But they had a huge opportunity to put the Phillies in a hole and instead they came out rather flat. Even Ross’ home run was short lived as Sanchez gave up a run in the bottom half of the inning.

It’ll be interesting to see if Bruce Bochy makes any changes to his lineup for Game 3. Pablo Sandoval drew a walk in the top of the 8th after coming in to replace Mike Fontenot in a double switch in the bottom of the 7th. Maybe it’s time to give Sandoval a start to see if he can’t shake out of his season-long funk and provide the Giants’ offense with a spark. Andres Torres is a huge reason why San Fran is still playing right now, but he looks completely overmatched at the plate and the Giants don’t lose anything with Aaron Rowand in the outfield. Rowand has been brutal at the plate this year, but he has postseason experience (he won a World Series with the White Sox earlier this decade) and would be motivated to beat his former team. (The only problem is that if you bench Torres, the Giants don’t have a true leadoff hitter.)

Now isn’t the time to panic, but the Giants need more offense. Matt Cain will oppose Cole Hamels in Game 3 on Tuesday afternoon.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Related Posts

One response to “Roy Oswalt, Jimmy Rollins help Phillies even up NLCS”

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>