Time: 8:19pm ET
Starting Pitchers: LHP Jonathan Sanchez vs. RHP Roy Oswalt
Series: 1-0 San Francisco
TV Announcers: Joe Buck and Tim McCarver
Radio: ESPN Radio
Radio Announcers: Dan Shulman and Dave Campbell
Umpires: Derryl Cousins, Tom Hallion, Wally Bell, Ted Barrett,, Dan Iassonga
MLB.com Gameday: Link
Game 1 of the NLCS didn't exactly turn out as the pitcher's duel of the century, as Roy Halladay allowed four runs, while Tim Lincecum allowed three. However, the game was still close, and the Giants ended up with their fifth one-run game out of five so far in the playoffs. And the Giants, of course, ended up on top. The Phillies are now in a position they didn't expect to be in after seeing Halladay get a loss, but the whole advantage of having such a deep rotation of aces is that it isn't so much the first guy that makes you better. It's the second guy, and the third guy. The Phillies are through Halladay, but now they get to turn to Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels. Oswalt'll go in Game 2 as the Phillies lean on their strength to get back into the series.
(1) The Giants had all kinds of trouble hitting Derek Lowe in the NLDS, but their bats showed up and pushed four across against Roy Halladay in Game 1. Why? It's impossible to say exactly why they were so successful, but one explanation could be that Lowe gave them fits by throwing a lot of pitches out of the zone, while Halladay stayed around the plate. If that's the case, then good news for them - Roy Oswalt likes to stay around the plate, too, and doesn't often bury pitches low unless he's way ahead in the count. There'll be an opportunity for the Giants to take some aggressive swings, and they're in a small enough ballpark that they could send a few more into the bleachers.
(2) A Sanchez start goes a lot like a Brian Wilson relief appearance - lots of balls, lots of deep counts, and lots of strikeouts. The Phillies are going to need to be at their batter's eye best early in counts. They need to be prepared to swing at the first pitch if it's in the strike zone, and they need to be prepared to lay off if it's not, because Sanchez is absolute murder when he gets ahead 0-1, and he struggles quite a bit after falling behind 1-0. This, of course, applies to most any pitcher, but Sanchez throws so few pitches to hit that the Phillies will need to seize the ones they get, and force him to throw as many as they can. Sanchez doesn't like to come well into the zone if he doesn't have to.
(3) Brian Wilson threw 33 high-leverage pitches in Game 1, and combined with his warmup, he got quite the workout. It's possible that he'll be a little below 100% when the later innings of Game 2 roll around. However, the Phillies weren't able to get Santiago Casilla or Sergio Romo into the first game, and they should be totally fresh and ready to pick up critical late outs if need be. This is one of the advantages of having a dynamite ace in Game 1. He doesn't only set you up to win the first game; ideally, he helps keep the bullpen fresh to improve your odds of winning the second game, as well. The Phillies are kind of in a similar boat, as they used Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson, but didn't use Jose Contreras. It's worth noting that Oswalt went at least 7 innings in 20 of his 34 starts. Sanchez has gone at least 7 innings in 12 of his 34.