Time: 7:57pm ET
Series: 3-1 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
Against the presumptive World Series favorites, the Giants have gone and put themselves in an unthinkable position. They beat Roy Halladay. They beat Cole Hamels. And, in a way, they beat Roy Oswalt, as he got the loss out of the bullpen in Game 4. They could still have to deal with all of the Phillies' pitching, but now they'll face the aces and only have to win once. Why not do it on home field? If you're the Phillies, you at least have to have confidence in the fact that you've got your starters lined up, but at the same time, if you're the Giants, there's no situation you want more than being able to hand the ball to Tim Lincecum at home with a chance to clinch a berth in the World Series. The door's open. They just need to walk through.
(1) Back in Game 1, the Giants had three big hits against Roy Halladay - Cody Ross' first homer, Cody Ross' second homer, and Pat Burrell's double. All three of those hits came on low, inside fastballs. That was about the only hard contact Halladay allowed all game, so it'll be interesting to see how often he goes to that pitch against righties in Game 5, as opposed to throwing, say, a cutter over the outer half. What the Giants have demonstrated in this series is that they're capable of hitting the low heat, and that's Halladay's bread and butter. Halladay will still have the edge, because, after all, he's Roy Halladay, but the Giants have beaten him once, and we'll see how he adjusts. Maybe no more inside fastballs to Cody Ross.
(2) Tim Lincecum, meanwhile, had kind of an opposite issue as Halladay. While Halladay got beat on inside fastballs that got pulled to left, Lincecum allowed a pair of home runs that flew to the opposite field. Thing is, those home runs barely got out of the park, and San Francisco's quite a bit deeper than Philadelphia. Neither of those fly balls would've left the yard at AT&T. So while Halladay may have some adjustments to make, I'm not sure that Lincecum does. He has that dynamite change and curve to neutralize lefties, and if he stays away from righties, they'll have a hell of a time trying to drive the ball out to right or right-center. If Lincecum has a feel for his change early, and if he's able to spot it down and away from lefties, he's going to have a long start.
(3) We don't yet know who's going to be starting at third base for the Giants in Game 5. It could be Juan Uribe. It could be Pablo Sandoval. Less likely, it could be Mike Fontenot. Chances are, it'll be one of the first two. And given that runs will be at a premium and how important it will be to get off to a good start, I wonder if it might not be a good idea for the Phillies - specifically Victorino and Rollins - to try and drop a bunt down the line. Both Uribe and Sandoval move better than you'd figure based on their physiques, but they aren't exactly kittens, and it's possible the Phillies' speedsters could take advantage. You need to get runners against Lincecum however you can, and it has to be worth a try.