PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 16: Cody Ross #13 of the San Francisco Giants is greeted at home by pitcher Tim Lincecum #55 after Ross hit a fifth inning home run against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game One of the NLCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 16 2010 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

NLCS Game 1: Ross Homers Twice, Giants Bullpen Hangs On For 4-3 Win Over Phillies

Cody Ross belted a pair of solo homers off Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum pitched seven innings, as the San Francisco Giants held off the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-3, in the opener of the National League Championship Series. Check out more at The Good Phight and McCovey Chronicles.

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Cody Ross Homers Twice, Tim Lincecum Strong As Giants Take NLCS Opener From Phillies

Game 1 of the NLCS brought us what looked like the pitching matchup of the year, as Roy Halladay and his no-hitter were going up against Tim Lincecum and his 14-K shutout.

It didn't quite work out that way, but it was every bit as tense.

Powered by a pair of solo home runs by Cody Ross, the Giants scored four runs against Roy Halladay and then held on late for a 4-3 win over the Phillies in Game 1 of the NLCS, with Tim Lincecum getting the win and Brian Wilson getting the save.

The game got off to a very predictable start, as both Halladay and Lincecum worked quickly and effectively in the first couple innings. In the third, though, the Giants got on the board, when right fielder Cody Ross sent a solo home run into the left field seats. It was the first hit and the first run that Halladay allowed in the playoffs.

Ross, slotted eighth in the lineup, was a late-season waiver claim by the Giants, who were simply attempting to block him from going to the Padres.

The Phillies were able to get the run back immediately against Lincecum, as Carlos Ruiz led off the bottom of the third with a solo home run of his own, just clearing the right field wall.

The game remained 1-1 into the fifth, when Ross again stepped up to the plate and again blasted a solo home run to left field. It was his second home run of the game and third of the playoffs, and it made for his first two-homer game since May 23 against the White Sox.

The Phillies and their fans were stunned, and they grew only more stunned in the top of the sixth when the Giants piled on some insurance. Pat Burrell drove in Buster Posey with an RBI double off Raul Ibanez's glove, and Juan Uribe followed with a run-scoring groundball single into center. The Giants took a 4-1 lead, and with Lincecum still on the mound, things were looking good.

Then it all got tense again when Jayson Werth stole the Giants' insurance runs right back. Facing Lincecum, Werth sent a two-run homer the other way to narrow the score to 4-3.

That, though, is where the game would remain. Though Halladay was good in the seventh and the bullpen kept the Giants off the board in the eighth and the ninth, the Phillies hitters couldn't get anything going themselves. They went 1-2-3 against Lincecum in the seventh, and stranded a runner on first in the eighth. In the ninth, against Brian Wilson, Ruiz worked his way on base when he took a fastball off the hand, but Wilson sandwiched the hit batter with three strikeouts for the one-run save.

Lincecum allowed three runs in seven innings, striking out eight along the way. Halladay allowed four runs in seven innings of his own, with seven strikeouts and zero walks. Wilson threw 33 pitches in recording a four-out save.

So all eyes turn to Game 2 on Sunday night, pitting lefty Jonathan Sanchez up against Roy Oswalt. The Giants will look to take a commanding series lead, while the Phillies will look to split at home before flying out west.


Giants Vs. Phillies, NLCS Game 1: Jayson Werth Homer Trims Deficit To One

The Giants picked up two insurance runs against Roy Halladay in the top of the sixth. Those have come in very handy, because Jayson Werth and the Phillies got them right back against Tim Lincecum in the bottom.

With Chase Utley on first and one out, Werth blasted a low fastball the other way, just narrowly clearing the right-center fence. That two-run homer has brought the crowd and the dugout back to life, and we've got a 4-3 ballgame on our hands.

It's close. It's a different kind of close than was expected, but we're in for one tight finish.


Giants Vs. Phillies, NLCS Game 1: Pat Burrell, Juan Uribe Give Giants Critical Insurance

After the Giants took the lead in the fifth on a Cody Ross home run, Tim Lincecum came out and set the Phillies down 1-2-3 in the bottom half. Not content, San Francisco kept the heat on Roy Halladay and added some big insurance runs in the sixth.

With two out and none on, Buster Posey ripped a single to left field. He was followed by Pat Burrell, who got a low inside fastball and drilled it off the glove of a leaping Raul Ibanez, driving Posey home. Up next, Juan Uribe then grounded a single back up the middle to score Burrell from second, and all of a sudden, the Giants are in the lead by three.

It's been something of a stunning game, and if the Phillies want to avoid falling behind in the series, they'll need to strike against Lincecum and a phenomenal power bullpen.

Halladay is at 89 pitches through six innings.


Giants Vs. Phillies, NLCS Game 1: Cody Ross Hits Second Solo Home Run Of The Game

Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum were able to pitch around baserunners in the fourth inning to keep the game 1-1 into the fifth. But that's where Cody Ross was lying in wait, looking to strike again. With one out and none on, Ross got in front of Halladay 2-0 and ripped a low, inside fastball into the left field seats for his second home run in three innings. The Giants' one-run lead is now restored, going into the bottom.

Halladay has thrown 67 pitches through five, with 46 strikes. Ross, meanwhile, is looking like one hell of a waiver claim.


Giants Vs. Phillies, NLCS Game 1: Carlos Ruiz Answers With Solo Home Run Of His Own

The last thing the Phillies wanted to do was fall behind Tim Lincecum and the Giants early, but Cody Ross put them in that position by hitting a solo home run in the third. That lead, though, didn't last very long, as Carlos Ruiz smacked one of his own to lead off the bottom half.

Ruiz got ahead 2-0 against Lincecum and smacked a ball the other way, over the tall right field fence. It wasn't an impressive dinger, although one could argue that any dinger off a guy like Tim Lincecum is impressive by definition.

It's a whole new ballgame in the bottom of the third.


Giants Vs. Phillies, NLCS Game 1: Cody Ross Rips Home Run; First Hit Off Roy Halladay In Playoffs

The Giants claimed outfielder Cody Ross off waivers to block him from getting to the Padres. They didn't seem to have much use for him at the time, but he's certainly made himself useful of late.

After a big NLDS against the Braves, Ross has made an immediate impact in the NLCS. Stepping in against Roy Halladay in the top of the third, Ross rode a 1-1 pitch deep to the left-center seats for a solo home run that put the Giants on top 1-0. It was the first hit, and the first run, that Halladay has allowed so far this postseason.

Halladay wrapped up the rest of the inning and has thrown just 35 pitches through three innings, but, who knows - one run could end up being enough in a game like this.

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