SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 21: Jayson Werth #28 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates a solo homerun against the San Francisco Giants with teammate Jimmy Rollins #11 in the ninth inning of Game Five of the NLCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at AT&T Park on October 21 2010 in San Francisco California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

NLCS Game 5: Phillies Score Early, Hang On For Season-Saving 4-2 Win

Roy Halladay battled through six innings of two-run ball, Jayson Werth added a critical run with a homer, and the bullpen did the job as the Phillies hung on for a 4-2 win over the Giants in Game 5 of the NLCS, forcing a Game 6 and sending the series back to Philadelphia. Check out more at McCovey Chronicles and The Good Phight.

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McCovey Chronicles: Giants Can't Make It Easy For Themselves Or Their Fans

The San Francisco Giants got their cuts in against Roy Halladay and the Phillies Thursday night. They got a couple breaks. They kept pushing and scraping and fighting. But nothing showed from their efforts at the end of the day. They lost 4-2 and now the NLCS heads back to Philadelphia for Game Six.

McCovey Chronicles is used to this kind of torture from their franchise. And so should the rest of the Giants’ fans out there:

The torture would have ended if the Phillies had put up an eight-run inning early and Roy Halladay was at his dominating best. We could have made peace with a loss early, steeling ourselves for a return trip to Philadelphia. That’s not how this season works, though. That wasn’t on the schedule. A quick, tidy, out-in-five series wouldn’t do. Oh, no, no, no. The Giants needed to take us out of our comfort zone because they’re twisted monsters.

Of course, Saturday is going to be a one-run game. You’ll watch it with your your esophagus liquefying and bubbling up and over your tongue along with the rest of your innards. You’ll lose some hair, a year off your life, and probably some self-respect. It’s Giants baseball. You’re in handcuffs, you’re not sure if you’re part of a magic act or some sick freak’s dungeon, and you sure as hell don’t know what the safe word is.


Roy Halladay Good Enough, Phillies Escape With 4-2 Game 5 Win Over Giants

Pushed to the brink of elimination with a Game 4 loss Wednesday night, the Phillies handed the ball to Roy Halladay on Thursday begging for the most he could give. And though Halladay didn't have his best stuff, he left everything he had on the field, and in so doing helped to keep the Phillies' season alive.

Roy Halladay battled through six innings of two-run ball, Jayson Werth added a critical run with a homer, and the bullpen did the job as the Phillies hung on for a 4-2 win over the Giants in Game 5 of the NLCS, forcing a Game 6 and sending the series back to Philadelphia.

In a rematch of Game 1's epic showdown, billed as perhaps the best pitching matchup of the season, neither Halladay nor opponent Tim Lincecum appeared to be at the top of his game Thursday night. It was Halladay who wound up getting the best of it, although he wasn't without his scares.

The Giants managed to strike early and pick up a run in the bottom of the first. After Lincecum set the top of the Phillies order down 1-2-3, Andres Torres drew a leadoff walk, advanced to third on a single by Freddy Sanchez, and scored on a slow grounder by Buster Posey. That gave the home team a quick edge, and the hope was that they'd be able to lean on their ace the rest of the way.

But Lincecum was imperfect himself, and after an easy second, he ran into trouble in the third. Raul Ibanez led off with a base hit, and Carlos Ruiz then got hit on the arm on an 0-2 pitch inside. That put two men on base with nobody out, and Halladay stepped in looking to bunt.

Halladay dropped down a first-pitch bunt to advance the runners. Replays showed that the ball was picked up by Posey in foul territory, and Halladay didn't run out of the batter's box because he knew the ball was foul, but the umpire nevertheless called it a fair ball, and the runners advanced to second and third. Shane Victorino then stood in and ripped a groundball to first that took a funny bounce and bounded off of Aubrey Huff's body and into center field. Two runs scored on the play, putting the Phillies on top 2-1, and Victorino wound up on second base.

Victorino would then score five pitches later, when Placido Polanco smacked a single of his own into center field. Lincecum escaped a jam and got out of the inning, but the damage had been done.

The Giants were soon able to get a run back in the fourth. Pat Burrell lined a one-out double into left field off Halladay, and Cody Ross then fisted a double of his own into right field, just inside the line. That double drove in Burrell and cut the deficit to 3-2.

The inning would end on the basepaths, though, as Pablo Sandoval followed by flying out to right, and Ross was thrown out at third trying to tag up. Jayson Werth threw a strike from right field and Ross was tagged out well in advance of reaching the base.

From that point forward, there wouldn't be any more scoring for a while. Lincecum settled down, retiring 11 in a row, and Halladay worked around a handful of baserunners. In the fifth, Halladay survived men on the corners with two out. In the sixth, he survived men on first and second with two out. His strikeout of Juan Uribe to escape that jam proved to be the final at bat of his evening.

Lincecum got into some hot water in the top of the seventh, putting men on the corners with only one out. Pinch-hitter Ross Gload stepped in looking to give the Phillies some insurance, but his line drive was gloved by Huff at first base, who stepped on the bag for a lineout double play to end the inning. The Phillies had come that close, but they couldn't catch a break.

Fortunately for them, their bullpen held tough. J.C. Romero and Jose Contreras kept the Giants silent in the seventh, and Ryan Madson came out and struck out the side in the eighth, bringing the Phillies three outs away from a critical win.

And it was in the ninth that the Phillies got their insurance. Jayson Werth stepped in to lead off against new reliever Ramon Ramirez, and Werth drove a low fastball the other way, the ball getting some help from the wind and carrying over the tall right field fence. The solo home run pushed the score to 4-2, and everyone in the Philadelphia dugout could breathe a little easier.

Brad Lidge was then called on for the three-out save, and he was able to get it done on just ten pitches, concluding with a strikeout of Travis Ishikawa.

The win went to Halladay, who allowed two runs on six hits over six innings. The loss went to Lincecum, who allowed three runs on four hits in seven.

The Giants remain ahead in the series by a count of three games to two, but the series will now shift back to Philadelphia for the final one or two games. Game 6 is scheduled for Saturday, and will pit Jonathan Sanchez up against Roy Oswalt. Should the Rangers win Game 6 of the ALCS tomorrow, Game 6 of the NLCS will begin at 7:57pm ET. Should the Rangers lose, Game 6 of the NLCS will begin at 3:57pm ET.


Phillies Vs. Giants, NLCS Game 5: Brad Lidge Closes Out Game 5 Win

Brad Lidge has developed something of a reputation for making things uncomfortable, but his ninth inning proved to be a total breeze.

Facing Pablo Sandoval, Lidge induced a lazy fly out on a 1-1 slider. That brought up Juan Uribe, and Uribe grounded an 0-1 fastball to short for a routine 6-3 putout.

Pinch-hitter Travis Ishikawa stood in as the Giants' last hope. He managed to work the longest at bat of the inning, but on a 2-2 count, he swung and missed through a slider over the plate, and just like that, the Phillies had taken Game 5 and forced this series to go back to Philadelphia.

Game 6 will take place Saturday night, matching up Jonathan Sanchez and Roy Oswalt. The Phillies won the first matchup of those two pitchers by a score of 6-1.


Phillies Vs. Giants, NLCS Game 5: Jayson Werth Solo Home Run Provides Critical Insurance

The Phillies probably would've been content to hand a one-run lead over to Brad Lidge in the bottom of the ninth. But they'll be more content to hand over a lead of at least two.

Against righty reliever Ramon Ramirez, Jayson Werth led off and worked his way to a 2-1 count. He then got a fastball over the outer edge of the plate and went with it the other way, lifting a high line drive down the right field line and over the tall wall for a solo home run.

That the ball carried as well as it did took the broadcast booth by surprise, but the wind is blowing about 9mph out to right field and it may have given Werth the necessary amount of lift. The important thing is that the ball cleared by a few rows of seats, and it extended the Phillies' lead to 4-2. It's not exactly a comfortable cushion, but it's a decent one, and the Giants will have Pablo Sandoval, Juan Uribe, and the pitcher's spot due up in the bottom.


Phillies Vs. Giants, NLCS Game 5: Cody Ross Double Cuts Lead In Half

After a shaky third, Tim Lincecum came out and looked much better in the fourth. It took him 14 pitches to work a 1-2-3 inning, striking out Jimmy Rollins and then capping it off with a lineout and a groundout.

That took us to the bottom half, when the Giants were able to mount a miniature rally against Roy Halladay to cut the Phillies' lead in half. With one out, Pat Burrell jumped on an inside fastball and drilled it into left for a double. Two pitches later, Cody Ross fought off another inside fastball and sent this one to right, landing just inside the line. Ross' double brought Burrell home and put the tying run in scoring position.

Unfortunately for the Giants, that's where it would end. Pablo Sandoval flew out to right field, and when Ross tried to tag up from second, Jayson Werth made a perfect through to gun him down at third. Ross made the final out of the inning at third base even though Halladay isn't much of a wild pitch threat, and we're headed for the fifth inning with the score 3-2 Philadelphia.


Phillies Vs. Giants, NLCS Game 5: Tim Lincecum Hit For Three Runs In Third

The Phillies were less than thrilled to fall behind early, but they just battled back and stormed out to the lead, which they'll be ecstatic to hand to Roy Halladay.

Raul Ibanez led off the top of the third with a line drive base hit, and - perhaps as a sign that something was awry - Tim Lincecum then hit Carlos Ruiz on the forearm with a pitch to put two on with none out.

That brought Halladay to the plate looking to bunt, and he got the bunt down to advance the runners. Or rather, he got a bunt down - a foul bunt, just to the right of home plate. But the home plate umpire ruled it fair even though replays showed it was clearly foul, and the runners moved up. Halladay didn't run out of the box because he knew the ball was foul, so he was an easy target at first.

With two in scoring position, Shane Victorino came up and ripped a grounder to first base. Aubrey Huff got into a crouch and prepared to throw home, but the ball took a funny hop off of his body and into the outfield. That error allowed both runners to score and Victorino to move up to second, putting the Phillies on top 2-1.

They weren't finished. Placido Polanco followed with a single into left that scored Victorino and extended the lead to 3-1. And then, with Polanco on the move, Chase Utley hit another single to put men on the corners.

Lincecum, though, was able to bear down, striking out Ryan Howard and then getting Jayson Werth to fly out. That kept it a 3-1 game, even though it could've been worse.

Still, the Phillies are thrilled, and Lincecum's pitch count is up to 53.


Phillies Vs. Giants, NLCS Game 5: Roy Halladay Allows Early Run

After Tim Lincecum turned in a perfect first, the Phillies were looking for the same from their own ace in Roy Halladay. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to do it, and now the visitors will have to play catch up.

Halladay faced Andres Torres to lead off and tried to find the outside corner of the strike zone. He missed too many times and issued a very uncharacteristic walk.


Up next was Freddy Sanchez, and with Torres running, Sanchez lined an 0-1 cutter back into center field for a single that sent Torres all the way to third base. With nobody out, the Giants had the first run of the game just 90 feet away from home plate.

And then Aubrey Huff followed with a line drive that promised to put the Giants in the lead. Ryan Howard, though, made a diving catch to his right to keep the ball from getting down and reaching the outfield.

Yet the lead was established just three pitches later. Facing Buster Posey, Halladay got a grounder to second, but it was hit too softly to turn a double play, and Chase Utley bobbled the ball trying to pick it up anyway. Utley was able to throw out the lead runner, but Posey was safe at first, and Torres scored from third.

That put the Giants up 1-0, and though Pat Burrell struck out to end the frame, the Giants will be more than happy to take what they got.

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