One Giant Leap: Giants Beat Phillies, 3-2, To Advance To World Series

Thanks to Juan Uribe's home run and an otherworldly performance from the bullpen, the Giants are headed to the World Series. Yes, friends, it's going to be a Rangers-Giants series. We didn't expect it, and we're going to love it. Check out more at McCovey Chronicles and The Good Phight.

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Giants Beat Phillies 3-2, To Return To World Series

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Juan Uribe belted the go-ahead solo homer off Ryan Madson with two outs in the eighth inning, and the San Francisco Giants secured their first trip to the World Series since 2002 with a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Giants were able to eliminate the two-time defending National League champions in six NLCS games despite lifting starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez after two-plus innings.

San Francisco will open the World Series at home against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday. The Rangers, who eliminated the 2009 World Series champion New York Yankees in six games of the ALCS, will make their maiden voyage to the Fall Classic.

Uribe, who hit the game-winning sacrifice fly in the ninth inning of a 6-5 victory in Game 4, sent Madson's first offering over the scoreboard wall in right field.

Five other San Francisco pitchers, including Tim Lincecum making his second- ever relief appearance, shut down the Phillies the rest of the way. Brian Wilson entered with one out in the eighth after Lincecum gave up consecutive singles to Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez. Carlos Ruiz then lined out to first baseman Aubrey Huff, who threw to shortstop Edgar Renteria to complete the double play.

Wilson walked Jimmy Rollins with one out in the ninth, but he was forced out at second on Placido Polanco's grounder. Chase Utley walked on a 3-1 outside pitch. Ryan Howard, who didn't have an RBI in the entire series, struck out looking on a 3-2 pitch, and the Giants celebrated in the infield.

Since moving to San Francisco in 1958, the Giants have gone 0-3 in three trips to the World Series, with the most recent visit coming eight years ago when they lost in seven games to the Angels.

San Francisco, which beat Atlanta in the NLDS, has posted six one-run wins this postseason.

The Phillies, who were trying to become the first NL team to advance to three straight World Series since the 1942-44 St. Louis Cardinals. staved off elimination with a Game 5 win in San Francisco on Thursday, but couldn't make the most of their opportunities Saturday. They went 2-for-11 with men in scoring position and left 11 runners on base. The Phillies hit .216 in the series.

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Giants 3, Phillies 2: Brian Wilson Shuts Down Phillies, Sends Giants To World Series

It was fitting that Brian Wilson, one of the most beloved personalities in San Francisco, would be the one to shut the door on the Phillies and send the Giants to the World Series.

After allowing a runner in scoring position, Wilson froze Ryan Howard on a called third strike in Philadelphia to record the save.

This Giants team was one that had to clinch a postseason berth on the final day of the season, and spent a good chunk of the season looking up at the Padres in the N.L. West. As is often the case these days with World Series teams, the baseball world did not expect them to get there.

And yet, here they will be. Tonight, it happened because of a bullpen that refused to budge even when it was forced to work six innings, a home run from a slumping hitter, and a cold-blooded performance from their bearded closer.

Now they face the Texas Rangers in the 2010 World Series. I doubt that any baseball fan predicted a Rangers-Giants World Series, but I think I speak for most of us when I say that we're delighted to see it.

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Giants Vs. Phillies, NLCS Game 6: Brian Wilson Enters, Gets Giants Out Of Jam

In the bottom of the 8th of Game 6, the Phillies looked ready to erase the deficit created minutes ago by the Giants' Juan Uribe and his solo home run. Down 3-2, Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez were on second and first, respectively, with one out. And they did this off Tim Lincecum, the Giants' ace and postseason hero, who was coming off short rest in an unfamiliar relief position.

Brian Wilson, the Giants' everyday closer, entered in his stead to elicit an inning-ending double play from Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz struck the ball well, but it fell right into Aubrey Huff's glove, and Victorino was doubled off.

The Giants are now only three outs away from the National League title. Stay tuned to this StoryStream for details.

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Giants Vs. Phillies, NLCS Game 6: Juan Uribe's Solo Home Run Puts Giants Ahead, 3-2

For four and a half innings, Game 6 of the NLCS was locked in a 2-2 tie. It is no longer, thanks to Juan Uribe's solo home run that just managed to clear the right-field fence.

Uribe's homer, off Ryan Madsen, has brought the Giants into a 3-2 lead, and only six outs from a trip to the World Series. If the score holds, it would be courtesy of an unlikely source, as Uribe is only 2-for-25 in the 2010 postseason. Not counted in that 2-for-25, of course, is the sacrifice fly that helped deliver a win for the Giants in Game 4 of this series.

The Giants are separated from a World Series appearance by only a few outs. Stay tuned to this StoryStream for further updates.

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Giants Vs. Phillies, NLCS Game 6: Roy Oswalt Exits After Six Solid Innings

Roy Oswalt gave up a total of nine hits over only six innings in Game 6, but he managed to spread them out well enough to only surrender one earned run. He struck out five without issuing a single walk.

Though Oswalt is accustomed to going deeper into a ballgame, especially with the score knotted at 2, his pitch count had reached 99 by the end. His most impressive pitch may have come in his final inning, when he struck out Pat Burrell with a filthy 12-6 curve.

Ryan Madsen is now pitching the top of the seventh in relief of Oswalt. The game is still tied, 2-2. Stay tuned to this StoryStream for further updates.

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Giants Vs. Phillies, NLCS Game 6: Madison Bumgarner Escapes Bases-Loaded Jam

The early exit of starter Jonathan Sanchez placed the Giants' bullpen in a precarious position, but so far, their relievers are delivering -- even if their job description says they're starters.

After Jeremy Affeldt pitched two perfect innings, Madison Bumgarner pitched the bottom of the fifth against the Phillies. He ran into trouble after one out, giving up a single to Jimmy Rollins and a double to Ryan Howard.

With two out, Jayson Werth was intentionally walked, and Bumgarner was able to elicit a ground ball to the mound from Shane Victorino to escape the bases-loaded jam. It was Bumgarner's first relief appearance of 2010.

In the top of the sixth, the game is still tied, 2-2. Stay tuned to this StoryStream for further updates.

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Giants Vs. Phillies, NLCS Game 6: Jeremy Affeldt Cruising In Relief Of Jonathan Sanchez

Following the removal of starter Jonathan Sanchez in the top of the third inning with two men on, the Giants were in a very precarious situation. Jeremy Affeldt, though, has eased all worries for the time being.

Affeldt, who hasn't pitched for longer than one inning since June 24, has promptly relieved the first six batters he's faced. He does have previous postseason experience -- he pitched a total of three-plus scoreless innings for the Rockies in the 2007 World Series.

In the top of the fifth, the game is still tied at two apiece. Stay tuned to this StoryStream for further updates.

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Giants Vs. Phillies, NLCS Game 6: Jonathan Sanchez Removed From Game After Shouting Match With Chase Utley

Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez has been removed from Game 6 after only two-plus innings, but at least they were interesting. Following Sanchez's baserunning gaffe in the top of the third, he walked the Phillies' Placido Polanco to open the bottom of the third, then -- inadvertently, it would appear -- hit Chase Utley.

While trotting to first, Utley scooped up the ball he had been hit with and flipped it in Sanchez's direction. Sanchez clearly took offense to this, as he began shouting at Utley. From first, Utley waved at him dismissively, and both the Giants' and Phillies' benches emptied.

Giantsphilliesbench_medium

UPDATE: Here is video, albeit shaky video, of the incident:

The incident didn't give way to violence, and nobody was ejected, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy elected to take the errant and emotional Sanchez out of the game. In fact, as FanHouse's Jeff Fletcher notes, the decision had already been made to remove Sanchez:

Bochy had left the dugout to take out Sanchez BEFORE the fight started, btw. I was watching.

In to relieve him is Jeremy Affeldt, who promptly retired the Phillies' side. We're headed to the top of the fourth, tied 2-2. Stay tuned to this StoryStream for further updates.

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Giants Vs. Phillies, NLCS Game 6: Giants Tie Game Thanks To Aubrey Huff, Error

In an error-filled top of the third, the Giants managed to knot up Game 6 at two apiece. Pitcher Jonathan Sanchez led off the inning with a single. Andres Torres followed up with a rope to center field. Torres seemed to have been able to stretch it into a double, but Sanchez halted at second base. Torres, in fact, nearly ran right into the stationary Sanchez.

Freddy Sanchez then managed to sacrifice the runners to second and third, and a subsequent Aubrey Huff single sent Jonathan Sanchez home. Andres Torres, attempting to score from second, was thrown out at the plate.

The next at-bat saw another gaffe, this time from the Phillies' Ryan Howard. Buster Posey was hit by the ball while running through first and declared safe, allowing Huff to score. Pat Burrell then flied out to end the inning.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for further updates.

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Giants Vs. Phillies, NLCS Game 6: Chase Utley, Phils Get To Jonathan Sanchez Early

Facing his first batter of Game 6, Phillies starter Roy Oswalt gave up a leadoff single to the Giants' Andres Torres, but then managed back-to-back strikeouts and elicited a popout from Buster Posey to end the inning.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Giants' Jonathan Sanchez ran into trouble immediately. Sanchez, who has made a habit in 2010 of pitching well early in games, gave up a walk to Shane Victorino, who advanced to second on a subsequent wild pitch. Chase Utley, who had only hit .158 through the first five games of the NLCS, doubled to drive in Victorino.

A Ryan Howard single brought runners to the corners. The next batter, Jayson Werth, drove a ball that landed mere feet from the fence, and was good enough to drive in Utley. In a win-or-stay-home Game 6, the Phillies ended the first inning at Citizens Bank Park with a 2-0 lead.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for further updates.

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NLCS Game 6: Pablo Sandoval Absent From Giants Starting Lineup

After going 1-4 in Game 5, Pablo Sandoval has been removed from the Giants' starting lineup in Game 6. Taking his place at third base will be Juan Uribe, while Edgar Renteria slides back in at shortstop. Other than that, it's the usual assortment of names as San Francisco eyes another trip to the Fall Classic.

Andres Torres, CF
Freddy Sanchez, 2B
Aubrey Huff, 1B
Buster Posey, C
Pat Burrell, LF
Cody Ross, RF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Edgar Renteria, SS
Jonathan Sanchez, SP

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NLCS Game 6: Jimmy Rollins Leadoff In Phillies Starting Lineup

There's not much change in personnel for the Phillies' lineup in Game 6, but there's some change in order. Shane Victorino has been bumped down to the #6 slot, while Jimmy Rollins is up and batting leadoff in front of Placido Polanco.

Also worth noting is that, despite the left-handed Jonathan Sanchez taking the mound for the Giants, Charlie Manuel has elected to start the left-handed Raul Ibanez over the right-handed Ben Francisco.

Jimmy Rollins, SS
Placido Polanco, 3B
Chase Utley, 2B
Ryan Howard, 1B
Jayson Werth, RF
Shane Victorino, CF
Raul Ibanez, LF
Carlos Ruiz, C
Roy Oswalt, SP

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Giants Vs. Phillies, NLCS Game 6: Jonathan Sanchez Looks To Send San Francisco To The World Series

(Sports Network) - The San Francisco Giants once again try to lock down their first World Series appearance in eight years this evening when they play Game 6 of the National League Championship Series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

The Giants wasted a golden opportunity to seal this series at home and capture the team's fourth pennant since moving to San Francisco in 1958 with a loss in Game 5 on Thursday.

Now the set shifts back to Philadelphia, where the Phillies have an edge with Roy Oswalt and potentially Cole Hamels going for them, as the club continues its quest to become the National League's first team to advance to three straight World Series since the 1942-44 St. Louis Cardinals.

Up first for the Phils will be Oswalt, who lost Game 4 in relief, but held the Giants to just a run and three hits in eight innings last Sunday to get his first win of this postseason. He also fanned nine in the victory.

The loss out of the bullpen on Wednesday was Oswalt's first in 11 career postseason appearances. He fell to 5-1 with a 3.58 ERA in nine playoff starts and two relief appearances and is 3-1 with a 2.91 ERA in the NLCS.

"Numbers, to me, [are] no big deal," said Oswalt. "I didn't want to get the loss for sure. But you never know what you're going to get back here. So that's one of the reasons I want to be in the game the other night. I don't know how much longer I'm going to play. But may not get to this spot again. So I'm going to try to do everything possible to get to that final game. "

Oswalt is also 10-0 in 12 starts in Philadelphia, including two outings in these playoffs.

While Oswalt will be trying to get the Phillies to a seventh game, San Francisco will rely on left-hander Jonathan Sanchez to get them to the World Series for the first time since the team lost in seven games to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2002.

Sanchez has had a pretty decent track record against the Phillies, but was on the wrong end of the Game 2 loss to Oswalt, as he allowed three runs (two earned) and five hits and struck out seven in six innings last Sunday. Prior to that loss, though, he had been 3-1 lifetime against the Phillies with a 2.86 ERA in nine games (five starts).

"It's been a pleasure to watch Johnny grow as a pitcher." Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of his Game 6 starter. "And we've always known that Johnny has the equipment to have success up here. And earlier he was his own worst enemy. But his growth as a pitcher this year has really been fun to watch."

Philadelphia kept the Giants' champagne on ice on Thursday, as Roy Halladay pitched through a groin pull and lasted six effective innings and the Phillies remained alive in the postseason with a 4-2 win.

The Phillies took advantage of a crucial error from Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff during a wild three-run third inning and Jayson Werth clubbed an insurance homer off Ramon Ramirez in the ninth to account for the scoring.

Halladay (2-1) won the Game 1 rematch with Tim Lincecum by allowing six hits and two runs, while walking two and fanning five batters. Brad Lidge retired the side in order in the ninth for his first save of this series.

After the game, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel disclosed Halladay suffered a mild right groin pull in the first two innings.

"He was determined he was going to stay in there," Manuel said. "He wasn't going to let us take him out."

Lincecum (2-1), who helped the Giants to a 4-3 series-opening victory, was lifted after surrendering four hits and three runs -- two earned -- over seven frames. The two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner walked one batter and fanned seven.

However, even with the Phillies' victory on Thursday, history is still on the side of the Giants. This is the 17th time that an NLCS stands at 3-2 since the series became a best-of-seven in 1985. Eleven of the prior 16 series were won by the team that led after five games, but half of those series went the full seven games.

The Phillies split their six matchups with the Giants this season and since the start of the 2000 campaign, the teams are 36-36 against one another in the regular season.

Despite both teams being original NL franchises, this is the first-ever postseason matchup between the two.

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