Around the greater Philadelphia metro area this week, NLCS Game 1 at Citizens Bank Park was not something to be overly concerned about. Kind of like a routine visit to the doctor. So Philly fans bought their five foot long cheese steaks, grabbed a few cases of Rolling Rock lite, and prepared to watch Doctor Roy Halladay practicing from the mound in game one, surgically disecting the San Francisco Giants.
Only the patient did not cooperate. Cody Ross rose from the table and started chasing people around, including the good doctor. And what a scarey sight it was for the Philly faithful to see the living dead coming after them and their cheese steaks. Not only did Ross hit two home runs from the 8 spot in the line-up, left fielder Pat Burrell had two hits and knocked in a run, and shortstop Juan Uribe also contributed an RBI.
Oh, and Giants ace Tim Lincecum pitched his heart out, going seven innings, giving up three runs, and striking out eight batters in a 4-3 win.
Lincecum brought his own medical condition to the mound: a previously developed a blister on his pitching hand, probably from overworking his new slider in Game 1 of the NLDS on October 7th. So the Giants ace relied early and often on his change-up, and that pitch was absolutely deadly the first six innings as the Phillies' celebrated offense could not find the hitting zone against the two time CY Young Award winner. In the 7th, Lincecum found his fastball just in time to finish his stint with a three up and three down frame. Closer Brian Wilson threw a four out save, and Philadelphia batters ended up with a total of 13 strikeouts on the night.
But it was Cody who again climbed the tower and stood on top of the world in his second post season series. Ross positively rocked the Phillies and their confident fans by lighting up the night at Citizens Bank Park with two long balls off the invincible Roy Halladay. The dynamic right fielder has provided almost all the post season offensive fireworks for the Giants, a streaky hitter hitting a streak at just the right time.
After the game, Philadelphia Manager Charlie Manuel appeared to be aware of what occurred earlier on the field, and at the same time showed off his impressive knowledge of Major League Baseball rules. "I don't think we can do nothing to bring this game back tonight," stated Manuel to the gathered media. "It's a loss."
And so it was. Game one of the National League Championship Series went to the San Francisco Giants 4-3, as they continue walking a torturous tightrope in their unbelievable quest to win the 2010 World Series.