Roy Oswalt led off his first start of the NLCS with a better result than against the Reds. Striking out Andres Torres on high heat, Roy followed by inducing a ground ball for Freddy Sanchez and an Aubrey Huff fly ball that found the glove of Raul Ibanez. Ten pitches, one inning. More of this to come.
The Phillies night against Jonathan Sanchez began with Shane Victorino striking out looking. To which the worldly Tim McCarver said: “That’s what happens when you get behind a guy who is wild, you get down 0-2 and then he threads the needle.” I don’t derive any meaning from this. Chase Utley took one of Sanchez’s trademark walks, then spit in the mouth of Tim McCarver bragging about Sanchez’s slide step and stole second off him. With Utley in scoring position, Polanco pulled the ball to platooning Mike Fontenot, whose throw pulled Aubrey Huff off the bag, allowing Polanco to take first and Utley escaping to third.
What the Phillies failed to do yesterday, convert with runners on base, is what Ryan Howard tried to do with runners at the corners with one down. Mediocre numbers for his career against Sanchez, Howard managed to get the count even at 2-2. He held off on a dirty slider low and away to make it full, then took a walk on a bouncer. Bases loaded and 22 pitches in, a mound visit followed before Sanchez pitched to Jayson Werth.
Sanchez got worth down 0-2 and Dan Iassogna rang him up on a letter-high curveball to the displeasure of everyone in the Delaware Valley area. A tundra-cold Jimmy Rollins stepped up with two down and the bases packed, prepared to give either team a huge boost depending on the outcome. Up in the count 3-1, Sanchez painted the inside corner with a riding-in fastball that was called a ball by Iassogna and allowed Utley to score the first run of the game. An Ibanez strikeout ended the rally. 35 pitches for Sanchez. He’s on pace for 315 pitches for a complete game.