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Through Eight, Phillies Lead By Five

It’s really as simple as this: put guys on base, and the pitchers will be forced to throw strikes. Once that happens, you can square up on a fastball and make some solid contact. That’s what happened with the previously frigid Jimmy Rollins. For the second time tonight, he came up with the bases loaded and got a fastball over the middle of the plate and crushed it. If he and Shane, who doubled and scored earlier tonight, can get hot (or even lukewarm), Giants pitchers will have to throw strikes to Utley/Howard/Werth/Ibanez and the lineup will be that much more dangerous.

Roy Oswalt, a dangerous hitter in his own right, went a full eight innings, giving up one home run to Cody Ross and two other hits, three walks, and nine strikeouts. All this in just 111 pitches. His fastball had tons of life to it, the back-end kept falling out of the curveball, and he varied his spots enough to keep hitters guessing. Clinical stuff from Roy, worlds better than against the Reds.

Candidates to pitch the ninth: Anyone but Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge.

6-1 Phillies.

Update: It's Madson. Erg.