The pitching duel had a third party involved: home plate umpire Derryl Cousins.
Cousins was erratic as Tim Lincecum was able to best Roy Halladay as the Giants took game one of the best-of-seven series, 4-3, Saturday night.
Squeezing both pitchers and hurting batters AB’s on both sides of the plate Cousins made it difficult for both teams, and ultimately cost the Phillies the game.
With San Francisco leading 2-1 in the sixth, Halladay faced Pat Burrell with two outs and a man on second. With an 0-2 count, Cousins called Halladay’s fastball low. The next pitch, Burrell ripped an RBI double off the left field wall to give San Fran a 3-1 lead. The Giants added one more in the inning to make it 4-1.
Jayson Werth’s two-run home run in the bottom of the inning made it a 4-3 game but the Phills could not get any more off of Lincecum and the Giants bull pen. Brian Wilson pitched the last four outs, allowing only a hit and hitting Carlos Ruiz while striking out four.
Halladay was sharp minus the mini meltdown after the blown call. He went seven innings, allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out seven. Lincecum gave up three runs, a solo homer by Ruiz in the third and Werth’s two-run shot, in seven innings of work. He also struck out eight while allowing six hits and three walks.
Ryan Howard struck out three times in the game. In 15 postseason at-bats, Howard has struck out eight times. Jimmy Rollins is also now 1-for-16 in the playoffs. It may not be a bad idea to give Wilson Valdez a start if Rollins’ struggles persist.
It was another poor offensive performance tonight for the Phils, who despite hitting two home runs and four extra base hits, struck out 13 times.
They went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. That’s a huge spot to go 0-for but the bigger problem was a lack of getting guys in scoring position rather than not doing anything with them there.
2B: Howard, Polanco. HR: Ruiz, Werth.
WP: Lincecum. LP: Halladay. S: B. Wilson.
The Phillies will put Roy Oswalt on the mound tomorrow against the Giants. For San Francisco, Jonathan Sanchez will take the hill. Game time is 8:00 PM tomorrow on FOX. Yes, folks, four more hours of listening to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.