It’s always a tough pill to swallow. Brad Lidge knows it and now Ryan Madson knows it.
Juan Uribe took Madson deep with two outs in the eighth inning to make it a 3-2 game. Then San Francisco’s bull pen held the lead to give the Giants their first trip to the Fall Classic since 2002 when they lost to the then Anaheim Angels in seven games.
It was the end to a weird season for the Phillies, who battled injuries and an ugly offensive slump and rode a ridiculous September to earn a fourth straight NL East title and the best record in baseball.
The Giants went to game one and five starter, Tim Lincecum, as the set-up man for closer Brian Wilson. But after striking out Werth, Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez hit back-to-back singles to chase Lincecum and force Wilson to have to make a five-out save.
After two pitches to Carlos Ruiz, Wilson got him to line out to Aubrey Huff, who flipped to second to get Victorino to end the scoring threat.
Ross Gload led-off the top of the ninth with a ground out. Rollins then worked a full count walk to bring up Placido Polanco with one out. Polanco then hit a grounder to Uribe who flipped to second but couldn’t get the double play turned.
It all came down to Chase Utley. Wilson pitched around him to get to Ryan Howard, who had not driven in a run the entire post season after having 17 last year.
With the count full, Howard looked at a pitch at the knees for strike three to end the Phillies season.
Roy Oswalt pitched an admirable game, allowing two runs, one earned, on nine hits and five strike outs in six innings of work.
The Phillies chased Jonathan Sanchez after two-plus innings. Sanchez was rattled early, giving up two runs in the first and putting batters on again in the third.
In the first, the Phils got runs from a Utley RBI double and a sacrifice fly from Werth to give them an early 2-0 lead. But the Giants got those runs back in the top of third thanks to some small hits and a Polanco error.
After walking Polanco to lead off the third, Sanchez hit Utley with a pitch. As Utley was jogging down the first base line, he picked up the ball and flipped it back to Sanchez. Sanchez didn’t like it, starting yelling at Utley and both teams’ benches cleared.
The Giants pulled Sanchez after that and let their bull pen pitch six scoreless innings to earn them the win as they represent the NL in the World Series.
2B: Utley (1), Ibanez (1).
WP: J. Lopez. LP: Madson. S: Wilson.