This has become a very heated rivalry in baseball despite the two teams playing on opposite sides of the country.
It all started last October in Game 3. The two culprits were Chase Utley and Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez. Now let’s fast forward tonight.
It was the first time the Phils saw Sanchez since Game 3 of the NLCS. It was also the first time Utley has seen him since he tossed the baseball to Sanchez very sarcastically after being plunked in that game.
It was going to go either two ways: Sanchez bounces back after missing almost 50 days due to injury to shut down the Phils or he and the Giants get roughed up and frustrated in a Phillies laugher.
It started out in Sanchez’s favor, not allowing a hit until Vance Worley’s two-out single in the 3rd. But it was all down hill from there on as the Phils clobbered Sanchez and beat the Giants, 9-2.
The Phils exploded for four runs in the 4th inning. With San Francisco up 1-0, Shane Victorino tied up the game with a solo jack to right field. He has been destroying left-handed hitting, hitting .356 average/.472 OBP/.699 slugging in 90 plate appearances heading into tonight’s game. He finished 2-for-3 with a homer.
The Phils then took the 2-1 lead when Raul Ibanez drove in Utley on a ground out for the second out. Then John Mayberry let his bat do the talking, booming a full-count fast ball from Sanchez into the left field tunnel for a two-run homer and 4-1 lead for the Phils.
They added another run in the 5th on an RBI single by Placido Polanco, making it a 5-1 game.
That was enough support for Vance Worley, who was strong through seven innings. He allowed two runs on seven hits and a walk, including a solo home run to Eli Whiteside in the 5th. He also sat down six Giants by way of strike out, capping off another dominating performance.
But the Phils weren’t done in the 6th. Jimmy Rollins’ two-run single in front of his visiting family from Oakland highlighted a three-run inning. He finished the day with a couple RBIs and two stolen bases.
But the inning was mired by a brawl [video here]. This time, the culprits were Shane Victorino and Giants reliever Ramon Ramirez. Ramirez plunked Victorino to load the bases. But instead of walking to first, Victorino walked towards Ramirez and slowed up. But it got interesting when Whiteside started bouncing around Victorino like he was a boxer, turned and then attempted to tackled Polanco, who was walking towards the plate. The benches cleared and a lot of pushing and shoving ensued, including Victorino steamrolling a Giant in the pile.
In the end, Victorino, Whiteside and Ramirez were tossed from the game. Hunter Pence responded the next inning with a lead-off homer to make it 9-2 and all was restored in the Phillies world.
HR: Victorino (11), Mayberry (9), Pence (13).
WP: Worley (8-1). LP: Sanchez (4-6).