Saturday, October 23, 2010

Giants vs. Phillies Game Six - Eternal Hope Struggles Against the Lessons of History

It was never a realistic hope to close out the series in San Francisco.  The hope was there, certainly, but it was a hope driven by a general lack of confidence.  If they could just pull out that one last win at home, there would be no return to Philadelphia, no desperate need to win one out of two, no looming fear of watching it all slip away.

The Giants are not that good a baseball team.  The Phillies are.  The Phillies have been to the World Series the last two years, while the Giants set tee times and took their kids on vacation.  The Giants have the pitching, but they don't have the bats.  The Phillies have both, in abundance.  The Giants had to massively overachieve just to get to where they are, while the Phillies had to underachieve to find themselves on the brink of elimination.

Game 6.  Sanchez vs. Oswalt.  But that's not the real matchup.  Oh, if the Giants are to have any chance at all, Jonathan Sanchez will have to be great, putting up zeros and keeping his pitch count low.  But this is going to be all about the Giants hitters.  The size of their hearts, their ability to get good pitches from Oswalt and not miss them when they do.  This is about Torres, Huff, Burrell and Uribe.  Freddie Sanchez and Buster Posey we know about - but if they once again are asked to serve in the role (along with the inexplicable Cody Ross) of the Giants offense, we'll be having this same conversation again tomorrow before a Game 7 with all the momentum in the Phillies dugout.

Certainly, the Giants fan can take hope from the last time they faced Roy Oswalt.  With Lidge and the rest of the Phillies bullpen regulars sitting and watching, Oswalt demanded the ball from Charley Manuel, and went out and quickly and efficiently lost the game.  An optimist would say that now, not only is Oswalt left to question his ability to get the Giants out when it matters most, but the rest of the Phillies relief corps is left wondering why the manager has so little confidence in them he left them on the bench and rolled his number 2 starter out there in the ninth.

But that's what we're presented with today.  Sure, it could be a blowout, either way.  Heaven knows we're due for one in this grinding, torturous low scoring series.  And if it is, well, so be it.  More likely, the pitching will be great once again.  And that's when it will come down to beating the Phillies the only way there is to win baseball games in the real world:  By scoring more runs than they do.


  1. Oh ye of little faith!

    Y'all will probably get the final, victorious game of the Series at home, though.

    WV: deadspa. Exfoliate me 'til there's nothing left to slough off my bones.