There are gutsy postseason players, and then there’s Roy Halladay, whose performance in Game Five of the National League Championship Series – all on a balky groin – helped push the Phillies past the Giants and the series back to Philadelphia.
His outing, which saw him give up two earned over six, never had the look and feel of a typical Doc start (that is to say, he didn’t dominate the hitters), but was good enough to keep the Giants’ bats at bay, while the offense put up just enough runs to avoid the series loss.
According to Todd Zolecki, Doc felt the pull in the second inning, but was able to gut it out the rest of the way. It certainly explains his lack of velocity, command, and perennial dominance that is normally on display during one of his starts.
But The Ace gutted it out over six innings and ended with a flourish, as he struck out two in the sixth inning to stymie a Giants rally.
The Phillies’ offense, which showed signs of life during Game Four, came alive in the third inning against Tim Lincecum, wen they strung together three hits to score three runs, with the big blows coming on a two-run error from Aubrey Huff, followed by an RBI single from Placido Polanco to make it a 3-1 Phillies lead. Jayson Werth added a huge insurance run in the top of the ninth when he blasted a solo shot over the high wall in right field.
The Giants would add another run to the line of Halladay, but were held in check for the rest of the night by the Phillies bullpen, who tossed three shutout innings, including a pair of perfect frames from Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge.
One night after a heartbreaking loss that pushed their backs up against a wall, the Phillies once again rallied behind Halladay to keep baseball alive for at least one more game, while simultaneously illustrating just how great of a pitcher Roy Halladay is. He battled for the final five innings with an injury and a lack of control and velocity, yet still had enough to keep the Phillies alive. It’s a sight to behold.
The series returns to Philadelphia on Saturday, when Roy Oswalt, who allowed one run over eight innings in Game Two, will match up again with Jonathan Sanchez, who was wildly effective over seven innings, where he allowed two runs on five hits and three walks.
Roy Halladay (W, 1-1) allowed two runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out five.
Placido Polanco went 1 for 3 with an RBI.
Jayson Werth went 1 for 4 with a homer (2) and an RBI.
Raul Ibanez went 2 for 4 with a run.
Brad Lidge (S, 1) struck out one in a perfect ninth inning.
Tim Lincecum (L, 1-1) allowed three runs (two earned) in seven innings on four hits and a walk. He struck out seven.
Andres Torres went 2 for 3 with a run.
Pat Burrell with 1 for 4 with a double (2) and a run.
Cody Ross went 1 for 4 with a double (2) and an RBI.
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