Thursday, October 21, 2010
Posey's big game sparks Giant Game 4 win
In the San Francisco Bay Area fans describe Giants baseball as "torture". The Giants picked up their sixth win this postseason Wednesday; this time by a narrow 6-5 margin. That is San Francisco's fifth one-run win this postseason. They finished tied for second in the National League with 28 one-run wins during the regular season. Who led the NL? The Phillies with 29.
After going 6-16 during the NLDS against the Braves, Buster Posey was mired in a 1-11 slump through the first 3 games of the NLCS. He picked a good time to break out. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Buster Posey is just the fifth rookie to have four hits and two RBIs in a postseason game. The others are Jacoby Ellsbury (2007 Red Sox), Miguel Cabrera (2003 Marlins), Joe Garagiola (1946 Cardinals) and Freddie Lindstrom (1924 Giants).
Pablo Sandoval came up with a key 2-run double for the Giants. Last season that wouldn't have surprised many, but this season Sandoval hit .208 with runners in scoring position. That was the 3rd-worst among NL hitters with at least 100 AB with RISP. He was 0-1 in the postseason entering Game 4. He had just 2 hits in his last 12 at-bats with RISP to end the regular season.
From the Elias Sports Bureau: Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner was lifted with a 2-1 lead with two outs in the top of the fifth inning, and then in the bottom of the inning, Phillies starter Joe Blanton was removed from the game with two out and Philadelphia holding a 4-3 lead. That marked the first time in major league history that both starting pitchers were lifted from a postseason game one out away from being eligible for a victory.
This is the third time the San Francisco Giants have been up 3-1 in a Best-of-7 LCS. The two previous times (1989 against the Cubs and 2002 against the Cardinals), they closed out the series in five games. As for the Phillies, they are down 3-1 for the fifth time in franchise history. They've won Game 5 twice (2009 World Series, 1993 World Series), but they have never won a series when down 3-1.
Juan Uribe's sacrifice fly was the fourth game-ending postseason RBI in franchise history and the first since Kenny Lofton in the 2002 NLCS. Fred Merkle is the only other Giant with a walk-off sac fly (Game 5 of the 1911 World Series against the Philadelphia Athletics).
The last time the Phillies lost a postseason game by walk-off was in one of the most dramatic games in history -- Game 6 of the 1993 World Series. Joe Carter hit a home run off Mitch Williams to win the game and the series.