Saturday, October 23, 2010
NLCS Game 6 Preview: Giants at Phillies
By John Fisher
A quick preview of Game 6 of the National League Championship Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies.
Roy Oswalt and Jonathan Sanchez will take the mound Saturday in a rematch of Game 2. Oswalt is 10-0 in his career at Citizens Bank Ballpark, combining regular and postseason. The only other pitcher to win his first 10 decisions in that park is Clay Condrey (10 straight).
And Oswalt has won the only Game 6 he previously pitched in, beating the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of the 2005 NLCS to clinch the series.
In Game 2 in Philadelphia, Oswalt went eight innings, allowing just three hits and striking out nine, including Andres Torres all four times he faced him. The only run he allowed came on a Cody Ross home run. Ross has a hit in six straight games, the longest in the postseason by a Giant since Kenny Lofton’s six-game streak in 2002. The last seven-game streak came that same year, courtesy of J.T. Snow.
FROM THE ELIAS SPORS BUREAU: Pat Burrell hit two home runs this season when the Giants played in Philly, giving him 76 during the regular season at Citizens Bank Park, the highest total for any right-handed batter.
The Phillies lost Game 4 when neither starter finished the fifth inning and it turned into a matchup of bullpens. With a day off yesterday, the Phils should be able to stick to their big guns. Jose Contreras, J.C. Romero, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge are Charlie Manuel’s most trusted relievers, and they’ve shown up big time in the playoffs. In 13 2/3 innings combined this postseason, they’ve allowed only four hits and no runs, with almost four times as many strikeouts as walks (15/4).
Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez gets the ball for the Giants tonight. Chase Utley (1-for-12 with a single) and Jayson Werth (0-for-9) are a combined 1-for-21 (.048) against left-handed pitching this postseason.
Utley had a .581 slugging percentage against lefties during the 2010 regular season, the highest of his career. But Werth's .287 batting average versus lefties in 2010 was his lowest in his four seasons with the Phillies.
In Game 2, Phillies lefties were 2-for-7 with two walks against Sanchez, while righties went 3-for-17 with a walk and four strikeouts.
After striking out three times in Game 5, Ryan Howard has eight career three-strikeout games in the postseason, the most in major league history. Next on the list is Reggie Sanders, the only other player with six such games.
However, in Game 2, Howard went 2-for-2 against the left-handed Sanchez, walking once and not striking out. Howard is 5-for-16 in his career against Sanchez with four extra-base hits.