The NLCS Game 6 between the Giants and Phillies typified the series. After all, the Giants-Phillies score was low, filled with mistakes and missed opportunities, and ended in San Francisco’s favor. The NLCS Game 6 appeared to be all Philadelphia early on, as they took a 2-0 lead. But a wild third inning turned things around for San Francisco, as after they tied things up, they did what they had done for a week. Fittingly, the score was 3-2 San Francisco, because of the San Francisco bullpen, poor Philadelphia offense, and one shocking big blast.
Roy Oswalt and Jonathan Sanchez each met with a lot of trouble, as Sanchez crumbled in the first inning. But Oswalt was the next to crack, due to several hits and a few Philadelphia misplays in the third, evening things up at 2. Yet the bottom of the inning really set the tone afterward.
The Giants-Phillies score could have gone back in Philadelphia’s favor after the wild Sanchez hit Chase Utley to put two on with no one out. Yet when Utley tossed the hit ball back to Sanchez, it got him worked up and caused the benches to clear. If Sanchez hadn’t gotten too hot to keep going, maybe Bruce Bochy would have left him in for one more hitter, and given up a key blast.
Instead, Game 6 turned when Bochy had time to go to the bullpen right then, as Jeremy Affeldt retired the Phillies in order. Affeldt, Madison Bumgarner and Javier Lopez then got out of a few more threats through the next few innings. Meanwhile, Oswalt got out of jams of his own, although he could only go six innings.
Ryan Madison was brought on for a two inning appearance, which was going fine through 1 2/3rds of it. Yet the game was decided in one sudden pitch, as the injured Juan Uribe blasted a home run to right field.
That looked to decide the NLCS Game 6 then and there, as Tim Lincecum went out in relief to set up Brian Wilson. But Lincecum, like Oswalt in Game 4, did not provide an extra boost, as he gave up two hits. However, Wilson was more reliable, as he made Carlos Ruiz line out into a double play, and caught Ryan Howard looking to end the final threat.
The circumstances that settled the Giants-Phillies score in Game 6 were familiar throughout the NLCS. San Francisco’s pitching led the way, as the bullpen came through when the starters did not. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia bullpen was more vulnerable, and the offense left a limited margin for error. The Giants didn’t hit much either, but the hits they did get decided the series.
Now that the NLCS score is settled, San Francisco will go home for the World Series Game 1 on Wednesday, while Philadelphia is left home for the winter.
SI.com- “Five Cuts: Bochy’s game plan, what doomed Phillies in NLCS”