The NLCS schedule 2010 has not gone as expected. Having the NLCS schedule controlled by the Giants has been surprising enough, but there was room for a few more twists last night. It appeared that the Giants were in complete control, as the Phillies were counted out just as the Giants were before the series started. But San Francisco relished the underdog role, and now Philadelphia is out to embrace it as well. By extending the NLCS schedule to one more game in Philadelphia, the Phillies hope a corner has finally been turned.
Game 5 proved to be just as weird and head-scratching as the rest of this series. After the wild drama of Game 4, most expected Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum to restore order. Yet like in Game 1, the two struggled more than expected, although one made just a few more mistakes.
The NLCS is still going on because of a controversial bunt call, errors, and Halladay holding back an injured groin. To add to the weirdness, the Phillies’ bullpen shut the Giants down this time, and they even got a home run to boot.
On Wednesday night, Philadelphia appeared finished, but 24 hours later, they have reason to hope again. Since the rest of the NLCS is in Philadelphia, the Phillies hope to ride their raucous home crowd, and their other aces, to an improbable comeback.
Yet before the Phillies start to dream about the World Series again, they still have many concerns. The offense needed luck to score, just like they did for much of the Reds’ series. The Giants are more likely to recover than the Reds were, especially since they need just one more win. In addition, Cody Ross is still scorching hot, and the Giants already know they can win in Philadelphia.
As for the Phillies, they have mixed confidence behind Roy Oswalt. Since he has never lost in Citizens Bank Park, and defeated Jonathan Sanchez in Game 2, it seems like a Game 7 would be likely. Yet the defining moment of the NLCS may be Oswalt’s Game 4 relief appearance, if it leaves him more vulnerable tomorrow night.
If that appearance does come back to haunt him in Game 6, then Charlie Manuel will never be forgiven for letting it happen. But even if Oswalt comes through, they must face Matt Cain in Game 7, who has still yet to give up a postseason run.
In spite of that, getting to a Game 7 like this, and having it at home, could put the Phillies over the top. It seemed impossible that the NLCS schedule could go that far just 24 hours ago. Yet the Giants paid for not finishing the Phillies when they had the chance in Game 5, and this weekend will determine if they live to regret it.
The teams still don’t know when they can square off tomorrow, as Game 6 will start at 3:57 pm est on FOX if the Yankees win tonight, or at 7:57 pm est if the Rangers win.
Philly.com- “Phillies flying home in pilot’s seat for Game 6”