It was painful for Phillies fans watching our third straight NLCS. We endured three excruciating losses by one run over the six game series. The Giants scored three runs or less four times in the series but won two of those games. They were scrappy and unselfish and unequivocally outplayed us.
One at bat stands out to me in particular. In Game 4 the Phillies are down 2-1 in the series and the game is tied in the bottom of the 9th. There are runners on the corners with one out. Roy Oswalt is on the mound for the Phillies and Juan Uribe comes to the plate. Throughout the playoffs Uribe hit just .149 and had 14 strikeouts. Oswalt threw four pitches to Juan Uribe. All four pitches were unhittable. It was brilliant pitching, but Uribe battled through it and ultimately chased a low and inside changeup on a 1-2 count for what is ordinarily an easy fly ball. But this was no ordinary at bat, game or series. That ordinary fly ball was a walk off swing. Uribe got it just deep enough to left to score Aubrey Huff from third for the game winning RBI.
Now, if it wasn’t the bottom of the ninth the Phillies very probably might have come back with a couple of runs in their next licks. But, it was the bottom of the ninth and it was a tremendously clutch game winning sac fly. Really, it is the perfect example of the Giants scrappy play throughout the series.
Once in a blue moon a team seems to have a magical season. This was one of those years for the Giants. It reminded me of the 1988 LA Dodgers as described by Orel Hershiser in “Out of the Blue.”
For the 2010 Giants, Uribe would have another clutch hit a couple of games later. He hit the go ahead and eventually game winning homer off Ryan Madsen in the 8th inning of the deciding Game 6. Cody Ross, the unlikely MVP of the NLCS came out of nowhere with a blistering .686 slugging percentage throughout the playoffs. Catcher, Buster Posey, hit .288. Against the Rangers, veteran leader Edgar Renteria hit .412 and led both teams with 6 RBI’s to become the World Series MVP.
So how do Phillies fans feel after watching the Giants wizardry in the World Series?
Losing to the eventual champion always takes a bit of the sting off of the loss. You feel bad about losing but a little better because no one else was able to defeat that team either. After watching what the Giants did to the pitching of the Texas Rangers the Phillies can feel pretty good about their performance.
With great pitching, a lineup of unexpected stars, and Uribe’s clutch hitting the Giants were a team of destiny. Congratulations and props to them for the first championship they have won in 56 years.
All information used in this article came from Yahoo Sports MLB Postseason Coverage and my firsthand reaction from watching the games.