The hype surrounding the rematch between San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum(notes) and his Philadelphia Phillies counterpart Roy Halladay(notes) wasn't nearly as intense, but the results for each pitcher were eerily similar to their first meeting at Citizens Bank Park.
Just like we did for their first meeting, here's a breakdown of their second round:
Biggest pitch: No. 108, his final pitch of the evening. Halladay wiped out Juan Uribe(notes) with a curveball, stranding a pair of runners on base and holding a tight one-run lead. The fact he even got to pitch 108 is impressive, considering he injured his groin while delivering a pitch in the second inning (which explains why we saw Jose Contreras(notes) warming up in the bullpen way earlier than pitch No. 100).
Biggest mistake: Walking Andres Torres(notes) to lead off the game. Lead-off walks don't score as often as we're led to believe, but this one did. It also had the Phillies on the ropes early, though Doc was able to settle down after a visit from pitching coach Rich Dubee and a fine defensive play from Ryan Howard(notes).
Key stat: One very controversial sacrifice bunt.
Why he left: Halladay left for a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh with Philadelphia threatening to tack on an insurance run. But the bigger story is that Halladay didn't leave much earlier after that groin injury.
What Charlie Manuel said: (via ASAP Sports):
"Second inning, Halladay, he had a mild groin pull, his right groin. He was determined he was going to stay in there. I don't know if you noticed the velocity on his fastball kind of fell off and he was having a hard time pushing off the mound and he used a lot of change-ups and cutters.
"He wasn't going to let us take him out. He wanted to stay in. But he said that he hurt it when he tried to really hump up on Posey in the second inning."
Manuel says the second inning but that doesn't match up with any Posey at-bats. It could have happened as Halladay broke off the mound during Posey's first inning at-bat — the play that was mishandled by Chase Utley(notes).
Or possibly in the second inning on the Torres ball where Halladay was covering first.
* * *
Biggest pitch: Philadelphia broke through for three runs in the third inning and the Phils had a chance for more with runners at the corners, one out, and Ryan Howard due up. But just like every other matchup between the two in this series, Lincecum overwhelmed Howard and struck him out to help put a halt to the Phillies' offensive momentum.
Biggest mistake: Earlier in that inning, Lincecum hit Carlos Ruiz(notes) — who homered off him in Game 1 — with an 0-2 changeup. That would set off a string of very strange and unfavorable events for the Giants.
Weird stat: Six first-pitch strikes in the third inning. Three earned runs.
Only two first-pitch strikes in innings four through six. Nine up, nine down.
Why he left: With 104 pitches and seven solid innings in the books, Lincecum was lifted for a pinch-hitter leading off the home half of the seventh. Strictly a game flow decision by Bruce Bochy.
What Bruce Bochy said:
"Well, I thought Timmy was being himself out there. He used all his pitches. He had the long inning there. And that probably caught up with him a little bit there. And the pitcher does have a tendency to make a mistake when they're having to work hard in a long inning. But he got his second wind and I thought he got better as he went there and was throwing the ball very well."
- Roy Halladay