October 17, 2010
Tim Lincecum(notes) vs. Roy Halladay(notes) was a pitching matchup so big that Fox had to bring in Michael Buffer to handle the lineup annoucements. And while it wasn't the 1-0 decision that many might have been expecting, there were still plenty of memorable moments and situations.
Tim Lincecum: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, Win
Biggest pitch: After allowing a game-tying home run to Carlos Ruiz(notes) earlier in the third inning, Lincecum ran into further trouble when Placido Polanco(notes) doubled and Chase Utley(notes) drew a walk. That brought Phillies slugger Ryan Howard(notes) to the plate with a chance to deal a crushing blow early on. Lincecum fell behind in the count 2-0, but battled back to even it before wiping Howard away with a nasty slider to end the inning.
Biggest mistake: Lincecum was looking for a shutdown inning after his offense had just given him a three-run cushion in the top of the sixth. Instead, he made a mistake with a fastball to Jayson Werth(notes) that cut the lead to one as his two-run home run sailed over the right field wall.
Key stat: Tiny Tim held the Phillies hitless in five at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Why he left: With 113 pitches under his belt, Bruce Bochy elected to start off the 8th inning with lefty reliever Javier Lopez(notes) to face Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Had it been a different part of the order the decision could have been different, but this scenario worked as Lopez retired his two batters and closer Brian Wilson(notes) picked up the four out save.
What Lincecum said:
"It wasn't about the numbers. It was about giving us a chance to win. I put those home runs behind me. You could squash yourself on that, make some more bad pitches, but I just took it on to the next batter after that, man. It was just enough to squeak by for us."
* * *
Halladay: 7 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, Loss
Biggest pitch: With the game tied at one in the fourth, Halladay allowed singles to Aubrey Huff(notes) and Pat Burrell(notes). With two outs, Juan Uribe(notes) had the same opportunity Howard did the half inning before agianst Lincecum. On a 2-2 pitch, Halladay was able to get Uribe to roll it over to short for an inning-ending fielder's choice.
Biggest mistake: No doubt Halladay will replay the 1-2 fastball he left over the plate for Pat Burrell in the sixth inning over in his mind several times. The resulting double made it a 3-1 game, and put Burrell — or pinch runner Nate Schierholtz(notes), rather — in position to score the eventual game-deciding fourth run. (It's possible Halladay was still thinking about the pitch before, which looked like an inning-ending strike three.)
Key stat: Two home runs allowed. Both to No. 8 hitter Cody Ross.
Why he left: He likely had another inning left in him, but Charlie Manuel needed offense, so he pinch hit Dominic Brown in Halladay's spot leading off the bottom of the seventh.
What Halladay said:
"I made some bad pitches at times. The first pitch to Ross I didn't think was that bad, but the second one I left a ball over the plate. And then in the sixth a couple pitches there cost me. At this point you make a couple mistakes and they end up costing you."