For those fans who were expecting a pitching duel of the century, Cody Ross and home plate umpire Gerry Davis’ minuscule strike zone made sure to perish the thought. In his first two at-bats, Ross hit blasts into the left field bleachers—the first being the first hit Roy Halladay had allowed in almost 12 innings, and the second giving Giants’ starter Tim Lincecum a 2-1 lead.
Then in the sixth, Davis struck, calling what would have been strike three a ball. A few pitches later, Pat “The Bat” Burrell doubled to left to give the Giants a 3-1 lead with two outs. Juan Uribe singled to give the Giants an extra cushion, making the score 4-1. That would be all Lincecum would need.
After giving up a two-run home run to free-agent-to-be Jayson Werth, Lincecum settled down and made it through seven strong innings. He struck out eight en route to his second win of his postseason career.
Prior to the game, much had been made of such a star-studded pitching matchup. Lincecum and Halladay’s combined stats this postseason (both having only made one career postseason start) were: 2 CGs, 22K’s, 2 hits, 2 walks. One of those complete games was a perfect game.
Through the first few innings, it looked as if the game had the potential to be another matchup where one mistake would decide the victor. But Davis’ unforgiving strike zone consistently made marginal pitches go the way of the hitter. Viewers expecting another two performances like the division series were victimized by Davis’ game calling.
Tonight at 8:00pm EST, the Giants send out Jonathan Sanchez, who since September has been the best pitcher in the league. Facing him will be Roy Oswalt, the National League leader in WHIP (walks plus hits per inning). Like Game 1, this game has the potential to be a low-scoring pitching duel.