It was easy to start panicking a little bit after the Phillies dropped Game 1 of the NLCS to the Giants on Saturday night. The offense didn't seem to ever find their way into the ballpark, and the pitching wasn't an incredible spectacle—an odd sight over the past couple of months in Philly.
But Roy Oswalt wasn't worried. He got hit around a little bit in Game 2 of the NLDS and was looking for redemption. He also knew the team could not afford to fall to 0-2 to the Giants if they wanted to get to their third straight World Series.
He wasn't about to allow that to happen.
Oswalt carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning, and wound up allowing only three hits and one run over eight innings. The one hit was, of course, a Cody Ross solo home run.
I'm not exactly sure what this guy knows that no one else does, but he now has three home runs over two games against two of the best pitchers the league has to offer.
Fortunately for the Phils, he wasn't sharing his inside knowledge with the rest of the team.
But Oswalt's impressive night didn't stay on the mound. He also was able to score a run after hitting a single to get on base and then running through Sam Perlozzo's stop sign at third after a Placido Polanco base hit.
"I didn't see [the stop sign] until I got halfway down the line," Oswalt said after the game. "As soon as Polanco hit it, I read it pretty well off the bat and I thought I was scoring straight out. So I had the intention of scoring when I took off, and I wasn't even looking for a stop sign, so I was halfway down the line and I was hoping I'd get in there from there."
Two batters later, Jayson Werth came up to the plate with runners at second and third and two outs. We all know how poor Werth has been with runners in scoring position, but the Giants thought it would be a good idea to walk him and force Jimmy Rollins to bat from his left side.
At this point I'm wondering exactly why they think Rollins at the plate with the bases loaded is better than Werth at the plate with two runners in scoring position, but what do I know?
After a three-run double by Rollins, I'm thinking I could be the Giants' manager.
Ryan Madson would take over for Oswalt in the ninth inning and close the game out, making the 6-1 lead stick and drawing the Phils even with the Giants at 1-1.
Cole Hamels will start Game 3 against Matt Cain, and if he can duplicate Oswalt's performance from Sunday night, the Phillies should be on their way to a 2-1 advantage and a clear path to the World Series.
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