2010 NLCS Game 2: Philadelphia Phillies Also Win Behind Diminutive Fireballer

Ben GriffyCorrespondent IOctober 18, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 17:  Pitcher Roy Oswalt #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches in the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants in Game Two of the NLCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 17, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

It took a stellar performance from Roy Oswalt to beat budding star Jonathan Sanchez.

Oswalt went eight masterful innings giving up only one run and striking out nine, allowing only six base runners. What Giants fans should be upset about is manager Bruce Bochy’s decision to pitch Sanchez in Game 2 instead of Matt Cain.

Sanchez is an excellent pitcher—albeit with a proclivity for missing the strike zone. He pitched six strong innings, giving up three runs (two earned) before giving up to a mediocre Giants bullpen. Cain might have been able to last later into the game—and given the Giants a chance against Brad Lidge.

Contrary to popular belief, San Francisco’s AT&T Park is not a particularly spacious park to right field. With Cain, a right-hander, left-handers will be given a platoon advantage with McCovey Cove looming nearby. Against a homerun heavy Philadelphia lineup, it might make a difference.

But with the way Oswalt was pitching, it would have taken a spectacular performance from either pitcher to beat him. Just food for thought.

What may have been more questionable is starting Mike Fontenot at third base over struggling Pablo Sandoval. The Panda had a serious off-year, but is still better than starting a below-average hitting second baseman at third.

Next up for the Giants is Phillies third ace Cole Hamels. This year Hamels has increased his fastball velocity from a pedestrian low-90s to a highly effective mid-90s heater. Coupled with his plus change-up, Hamels consistently gets above average strikeout numbers.