NLCS 2010: Giants Report Card Game 5
This was a bad game. This was just a bad game.
Nothing seemed to go right for the Giants in this one.
Panda choked. Two runs scored on Aubrey Huff's fielding error. Jayson Werthless hit a home run. Cody Ross made the last out tagging from second to third in the bottom of the third inning. Both Giants pinch hitters promptly struck out. And Phillies pitching had their way with the Giants lineup.
The Giants scored once on Cody Ross's RBI single, Timmy had one bad inning and that was all she wrote.
The game was close throughout, "torture" as always. We Giants fans have had so many tortuous games with mostly positive results we were starting to like this whole torture thing.
But this was the bad kind of torture. This was this kind of torture, courtesy of medievality.com:
"The torturer turned the handle causing the ropes to pull the victim's arms. Eventually, the victim's bones were dislocated with a loud crack. If the torturer kept turning the handles, some of the limbs were torn apart, usually the arms."
Yeah, that about describes it.
Here are the grades for the Giants in Game 5 of the NLCS. Those a bit squeamish look away.
Tim Lincecum only gave up three runs, one unearned off Huff's kick out into center field, against a determined Phillies lineup that had to score runs to avoid going home for good.
Although not spectacular, that's a good job, and when he left the game in the seventh the Giants were only down 3-2.
Lincecum wasn't the problem tonight. However, there were many problems elsewhere.
Let's face it, the Giants haven't been an offensive powerhouse in the playoffs. The one thing that has saved them is timely hitting, Cody Ross and Buster Posey in Game 4.
This time, there was no timely hitting, save a Cody Ross RBI single in the first inning. The Giants looked overmatched by the likes of Roy Halladay, Jose Contreras, J.C. Romero, Ryan Madson and Phillies closer Brad Lidge.
The reason the Giants get a C- and not a D is these pitchers are a tall order, and you can't exactly blame a team for struggling against them.
But nothing ever really clicked offensively for the Giants offense in a close game where a couple more hits could have made a big difference.
They left 15 men on base.
The team gets a "D" in this category, largely because of Aubrey Huff and Pablo Sandoval.
Aubrey Huff made an error at the worst possible time-with two outs and men on second and third for the Phillies in the third inning, allowing two runs to score in what should have been a scoreless inning. The Giants ultimately lost by two runs.
But errors happen. Huff had three the entire regular season.
Watching Pablo Sandoval play defense was actually harder to watch. What allowed the runners to advance to second and third before Huff's error was Sandoval's sluggishness.
Before the disastrous three-run third inning, Halladay laid down a bunt. Although the ball did appear to go foul and was ruled fair, it was a tailor-made double play for the Giants. Buster Posey threw the ball to Sandoval at third and he should have nailed Raul Ibanez running from second. But Pablo the Panda didn't get back to third, actually fell over, and the Phillies had men on second and third in what should have been an inning-ending double play.
He also had a throwing error in the game, which I predicted in my Giants-Phillies preview (c'mon, it's inevitable).
In two innings of relief, the Giants bullpen gave up one run, a home run to Jayson Werth off of Ramon Ramirez in the ninth inning.
Not bad, but not great when you're already down 3-2 going into your last at-bat.
Andres Torres went from first to third twice on two singles in the game, and tried his best to make things happen with his speed. The problem was nobody wanted to hit him in.
Cody Ross made a Cardinal sin on the basepaths, tagging from second to third on a Sandoval fly out to right field and getting absolutely hosed down by Jayson Werth (yeah, Jayson was really a thorn in the side this game).
Normally, Ross would have made it and it took a perfect throw from Werth to nail him, but why risk it? You're still in scoring position if you stay at second and you know Werth has a good arm.
Bruce Bochy can't really be blamed for this, but his moves didn't work out this game, and that's the bottom line.
He pinch hit Mike Fontenot in the seventh. Fontenot struck out.
He pinch hit Travis Ishikawa in the ninth. He struck out to end the game.
And Ramon Ramirez gave up a home run to Werth in the ninth that allowed the Phillies to distance themselves from the Giants going into the bottom half.
Bringing in Ramirez wasn't a bad move. He's been solid this year for the Giants. And Fontenot and Ishikawa were really all he had (although I would have liked to see Aaron Rowand somewhere in there after he doubled and scored a run in Game 4).
But hey, his moves didn't work out so I can't give him a good grade (sorry old timer, I still would cast you as my lead character in a Western).