The San Francisco Giants escaped Game 1 of the 2010 National League Championship Series with a thrilling and nerve-racking 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. There were several heroes in this game, but Cody Ross is at the forefront thanks to his pair of home runs off Roy Halladay early in the game. Tim Lincecum kept his team out in front through seven innings and the Giants bullpen finished things off in the eighth and ninth inning, while keeping things at least a little interesting.
Cody Ross is the hero of the game thanks to his pair of home runs in the third and fifth innings. Phillies starter Roy Halladay, fresh off his no-hitter in Game 1 of the NLDS, mowed down the first seven Giants hitters and looked to be on cruise control. However, Halladay tried to bust Ross inside with a 93 mph two-seam fastball and Ross made him pay. Carlos Ruiz evened the game up in the bottom of the third and things seemed to settle down. Then, in the top of the fifth, Halladay tried to sneak a 91-mph two-seam fastball past Ross and Ross once again turned on it and deposited it in left field to give the Giants a 2-1 lead.
In the sixth inning the Giants added what would prove to be essential insurance runs thanks to RBI hits by Pat Burrell and Juan Uribe. The runs would prove priceless as the Phillies added two runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth on a Jayson Werth home run to cut the lead to 4-3. Lincecum was a gamer though in getting through the seventh inning with the lead intact.
The game was turned over to the bullpens in the eighth inning, and the Giants bullpen stepped up big time. Javier Lopez forced Chase Utley to ground out and then struck out Ryan Howard. Giants closer Brian Wilson came on with two outs in the eighth for the always tough four-out save. He gave up a single to Jayson Werth, but worked around it by striking out Jimmy Rollins swinging.
The Giants blew a golden opportunity to ease the tension when they were unable to score after loading the bases with one out in the top of the ninth. In the final frame, the Phillies got Carlos Ruiz on with one out thanks to a hit by pitch, but Wilson closed the door with a pair of strikeouts to close down the save on the 4-3 victory.
Tim Linecum and Roy Halladay both turned in solid if at times spotty performances in a game in which neither had their A+ stuff from the NLDS. For the Giants, it didn't matter as he did enough to keep the Giants ahead and now the Giants head into Game 2 with a 1-0 lead and a huge road win over the Phillies.
The two teams return tomorrow at 5pm pacific for Game 2 of the NLCS. Jonathan Sanchez will square off against Roy Oswalt. For plenty more discussion, head on over to McCovey Chronicles where they might finally have exhaled.