What a game for the Giants and Phillies in game four of the NLCS. It was a back-and-forth effort that saw both teams hold the lead on more than one occasion. The game ended like all baseball games should, in the bottom of the ninth inning. Juan Uribe hit a sacrifice fly off of Roy Oswalt to score Aubrey Huff from third base to put the Giants up 6-5 and give them the third win of this NLCS. They lead the series with the Phillies 3-1.
Huff and Buster Posey were on base with consecutive one-out singles off of Oswalt, who was brought in after the Phillies used four relievers over the previous three innings. The Huff-Posey combo went for a combined 7-of-10 with three RBI.
The Giants jumped ahead to a fast 1-0 lead in the first, and added to it in the third to make it 2-0. The fifth inning saw rookie starter Madison Bumgarner give way to a reliever and saw the Phillies score four runs to go up 4-2. The inning ended 4-3 with another Giants run. They got the lead back in the sixth with two runs.
The Phillies avoided a disasterous seventh inning when the Giants loaded the bases off of a Buster Posey double, Pat Burrell walk and then Cody Ross single with one out and Pablo Sandoval up. "Panda," kept the at-bat alive for some time, fouling off ball after ball before eventually hitting into a double play to end the inning.
The eighth inning was yet another scoring effort from the Phillies. After Javier Lopez gave up a leadoff double, Jason Werth came in and hit a double off of Sergio Romo just inside the left field line to score the runner and tie the game at five. Romo settled down and struck out the next two batters on six pitches.
He gave way to Brian Wilson in the ninth inning, who was his usual soul-eating shutdown self. Roy Oswalt came out to pitch the bottom of the ninth for the Phillies with Freddy Sanchez, Aubrey Huff and Buster Posey up to bat. Sanchez jumped to a quick 0-2 count and then took two outside before flying out. Huff got a single on the first pitch thrown his way with one out in the inning. Posey fell behind 0-2 before fouling off a ball that looked like it was a triple waiting to happen. This was followed by two more foul balls, and then a single up the right side giving him his fourth hit and advancing Huff to third base with one out in the ballgame.
That brought up Juan Uribe, who swung at a first pitch strike, took a ball, then seemingly was hit by a pitch on his hand, but it was called foul. At 1-2, a pitch went off his bat and was called foul. The next pitch was a sacrifice flyout that brought Aubrey Huff in to score and gave the Giants a 6 - 5 win to put them up 3 - 1 in the series.
Another high-profile pitching duel is scheduled for game five as Tim Lincecum takes the mound for the Giants against Roy Halladay.