I had the pleasure of attending last night's game. Yes, I drove the long distance. The key to the game was clearly the man on the mound, Roy Oswalt. Unlike his sub-par performance against the Reds last week, Oswalt had command of his pitches (esp. his fastball). Other than a mistake to Cody Ross, who now has 3 HRs in this series, he really gave the Giants little to hit. Oswalt also helped himself at the plate, singling and scoring (despite running through a stop sign!) in the 7th. And in the 8th inning when Charlie Manuel came out for the ball, Roy convinced him he could get one more out, which he did.
Other encouraging signs were evident. Jimmy Rollins broke the game open with a 3-run double, his biggest hit in a long time (Jonathan Broxton?). Further, Ryan Howard handled Jonathan Sanchez (surprisingly) well, doubling and walking. Both bats will be needed in San Francisco this week.
Looking ahead, hopefully Cole Hamels can guide the Phils to victory in Game 3 against Matt Cain, but it won't be easy. Hamels has struggled in San Francisco in his career, going 2-1 with a 6.12 ERA in four starts at the 11-year-old ballpark. He's allowed at least four runs in each of his starts.
Should the Phils lose Game 3, they may be left with a tough decision regarding Game 4. Do they start Joe Blanton down 2-1, or go with Doc Halladay on short rest? Tough call. I think they'd go with Blanton on a short leash, but I'm not yet sure I agree. Thoughts?