Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oswalt dominates as Phillies even series

That's more like it. Behind a strong pitching performance by Roy Oswalt, the Phillies cruised past the Giants in Game 2, winning 6-1 and evening up the NLCS at one game apiece. While it wasn't a must-win game, the win certainly put the Phillies right back on track after dropping Game 1.

Oswalt was on point all game long, going 8 innings, striking out 9 while allowing 1 run on 3 hits and 3 walks with his only blemish coming when Cody Ross inexplicably hit his third homer of the series. While he did hit a few rough patches here and there, Oswalt stuck to throwing strikes (71 of his 111 pitches) and letting the defense do the work when he wasn't getting swings and misses. Oswalt didn't just contribute on the mound, though, as he had a key single and hustled home to score an insurance run in the 7th inning. This Roy certainly proved that the Phillies have the best trio of starting pitchers in baseball.

Despite being stymied by Jonathan Sanchez for most of the night, the Phillies offense awoke just in time to widen the lead in a 7th inning rally where they picked up 4 runs. The big hit for the night came off the bat of Jimmy Rollins, who broke out of his postseason funk with a bases loaded double that plated 3 runs. While the Phillies are still struggling to string together hits against the tough Giants pitching, it was nice to see them finally break through with some key hits when they needed insurance runs in the late innings.

With the series now shifting to San Francisco, the Phillies have washed away the bad feelings left from the Game 1 loss. With the dominant Cole Hamels set to take the mound in Game 3, the Phillies are in an excellent position to jump out to a lead in the series. While the Giants are a tough team to piece together runs against, a few more dominating pitching performances like tonight and the Phils will be preparing for their third straight World Series appearance. 7 more wins to go!
(Photo by Matt Slocum/Pool/Getty Images)

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