Monday, October 11, 2010
Game Four NLDS recap
Today featured just one playoff game as well as tomorrow will feature just one game. Today's game featured the Braves and the Giants in what could have been Bobby Cox last game as a manager if the Braves lose. This game was again a terrific game which was decided by a single run like every other game this series.
Bobby Cox career ends in 3-2 loss to Giants; Giants win advance to NLCS
The Giants rallied for two runs off of Braves ace Derek Lowe in the 7th inning to take the lead 3-2. Lowe who was pitching on three days rest was cruising up until that point. He lost some control of his pitches and with some poor defense by the Braves their season was over.
The Giants starting pitching was stellar like they have been all series long. Bochy electing to go with youngster Madison Bumgarner who was the 10th pick overall in the 2007 draft over high priced playoff veteran Barry Zito. Bumgarner didn't dissapoint Bochy by going 6 innings of two earned runs and striking out five. However Bumgarner found himself trailing 2-1 due to the terrific pitching of playoff warrior Derek Lowe.
Lowe had been cruising through six innings allowing just one hit which was a home run to Cody Ross in the sixth. When Lowe got into trouble with a walk and a hit in the seventh he was facing first and second and just one man out. Future hall of fame manager Bobby Cox came out to pull Lowe but Lowe refused to be taken out and wanted Pat Burrell who was 0 for 2 against him on the day. Cox decided to stick with his ace who was the NL pitcher of the month in September having gone 5-0 with a 1.17 ERA for the month. Lowe with chants of "D-Lowe" in the background eventually walked Burrell to load the bases. There was no debate Cox pulled Lowe who had received a standing ovatation and left the game up 2-1 but had bases loaded with just one man down. Cox then went with Peter Moylan who got Juan Uribe to ground out to short only Gonzalez made a throwing error allowing everyone to be safe and the game was tied at 2-2. Cox then went with left hander Jonny Venters who struck out his first batter. With bases loaded and the game tied at two Cody Ross delivered another clutch hit scoring Buster Posey, Burrell was thrown out at home but the Giants took the lead 3-2 and the Braves were just nine outs away from their season being over.
The Braves had a chance due to an error by Renteria in the bottom of the eighth. With a runner on second base and two hits rookie of the year candidate Jason Heyward struck out against Giants lefty Javier López. Heyward was just 2 for 16 this series. Lopez since he has joined the Giants lefties are now 5 for 46 off of him.
The Giants turned the ball over to all-star closer Brian Wilson who blew the game two save but rebounded in game three for the save. Wilson got in trouble and walked two batters but got out of the jam to close the game. The Giants advanced to their first NLCS since 2002.
This game always means the end of a great managerial career from Bobby Cox who is retiring at the end of this season. The Braves find themselves in a bit of transition with Cox retiring and possibly Chipper Jones retiring as well. This was the first postseason for the Braves without Chipper Jones in a lineup since 1993. Cox only won the one World Series back in 1995 but went to five world series overall and took the Braves who were a pathetic before Cox took over. Cox led the Braves to 14 consecutive division titles from 1991-2005.
The Giants move on now to face the Philadelphia Phillies. By winning the game today the Giants save ace Tim Lincecum for game one of the National League Championship Series. Game one will feature the great pitching matchup between Roy Halladay who is coming off a no-hitter versus Tim Lincecum who is coming off a 14 strikeout 1-0 victory. This game is a game I recommend everyone watching because very rarely in postseason or even in regular season play you get a pitching matchup like this. I can't wait to see Lincecum face off against Roy Halladay.