Saturday, October 16, 2010

Game one of NLCS recap, Game two of ALCS recap

By Kshell

Today featured two playoff games for the first time in a while. In one game we had the Texas Rangers looking to even the series at home against the New York Yankees. In the other game was game one of the National League Championship series which featured the two best pitchers in the National League in Tim Lincecum vs Roy Halladay. One game featured a blow out while the other game featured a bit more offense than we had expected.

Cody Ross blasts two home runs in Giants 4-3 win over Phillies

This game featured two pitchers who had pitched pretty well but not as well as they did in the NLDS. Cody Ross made sure of that blasting two home runs off Roy Halladay to lead the Giants to a huge 4-3 win. The Giants stole game one of the NLCS in Philadelphia.

In the top of the third inning Cody Ross hit a home run off of Roy Halladay to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. That would be the first run allowed by Halladay in his postseason career. The Phillies would respond with a home run of their own by their number eight hitter Carlos Ruiz who hit a home run off Tim Lincecum to tie the game at 1-1. Then Lincecum facing a second and third, two out jam and facing former league MVP Ryan Howard struck out Howard to get out of the inning.

In the top off the fifth inning again Cody Ross hit a home run off Roy Halladay. The pitch and the where the ball ended up appeared very similar to his first home run. Ross became the first eighth hitter since Chad Curtis to hit two home runs in a playoff game. The Giants led 2-1 and how Lincecum was pitching it appeared to be enough.

The Giants then broke the game open a bit in the top of the sixth inning. With two outs former Phillies outfielder Pat Burrell doubled to deep left off of Halladay to score Buster Posey. Then Juan Uribe had a single up the middle scoring Nate Schierholtz to give the Giants a commanding 4-1 lead. In the bottom half of the inning the Phillies struck back with a two run home run by Jason Werth off of Lincecum. That would be Werth's 12th career postseason home run.

The Giants who everyone thought would be shut down this series managed to score four runs off of Halladay who didn't pitch bad. Halladay would end up pitching 7 innings, and striking out 7 but allowed two home runs and four runs overall. The Giants ace and former University of Washington Huskies standout Tim Lincecum would go 7 innings, 3 runs and strike out 8 batters. Brian Wilson would wrap up the game with a save striking out four batters in an inning and a third to record the save as the Giants won 4-3.

This was a big game for the Giants who I felt had to win this game. I think the Phillies are the better and deeper team. Although Halladay lost at home the Giants need to win all of Lincecum's starts. Now the Giants who themselves have very good pitching have an unique chance to go up 2-0 with Jonathan Sanchez who was terrific last start. While the Phillies turn the ball to Roy Oswalt who was amazing for them in the regular season. Look for the Phillies to come out with a sense of urgency knowing they can't afford to go down 2-0 heading to San Francisco who in my opinion has the best crowd amongst the remaining playoff teams.

Rangers win first ever home playoff game 7-2, even series 1-1

The Rangers bounced back from a tough game one loss to pound the Yankees 7-2. The Rangers end a 10 game playoff losing streak to the Yankees that dates back to 1996. The Rangers also won their first ever playoff game. The Rangers for the second straight game rocked the Yankees starting pitchers.

The Rangers wasted no time off of Phil Hughes scoring seven runs off of him in just four innings pitched. The Rangers scored in the first off of Hughes when Andrus stole home on a double steal. Then in the second David Murphy homered off of Hughes then Michael Young drove in Mitch Moreland on an RBI double giving the Rangers a 3-0 lead. The Rangers would tack on two more runs giving them a 5-0 lead after the third. The Rangers weren't feeling very well given how they blew a 5-0 lead just the day before.

In the fifth up 5-1 the Rangers finally chased Hughes scoring two more runs. Hughes would go four innings, giving up 10 hits, walking three guys and allowing seven runs. The Rangers Colby Lewis would go 5.2 innings allowing just two runs and struck out six batters. Then the game was turned over to the Rangers bullpen who blew the game before. That wasn't the case today as the Rangers pen went 3.1 innings giving up just one hit and striking out four batters most importantly they gave up zero runs.

The Rangers will now head to New York with their ace pitching in game three in Cliff Lee against playoff warrior Andy Pettitte of the Yankees. It was important for the Rangers to even the series especially after the way they blew the game yesterday. Had the Rangers won game one the Yankees would be in huge trouble but as is the Yankees still have home field and realistictly hope to take two out of three at home. The Rangers must win game three with Cliff Lee to have any shot at this series and bring Lee back for game six. The Yankees have had some pitching issues with Sabathia allowing nine runs this postseason in 10 innings and now Hughes getting rocked. That doesn't include A.J.Burnett who has been shelled all season long. The Yankees could be in trouble if they can't straighten out their pitching.

Well today saw both aces pitch pretty well but not as insanely great as we thought they could pitch. Lincecum just got one more run of support and Brian Wilson shut the door down on the Phillies. We also saw what we've seen all postseason long that don't count out the Texas Rangers. The Rangers when it appears have had gut wrenching losses respond with a key win. After blowing a 2-0 lead and having to go back to Tampa Bay they respond with a win. After blowing a 5-0 lead to the Yankees they respond by rocking the Yankees. This should be some fun league championship series thats for sure.

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