Charlie Manuel went to his slated Game 6 starter to pitch the ninth inning Wednesday. And what the Giants couldn’t do in Game 2 Sunday, they were able to do Wednesday — figure out Oswalt.
Four batters face Oswalt. All four had good at-bats against him.
Freddy Sanchez started out the ninth by working seven pitches out of Oswalt before hitting a laser to right. But it was caught by Jayson Werth for the first out.
Aubrey Huff jumped on Oswalt’s first pitch by shooting a single to right under the glove of the diving Ryan Howard.
Buster Posey battled Oswalt, nearly missing a double down the right field line, before delivering a single to right, that pushed Huff to third.
Juan Uribe then delivered the fly ball to deep right, allowing Huff to score the winning run.
PULLING OUT ALL STOPS: In addition to bringing Oswalt out to pitch the ninth, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel also let his set-up man, Ryan Madson throw 32 pitches in working 1 2/3 innings. The theory works two ways. Manuel needed Madson to hold the Giants in check, which he did. And Manuel figured he wouldn’t need a set-up man Thursday with Roy Halladay pitching. Halladay is going to go deep into Game 5, regardless of what the Giants are able to do off him.
PAINS OF OCTOBER: It’s late in the season, so everyone is hurting after a long season. But the Giants have their fair share of bumps and bruises: SS Edgar Renteria is playing with a torn bicep; SS Juan Uribe didn’t start Wednesday with a sore wrist; 1B Aubrey Huff is battling a sore leg; OF Cody Ross, at the very least, has a nasty bruise after being hit by Joe Blanton Wednesday.
STRIKING FIRST: The team scoring the first run has won all five games in the series.
NOT SO BIG THREE: With Wednesday’s Game 4 win off Oswalt, the Giants have won three games in the series. The losing pitchers in those three games: Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt.
GAME 5 SUCCESS: As the Giants go for the clinching win Thursday, they take a six-game winning streak in postseason Game 5s. The Giants haven’t lost a Game 5 since the 1962 World Series, winning Game 5 in the 1987 NLCS vs. Cardinals, 1989 NLCS vs. Cubs, 2002 NLDS vs. Braves, 2002 NLCS vs. Cardinals and 2002 World Series vs. Angels. Five of those six wins have come at home.