In a game that featured the same pitching matchup as Game 3 of last year’s NLCS, the end result was the same. Much like that NLCS game, the Phillies faced Matt Cain for the first 7 innings, Javier Lopez in the 8th, and Brian Wilson in the 9th. In those two games, Cain, Lopez, and Wilson combined for 18 IP/7 H/1 R/o ER/4 BB/8 K. Talk about a formula that works.
The game was scoreless until the top of the 3rd when the Giants pushed across a run on a triple by Aaron Rowand. Both offenses were quiet after that until the 7th, when Hamels got into a jam. A leadoff double followed by a walk and an RBI double by Nate Schierholtz gave the Giants a 2-0 lead and prompted a mound visit. Following the visit, Hamels plunked Eli Whiteside on the 2nd pitch to load the bases. Luckily, the pitcher Cain was the next batter, and Hamels quickly induced a pop-up to Chase Utley for the first out of the inning. Five pitches later, Hamels got Rowand to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning with just one run surrendered.
The bottom of the 7th featured a “wacky” play as Chris “Muff” Wheeler would say. Shane Victorino popped-up a few feet down the first base line, and after a Cain-Whiteside mini collision, the ball somehow found its way to the backstop, allowing Victorino to take 2nd. After an Ibanez pop-up, Domonic Brown came through with a single off the glove of Huff and into right field, scoring Victorino with ease.
Hamels came out to pitch the 8th, but did not finish the inning. He recorded two outs on eight pitches, but a Huff double would signify the end of Hamels’ night. In came Brad Lidge, who walked the first batter he saw. He kept his cool, striking out Cody Ross on an 89mph fastball.
Much like the bottom of the 7th, the bottom of the 8th started off with an odd play. At first, it looked like Ross Gload had lined out to center. However, this was not the case, as Whiteside was called for catcher’s interference, which awarded Gload first base. The next play killed the inning. Jimmy Rollins bunted, and the Giants got the out at 2nd. It did as much help as a strikeout. After Michael Martinez flew out to right, Rollins swiped 2nd during Chase Utley’s at-bat. It proved to be meaningless, as Utley went on to fly out to center.
Antonio Bastardo breezed through the 9th, setting up a re-match of Wilson vs. Howard to start the bottom of the 9th. Wilson bested Howard again, getting him to fly out to left. The rest of the inning was easy for Wilson, as he induced groundouts to Victorino and Ibanez to secure his 32nd save of the year.
Oswalt Stretches Out In First Rehab Start
PHILADELPHIA — Phillies starting pitcher Roy Oswalt pitched four innings in a rehab start Wednesday night, allowing one earned run, one hit and two walks and striking out four for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
He threw 72 pitches. The Phillies had wanted him to throw 60 pitches but would concede more if Oswalt felt healthy enough to continue. He had hoped to only need one rehab start before rejoining the Major League rotation, but the Phillies want him completely stretched out before doing so. Expect Oswalt to need another rehab appearance.
It was his first start since going on the disabled list June 24 with lower back inflammation and two bulging disks. Oswalt last pitched for the Phillies on June 23, when he allowed four earned runs in two innings at St. Louis. — By Nate Mink / MLB.com