8:39 p.m.: Final: Giants 3, Phillies 2. And as Russ Hodges once said, “The Giants win the pennant!“
8:36 p.m.: Ryan Howard is up, and Wilson goes to 2-2 on him. A high outside fastball. Ball three. Full count, runners will be on the move. Wilson jams Howard with a high fastball and he fouls it back. HOWARD LOOKS AT AN OFFSPEED PITCH AT THE KNEES. STRIKE THREE.
8:33 p.m. (bottom 9th): Chase Utley goes up 3-1, then walks. Wilson’s fastball is wicked, but he’s having trouble with it running outside against the lefty hitters. Two on, two out. Wilson Valdez pinch runs for Polanco.
8:31 (bottom 9th): Polanco grounds to third, Uribe fields and gets Rollins at second. Polanco beats the relay. One more out.
8:28 p.m. (bottom 9th): Jimmy Rollins up. He takes a wicked cut at a high 2-1 fastball, and for some reason Tim McCarver says, “He couldn’t hold up.” (Tim, that’s because he was trying to hit it out of the park). Rollins gets ball 3, fouls one off, then gets ball four. Man on first.
8:26 p.m. (bottom 9th): Wilson needs three outs to get the Giants into the World Series. There’s the first one: pinch hitter Ross Gload grounds to second base.
8:20 p.m. (top 9th): Brad Lidge takes the ball for the Phillies. Nate Schierholtz, batting in the ninth spot in the lineup, strikes out. Andres Torres lays down a beautiful bunt on the first-base side that no one can make a play on for a single. Freddy Sanchez singles to left, Torres to second. Huff comes to the plate and strikes a long foul drive into the rightfield stands that a fan makes a nice barehanded catch on. Huff strikes out, two down. Posey gets an intentional walk with reliever Brian Wilson on deck. The Fox guys note Wilson was 0 for 5 batting this season. Perfect spot to roll one through the right side. Well, he did hit it to the right side, bouncing out to Ryan Howard at first. Giants 3, Phillies 2.
8:11 p.m. (bottom 8th): And Wilson gets out of it. Carlos Ruiz lines to first, and Victorino is doubled off second. Giants 3, Phillies 2.
8:07 p.m. (bottom 8th): Now Ibañez singles to right, Victorino to second. Lincecum is done as Bochy brings in Brian Wilson. Fear the Beard.
8:05 p.m.: Shane Victorino wins the battle of Filipino-American stars, flipping the ball to right for a single. One out, man on first.
8:03 p.m.: The ever-creative Phillies fans are wolf-whistling at Lincecum again. It’s good to know someplace in America still thinks long-hair on a guy is effeminate (I suggest they take it up with my man Triple H).
8 p.m.: Tim Lincecum comes on in relief. Which will be just fine if he does what manager Bruce Bochy expects him to do. And Lincecum starts off by striking out Werth with a ridiculous breaking ball.
7:57 p.m. (top 8th): Uribe’s homer momentarily quiets the crowd. Renteria strikes out. Giants 3, Phillies 2.
7:52 p.m. (top 8th): Madson still pitching for Philadelphia. Burrell grounds to short. Ross flies to medium deep left. And then–SHOCK!–Uribe hits it just over the rightfield barrier for a homer. Giants 3, Phillies 2.
7:45 p.m. (bottom 7th): Javier Lopez relieves Bumgarner and flies to Cody Ross in right. Utley grounds to Lopez. Two out. Howard’s up, and Lopez gets two quick strikes. Lopez is dealing. He goes to that ridiculous sweeping slider of his. Both are low and away. 2-2. Then he comes in with a fastball at the knees. Strikeout. To the eighth. Giants 2, Phillies 2.
7:43 p.m. (bottom 7th): This game’s been so interesting and intense that you almost forget what’s at stake here. One of these teams is going to the World Series. One of them might do it tonight.
7:39 p.m.: They’re singing “God Bless America.” It always make me think of The Firesign Theatre‘s “God Bless Vespucciland.”
7:37 p.m. (top 7th): But he doesn’t. Posey grounds to Utley at second, who tosses to Rollins to force Huff. Three out. Giants 2, Phillies 2.
7:36 p.m. (top 7th): Madson whiffs Andres Torres. Two out. Then Freddy Sanchez doubles into the leftfield corner. Huff to the plate, and Madson walks him intentionally. That brings up Buster Posey (who’s booed when he’s announced). Tim McCarver says on Fox the walk’s “a good move. It makes sense.” Which makes me hope that Posey goes yard.
7:27 p.m. (top 7th): Ryan Madson on the mound for the Phillies, and Travis Ishikawa pinch-hits for the Giants. Ishikawa gives Madson a battle before taking a called third strike (on a pitch that the Fox pitch-chart thing says was outside by plenty).
7:24 p.m.: Ibañez, who’s done nearly nothing this series, doubles over Uribe’s head and into the leftfield corner. Ruiz bunts him to third. (Why? Why bunt? Why throw away an out with a runner already in scoring position? Honestly.) Then pinch-hitter Ben Francisco strikes out (Oswalt’s done for the night) and Jimmy Rollins flies to left-center for out number three. Giants 2, Phillies 2.
7:18 p.m.: Foreign substances: Pat Burrell has a big wad of chewing tobacco in his cheek. Tim Lincecum chews, too. If you like these guys, why not write them a letter and tell to stop doing something so dangerously stupid. Former major leaguer and broadcaster Joe Garagiola has turned this into a cause: “He’s Spitting Mad.”
7:15 p.m. (top 6th): Oswalt fees Renteria one low curve after another and gets ahead. When Oswalt finally throws a fastball it runs in on Renteria, who offers weakly and fouls it off. But he says “s__t!” and tries to convince the umpire he was hit. The ump ain’t buying it. Too bad, because Renteria winds up grounding to Utley at second, who turns a nice 4-3 double play, and that threat is done with. Giants 2, Phillies 2.
7:07 p.m. (top 6th): Ross doubles off the wall down the leftfield line. That’s the Giants ninth hit. Then Oswalt hits Uribe with a fastball that runs way inside. Men on first and second, one out. The Giants threaten yet again.
7:05 p.m. (top 6th): Pat Burrell has one of those at-bats that really make a pitcher work. Fouled off some nice pitches with two strikes and eventually worked a full count. But Oswalt gets him swinging on a breaking ball at his ankles. One out.
7 p.m.: Your blogger started the game working on a cup of coffee. He’s now digging into a bowl of popcorn accompanied by a beer. Thirsty work, this.
6:58 p.m. (bottom 5th): Victorino bounces it right back to Bumgarner, who throws a very deliberate strike to Huff at first. Side retired. Giants 2, Phillies 2.
6:56 p.m. (bottom 5th): Madison Bumgarner, all of 21 years old, on the mound for the Giants. Jimmy Rollins greets him with a single to right. Polanco pops to short left. Utley flies to medium deep left center. Ryan Howard hits a shot into much deeper left center for a double. Rollins is held at third. Werth gets an intentional walk. Bases loaded for Victorino.
6:45 p.m. (top 5th): Posey up with two out. Two called strikes on a fast ball and curve. Oswalt comes straight at him with two more fastballs that Posey fouls off. Low outside breaking ball. Fastball–foul ball. Fastball–inside for ball two. Looks like absolutely everyone in the ballpark is twirling those white towels as Oswalt goes into the stretch. A high fastball. Posey swings and misses. Strike three, and on to the bottom of the 5th. Giants 2, Phillies 2.
6:40 p.m. (top 5th): Torres strikes out after the booing dies down. Freddy Sanchez singles to center, Fontenot to second. Oswalt goes to a full count on Huff, who fouls out to Polanco at third.
6:35 p.m. (top 5th): Mike Fontenot pinch-hits for Affeldt and singles to right. Then we get another occasion for the Phillies’ fans to exercise their talent for booing when Andres Torres fouls a bunt attempt. The ball hits him, and Oswalt argues Torres was out of the batter’s box and should be called out. Replay shows the plate umpire got it right–Torres was still in the batter’s box. Boo! Boo!
6:30 p.m. (bottom 4th): Affeldt gets a three-up, three-down 4th: Ibañez grounds to short, Ruiz strikes out, Oswalt bloops to right. Giants 2, Phillies 2.
6:20 p.m. (top 4th): Burrell pops the ball foul in no-man’s land down the right-field line. Howard chases it from first and Werth from right. It’s Werth’s ball–he makes a beautiful sliding catch as he runs out of room and skids into the wall. Great play. Uribe fouls out in more conventional fashion to 3rd. Then Renteria flies to short right. Easy inning for Oswalt. Giants 2, Phillies 2.
6:16 p.m. The first three innings took one hour and 18 minutes to complete. Wow. We were looking at a cool ad that that Anchor Brewing ran in the San Francisco Chronicle this morning. It alluded to an old-time pitching legend for the San Francisco team in the old Pacific Coast League, >Clarence T. “Cack” Henley. One of Henley’s many amazing mound feats was a 24-inning shutout–a game that took three and a half hours to complete. The times they sure have changed.
6:15 p.m. (bottom 3rd): Affeldt fans Ryan Howard for the first out. He gets Jayson Werth to fly to right. Two out. Victorino grounds to first. Affeldt stops the bleeding. Giants 2, Phillies 2.
6:05 p.m.: The delay due to the unscheduled bench-clearing recreation works to the Giants’ advantage; it gives reliever Jeremy Affeldt more time to warm up, and now he’s coming into the game. So much for my pregame thinking that Sanchez would be the stopper this game. He leaves after just two innings in the books and responsible for the two runners on base.
6:01 p.m. (bottom 3rd): He responds by throwing three consecutive balls to Polanco, then walking him on 3-1. Not good. Then he gets behind Utley and hits him. Here we go: Sanchez thinks Utley showed him up by tossing him the ball back, they start jawing, and both benches empty. No brawl though–just a bunch of guys in funny pants stretching their legs.
5:52 p.m. (top 3rd): Burrell skies the ball to left for the third out. But it’s a new game. Let’s see how Sanchez responds. Giants 2, Phillies 2.
5:50 p.m. (top 3rd): Crazy inning! Posey rolls a ball to the third-base side of the mound; Polanco grabs it barehanded and fires to first in time. But Posey runs into first baseman Ryan Howard’s glove and the ball rolls away, and Aubrey Huff scores from second with no play. Giants 2, Phillies 2.
5:45 p.m. (top 3rd): Jonathan Sanchez has his turn at bat and hits it hard up the middle for a single. Here comes Andres Torres again, and this time he looks like he’s taken that big metal necklace off. He hits a blast to dead center, where the Phils’ Shane Victorino just misses making a beautiful over the shoulder catch. Since Sanchez held up, it winds up as a 400-plus foot single. Runners on first and second for Freddy Sanchez, who sacrifices them to second and third. Huff follows with a single up the middle–Oswalt suddenly looks very hittable–J. Sanchez scores, but Victorino cuts down Torres with a perfect thrown to the plate. Phillies 2, Giants 1.
5:42 p.m. (bottom 2nd): Sanchez falls behind Carlos Ruiz 2-0 before evening the count then getting him to ground to short. Oswalt grounds to second. Sanchez tarts off Rollins with two strikes, throws three ball, then gets Rollins on a swinging strike three. That’s a one-two-three inning that was harder than it looked. Phillies 2, Giants 0.
5:32: p.m. (top 2nd): Pat Burrell opens with an infield single to short. Cody Ross hits the ball hard to Polanco at third who field the ball on a high hop and starts and around-the-horn double play. Juan Uribe floats a soft liner to right for a single. Edgar Renteria flies to right for the final out. Phillies 2, Giants 0.
5:21 p.m. (bottom 1st): Shane Victorino, one of two Filipino Americans playing in this series (the Giants’ Tim Lincecum is the other one), bounces a single up the middle and Howard stops at second. Raul Ibañez pops to second to end the inning, and the beleaguered-looking Sanchez is finally out of the inning. Phillies 2, Giants 0.
5:20 p.m. (bottom 1st): Werth hits a blast to left center, but gets under it and leftfielder Pat Burrell catches it on the warning track. Utley scores on the sacrifice fly. Phillies 2, Giants 0.
5:18 p.m. (bottom 1st): Ryan Howard flares a single to short left, not deep enough to score Utley. Runners at first and third with Jayson Werth coming to the plate and reliever Guillermo Mota warming up for the Giants.
5:16 p.m. (bottom 1st): Utley pulls a 2-1 fastball to right for a double, scoring Polanco. Phillies 1, Giants 0.
5:13 p.m. (bottom 1st): Well, the Phillies are looking for strikes. Sanchez got behind Rollins, and he walked Placido Polanco, the No. 2 hitter, on four pitches. He starts off Chase Utley, the third hitter, with a wild pitch breaking ball that sends Polanco to second. Early story line: Sanchez is having trouble with control.
5:11 p.m. (bottom 1st): Sanchez goes to a full count on leadoff hitter Jimmy Rollins—Alameda’s Own Jimmy Rollins—before Rollins grounds to third.
5:08 p.m.: An intra-inning question from my living-room audience. What are those woven, colored necklaces some of the players are wearing? Hmm–that’s beyond my expertise. But I note that Torres is also wearing a long, floppy metal necklace, which prompts me to ask: Why would anyone want to wear something like that when they’re playing, and why do the People Who Run Baseball allow it?
5:06 p.m. (top 1st): Buster Posey flies out to right, stranding Torres. Giants 0, Phillies coming to bat.
5:02 p.m. (top 1st): Oswalt strikes out Freddy Sanchez and Aubrey Huff. I think the phrase for the way he’s pitching is, “He’s dealing.”
7:57 p.m. EDT (4:57 p.m. PDT) (top 1st): Play ball! Oswalt throws a first-pitch strike to Andres Torres. Pitch 2 is lined to left. Say goodbye to the no-hitter.