Here are some great Twitter tidbits from Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherAOL) that I wanted to share before they disappear into the Twit-ether:
- In MLB postseason history, teams leading 3-1 have .514 win pct in Game 5 (37-35). They have won the series 84.7 pct (61-11).
- Actually, that previous stat doesn't include the Yankees winning 5 yesterday, so the leading teams only 37-36 in Game 5.
- Teams up 3-1 at home in Game 5 are 17-17, on the road 20-19. (To win series, 29-5 and 32-6).
Game 5: Doc Halladay vs. Lincecum
Don't have much to add to what I wrote about before.
Will be interesting how Halladay reacts to this start, which arguably is the most important ever in his career/life. Being the vet he is, his no-hitter start is not a surprise other than it was a no-hitter, which are never predictable. There was really no pressure, if you lose it is not great, but it's not the end of the world either, so you can be more relaxed about the game. Similarly, there was not as much pressure in his second start, against the Giants, it being the first game of the series too.
However, obviously, this being the second round and with the victor heading to the World Series, there was definitely more pressure than he experienced in his first playoff start. And he did not have a good game, though those 4 ER he gave up was the least he has ever given up in a start against the Giants (5 ER in his prior 3 starts). And overall, if not for the homers he gave up to Ross, he pretty much dominated the Giants, he was not that far off (3 PQS but remove one HR and it would be a 5 PQS start).
So how will he react in this, his first do-or-die start in the playoffs? Will he rise to the occasion? Or do the Giants just hit in a way that gives Halladay fits?
I think he will have trouble. Ross is in a zone where he can hit any pitch for a hit. He says that he is going to be able to combat him with some new tricks up his sleeve. But now there is Posey, Huff, Sandoval, and maybe Torres to contend with too.
The four of them contributed big runs that helped the Giants win last night. Will Halladay be able to handle all of them? Particularly Sandoval, who was hitting line drives last night, and we know that he's capable of launching normally good "pitcher's pitches" into the stands. Then there are the players who have hit Halladay before, like Burrell.
Lincecum sounds like he's ready to rumble. Nice article in SJ Mercury on that. With no real pressure other than wanting the sweet satisfaction of putting the Giants into the World Series and the greater satisfaction of getting to celebrate with the Giants fans in the stands, Lincecum should be loose and ready to pitch the game of his life.
Giants vs. Halladay
Bill James Daily Match-Up Stats for today:
Burrell: 10-24, BB, 8 K
Fontenot: 1-9, K
Huff: 19-72, 5 BB, 13 K (wow, no HR!)
Posey: 2-6, 4 K
Renteria: 4-11, 2 K
Ross: 7-22, 4 HR, 2 K (Ownage!)
Franchez: 1-11, 3 K (reverse ownage)
Torres: 3-15, 3 K (could be due!)
Uribe: 6-24, 6 K
The Giants, obviously, is in great shape to get into the World Series. They just need to win one game in the next three, albeit three against the mighty Phillies, twice-in-row NLCS champs, and facing Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels, three of the best pitchers in the majors. Luckily, we have Lincecum, Sanchez, and Cain, likewise three of the best pitchers in the majors, going against them, and our offense is waking up, which would be just in time too, the pitching can't carry the team forever, it is time for the offense to contribute too. And they did yesterday.
The hitters have to show up again today. Luckily, the Giants have hit Halladay well this season, in two games; that's also unlucky, because he's a great pitcher and you have to doubt that a team, particularly an offensively challenged team like the Giants, could score 4-5 runs off him and beat him a third time in the season. Still, at almost any point this season, you would have to doubt that the Giants would reach 3-1 in the NLCS, so sometimes dreams do come true.
Go Giants! Finish off the Phillies at home and celebrate with the great Giants fans!