October 21 mlb.com:
SAN FRANCISCO — Somehow, Phillies ace Roy Halladay helped return the National League Championship Series to Philadelphia.
Somehow he did it.
Halladay did not have his best stuff in a 4-2 victory Thursday over the Giants in Game 5 of the NLCS at AT&T Park, which tightened the best-of-seven series to a 3-2 Giants advantage. Halladay lacked velocity on his sinker, which he did not throw as often as normal. He instead worked mostly with his cutter, changeup and curveball, which was just one reason why Halladay piled up 108 pitches through six innings.
He grinded through six innings — allowing six hits, two runs, two walks and striking out five — but he pitched well enough to win.
He gave the Phillies a chance to extend the series Saturday in Game 6 and force a Game 7 on Sunday.
He gave the Phillies a chance to extend the series.
It was a grind, which is what this entire series has been for the Phils. They have struggled offensively. They have not played clean defense. They have made poor pitches at inopportune times to a hot offensive team.
But they’re alive, with Game 6 on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park.
Game 5 started grimly for the Phillies. Halladay walked Giants center fielder Andres Torres to start the first inning. It was just the seventh time this season Halladay walked the leadoff hitter in an inning. Freddy Sanchez followed with a single to center to put runners at the corners with no outs.
Philadelphia pitching coach Rich Dubee visited Halladay on the mound after just 10 pitches, which might have been the most unusual sighting of the season. Dubee certainly has visited Halladay before, but never that early. [Editor’s note: Halladay injured his groin, prompting the visit.]
Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard snared a line drive from Aubrey Huff for the first out, but Chase Utley, who has had a disappointing NLCS, cost the Phils a run. Buster Posey hit a slow ground ball to Utley, who tried to pick up the ball, tag Sanchez and throw to first for the inning-ending double play.
Except Utley never picked up the ball. By the time Utley realized he had a glove with no ball in it, Torres had scored and there was no chance for a double play. He instead flipped the ball to second for the force out.
Halladay struck out Pat Burrell to end the inning.
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