Pitcher Roy Oswalt made his first start back from the DL today in the series finale against the Giants. Looking a little rusty, Oswalt allowed three runs, although it could have been worse. Over six innings, Oswalt gave up 12 hits, but still stranded 10 runners.
For the Giants, Tim Lincecum was his usual, amazing self, limiting the Phillies to just one run on seven hits. However, someone should inform the baby-faced Lincecum that he does not need to attempt to grow the world’s smallest goatee in order to be intimidating. Although, it is awfully cute.
Watching the Phillies score only one run was not so cute. Chase Utley had the lone RBI. And for the first time as a Phillie, Hunter Pence did not have a hit in the game. So both Pence’s hit streak and win streak ended on the same day.
The Phillies win streak as a team ended at nine; with Pence, they won eight straight. And as it turns out, Pence does not hit, the Phillies do not win. Pence must feel like he has entered the Twilight Zone, finally losing a game with his new team.
There were a few interesting moments in the game, aside from the lack of offense. Carlos Ruiz made two great plays, giving up his body to get outs. In the 4th, Ruiz dove to tag out Aubrey Huff by smashing him right in the face with the baseball (see photo). And then in the 5th, Ruiz ran down Jeff Keppinger who wandered too far of third and jumped on top of him right before he reached third to get the out.
Later in the 8th, Utley was clearly distracted by Lincecum’s adorable baby facial hair as he fouled off a ball and his bat went flying to the mound, hitting Lincecum in the knee. Utley went to check on little Timmy to make sure he was ok and Timmy handed him the bat back, indicating he was fine. It was a nice display of sportsmanship by both players.
The 3-1 loss leaves the Phillies still with a wide margin in the NL East, leading the Braves by 8.5 games. Plus, taking 3 of 4 games from the Giants is very big for their momentum and confidence as the leaders in the league.
Monday night, the Phillies begin a 3-game series with the Dodgers. Roy Halladay will pitch and game time is 10:10pm.
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Photos from Getty Images