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NLCS Game 2: Giants at Phillies

Oct 17, 2010, 11:00 PM EST

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Phillies try to even the series back up tonight at Citizens Bank Park.

Rarely during the last three postseasons have the Phillies found themselves trailing their opposition. In fact, they won seven consecutive Game 1s from the 2008 NLDS through this year's NLDS. But after losing Game 1 of the NLCS last night, the two-time defending NL champs now are looking up at the Giants and hoping not to fall too far behind before it's too late.

So the pressure's on the home team tonight at Citizens Bank Park, with Roy Oswalt set to toe the rubber. Oswalt, of course, has postseason experience; he's made nine previous appearances (the first eight with Houston) and owns a 4-0 record and 3.83 ERA.

The Giants, though, have had success against Oswalt, beating him in three of four head-to-head meetings this season. And San Francisco starter, lefty Jonathan Sanchez, went 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Phillies this year.

One change to San Francisco's lineup: Juan Uribe was scratched with a left wrist injury sustained last night while sliding into second base. So veteran Edgar Renteria (hero of the 1997 World Series for the Marlins) gets the start, with Cody Ross (who homered twice last night off Roy Halladay) getting bumped up from the 8-hole to the 6-hole…

Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 8:19 p.m.
TV: Fox Radio: WTNT-570 AM
Weather: Clear, 63 degrees

CF Andres Torres
2B Freddy Sanchez
1B Aubrey Huff
C Buster Posey

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  1. Sec3MySofa - Oct 18, 2010 at 12:46 AM

    Will this be another post-season of notoriously bad umpiring? I've watched a full inning, and I still don't know where the strike zone is tonight, and neither do the Phillies, apparently. They're just watching everything.Except Ibanez, who just waved at strike 3.1-0, Phillies.

  2. Anonymous - Oct 18, 2010 at 1:30 AM

    Gotta love how consistently awful those Phils Phans are… did you hear them CHEERING when Oswalt brushed back Cody Ross high and tight to the head? I think they would've wet themselves with glee if Ross' skull had been smashed.

  3. Michael J. Hayde - Oct 18, 2010 at 1:45 AM

    And now Ross says, "Brush THIS back, Roy!"

  4. Anonymous - Oct 18, 2010 at 2:06 AM

    It's hard for me to watch these playoff games and realize how far the Nats really are out of the playoffs. We're not one or two years out…we're ten or 15 years out. There is no way our guys are ready to play at this level. Soon Dunn will be gone. When Strasburg hits his prime, Zimm will be gone. When Harper hits his prime, Strasburg will be gone. We are generations behind the Phillies, Braves, Reds, Giants. It is hard to watch these good teams, knowing how bad we really, truly are.

  5. sjm105 - Oct 18, 2010 at 3:23 AM

    As much as I want Dunn to sign, he has NEVER played on a winning team so he is not the key piece. Hate to respond to an anonymous poster but if you followed baseball you would know that teams can jump into the playoffs quickly and it is all about how we handle free agency along with our prospects developing. The key for us is Pitching and Defense and we are not 10 years away but maybe two or three if things fall into place. Why will Zimm be gone? He has family in the area, has never said he wants to leave and is the face of the franchise. Strasburg and Harper will play together in two years or less. This years draft was strong and some of those pitchers will also be here sooner than later. ANON can live in negativity and anonymity but I chose to think we are close. I do want to admit that my head is not in the sand. We did not field well last year and that has to improve, as well as our baserunning but I think we are close.Of course this is from someone who watched and rooted for Eddie Yost, Micky Vernon, Gil Coan and Bob Porterfield and that did not get me into any sort of post season games.

  6. Sec3MySofa - Oct 18, 2010 at 4:25 AM

    Well, in Dunn's defense, nobody plays on a winning team, until they do, and Jason Marquis was on playoff teams for the last several years, until 2010. So I don't put much stock in that particular stat.And the Nationals are about eight players away from 80+ wins, Dunn or someone else like him being one, and maybe Espinoza is another. But they need two starting outfielders, three bench guys, at least one and probably two front-line starters, and since bullpens are notoriously crumbly, probably one more unspecified guy who may be in the system now, but not on the last 25-man. And that's not to compete with the Phillies, that's to get to .500.

  7. sjm105 - Oct 18, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    I think to reach .500 they are set at 3rd, short(assuming Desmond cuts his errors down) 2nd, and catcher. They definitely need an overhaul in the outfield and need starting pitching badly. Agree that bullpens are always iffy but we look to be ok right now. Would love to have Dunn at 1st and can't wait to see what Rizzo does concerning starting pitching and the outfield. Also agree our bench was not good. How did Mench stay up with us for so long? As much as I love Willie, he just had a horrible year. I don't think for a minute Nyjer has the mental ability to come off the bench but he would be my choice (again, his attitude cancels this idea). It seems to me we have to be able to get 3 people who can hit .250 or better, get on base and catch the ball. the only ones who came close were Kennedy and Gonzales and I think we keep Gonzales and say good-bye to Mench, Harris,Maxwell and Kennedy. Question to posters – If we improve 10 games next year is that enough or do we have to be above .500? To me the difference between 79 and 81/82 wins is actually pretty big.





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