Yesterday saw the NLCS open with a mouthwatering Lincecum-Halladay matchup, while the Rangers and Yankees played game 2 of the ALCS with the Rangers looking to tie the series at one.
ALCS game 2, in Arlington, featured Colby Lewis for the Rangers going up against Phil Hughes for New York. The Rangers got aggressive and got on the board early, with Elvis Andrus stealing home in the first to put them up 1-0. They added two in the second and another two in third, eventually running away with this one 7-2. The series will come back to New York tied, with Cliff Lee facing off against Andy Pettitte. Should be a great game.
In Philadelphia, Lincecum and Halladay toed the rubber looking to get their respective teams out to a lead in the NLCS’ critical game 1. Cody Ross gave the Giants an early lead with a solo shot in the third, the Giants’ first hit off Halladay. Carlos Ruiz led off the bottom of the third with a home run of his own to tie the game.
Ross hit another solo shot in the 5th to return the Giants’ one-run lead. Then, in the 6th, Buster Posey singled with two out. Burrell followed with a double to score Posey, and Uribe singled him home to give the Giants a 4-1 lead.
The Phillies would close the gap in the bottom of the 6th, with Jayson Werth’s 2-run shot making it a 4-3 game. That’s how it would stay, as Brian Wilson recorded a four-out save to give the Giants the win.
The players and plays that shined from last night:
WPA Leader: Elvis Andrus and Colby Lewis (.164)
Andrus went 2 for 4 with a walk and stole two bases, including home once. Lewis pitched 5.2 innings of two-run ball to get the win.
David Murphy’s home run to double the Rangers’ lead from 1-0 to 2-0 had a WPA of .092, the highest of any play in this game. No play provided a huge WPA swing, as this was never an extremely close game (average LI of 0.56).
Phil Hughes put up a -.290, throwing 4 innings and giving up 7 runs. If the Yankees are going to have a chance this series, they’re going to have to get some better starting pitching than they have so far. Their bullpen has pitched 9 innings in the last two days, so they’re going to need to conserve their arms by having their starters pitch deeper into games.
Brian Wilson’s 1.1 scoreless innings to end the game made him the WPA leader, his .247 WPA mostly due to a 3.07 average LI during his time on the mound. Honorable mentions go to Cody Ross, whose 2 home runs propelled him to a .235 WPA, and Jayson Werth, whose own 2-run homer allowed him to lead the Phillies with a .225 WPA.
Jayson Werth’s two-run homer was the biggest swing in this game, with a WPA of .189. The home run really got the Phillies back into this game, and while they could not pull off the comeback, it turned this one into a real nailbiter for the last few innings. Cody Ross’s home runs gave him WPA’s of .112 and .140, while Pat Burrell’s double was good for .136 WPA.
Shane Victorino had a day to forget, going 0 for 5 with 2 strikeouts and a double-play grounder. After his game-ending strikeout against Brian Wilson, Victorino’s WPA stood at an ugly -.271.