2 Jacks trump ace;Ross goes deep twice as S.F. tops Halladay

The
Giants now have four of the 11
postseason wins they need to get a World Series victory parade down
Market Street. The journey gets only steeper and more treacherous,
but on a chilly Saturday evening inside one of baseball’s most
inhospitable parks, they declared once and for all they will not be
pushed off the road.

A crowd of 45,929 whistled at Tim Lincecum the way a man
whistles at a woman. The fans booed Pat Burrell. Roy Halladay, who
threw a no-hitter in the Division Series and almost certainly will
wrest the Cy Young crown from Lincecum, was on the mound in full
confidence.

None of it mattered. When Brian Wilson blew the game’s final
pitch past Shane Victorino, the scoreboard read ”
Giants 4, Phillies 3.”

“Humongous,” Wilson said in describing the win in Game 1 of the
National League Championship Series. Fifteen of the last 18 teams
to win the NLCS opener went to the World Series. Humongous
indeed.

Naturally, the
Giants won by a run. They have
played five games this postseason, all settled by that margin. This
one might have been the best team effort.

Cody Ross continued his bid for enshrinement in the Mark Lemke
Hall of Fame. Ross hit two solo homers against Halladay, whom the
Giants attacked for four runs on
eight hits in seven innings. Ross has four go-ahead hits this
postseason, including both homers against Halladay.

Pat Burrell and Juan Uribe also had RBIs to cap a two-out rally
in the sixth, which began with a Buster Posey single, to help the
Giants stay perfect against Halladay
in four games spread over nine seasons.

Most important, Lincecum outpitched Halladay in a seven-inning,
three-run effort. Lincecum was not the 14-strikeout marvel he was
in Game 1 of the Division Series against Atlanta. In the third
inning, manager Bruce Bochy saw frustration in Lincecum and visited
the mound to calm him.

Carlos Ruiz hit a tying solo homer against Lincecum in that
inning, and Jayson Werth closed a 4-1 game to 4-3 with homer in the
sixth.

“Just taking a 1-0 lead in the NLCS is good enough,” Lincecum
said. “I’ll go back to the chalkboard and work on things, right the
wrongs and make better pitches next time. At the end of the day,
we’re up in the series.”

If a pitcher can backslide and still beat the consensus pick for
best pitcher in the league, on the road, he must be going well.

His sense of humor remained intact, too. Asked about the
whistles as he batted in the fifth inning, he said, “I was thinking
I must have a really nice butt.”

Ross swung his butt into a pair of Halladay sinkers and gave the

Giants leads of 1-0 and 2-1 with his
second and third homers of the postseason. Halladay has been in the
majors since 1998. Only six other players had taken him deep twice
in a game.

Posey said he wants to “bump up against” Ross for transference
of mojo. Aubrey Huff called Ross “a great garbage find” by the
Giants’ front office.

Ross is having a hard time explaining all this. He was 3-for-16
lifetime against Halladay, including two grounders and a pop-up in
the May 29 perfect game at Florida.

“This guy, he’s obviously one of the best in the game,” Ross
said. “He’s got the potential to go out there and do that every
night he pitches. Fortunately, we got to him a little early and
Timmy threw outstanding, and pitched well enough to win
tonight.”

That was in doubt after Werth’s homer.

“When it was 4-1 in the sixth,” Huff said, “I was thinking there
was no way it’s going to be this easy. Two pitches later, it’s 4-3.
I thought, ‘That’s just about right.’ “

Bochy bypassed his rested and loaded bullpen and let Lincecum
throw the seventh. It proved to be one of his best innings.
Pinch-hitter Domonic Brown, Victorino and Placido Polanco did not
breach the infield.

Lincecum said he knew he was at the end of his leash and
thought, “I better make a statement here, get the guys out and give
us a chance to win.”

Philly’s two big left-handed hitters, Chase Utley and Ryan
Howard, started the eighth, and lefty specialist Javier Lopez mowed
them down.

Bochy again bypassed his stable of hard-throwing setup men and
went to Wilson for the four-out save. Though Wilson allowed a Werth
single in the eighth and hit Ruiz with one out in the ninth, He
struck out Jimmy Rollins, Raul Iba?ez, Ross Gload and Victorino for
his four outs.

Twenty minute later, Lincecum was addressing 50 members of the
press when the cell phone in his locker rang. He turned around and
said, “I’ve got to take this.” Then he swung around, smiled at the
reporters and said, “I’m just kidding.”

Lincecum was in his element. After this win, the
Giants seemed to be in theirs.