Cody Ross delivers two home runs, Tim Linceum outduels Roy Halladay in San Francisco Giants’ win

PHILADELPHIA — Cody Ross grew up dreaming to become a rodeo
clown. Tim Lincecum barely looks grown up at all.

The
Giants do not scare you when they
walk off the bus. Their roster wasn’t built so much as thrown
together. They have more characters than a sitcom writer’s
brainstorm session.

And after a 4-3 victory Saturday in Game 1 of the NLCS, they
have the league’s attention.

Ross hit two home runs — thrusting two surprising lances into
Roy Halladay’s thick armor — and Lincecum pitched from his heels
for seven innings but proved himself the better man in a celebrated
matchup.

Brian Wilson worked a four-out save as the underdog
Giants stunned the two-time
defending NL-champion Phillies and their fans at Citizens Bank
Park.

“We have some characters here, you know, whether you want to
call them castoffs or misfits,”
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “I
compare them to the Dirty Dozen. That’s the way they play, but
they’ve coalesced into a team that goes out there to win.”

Nobody would dare wolf whistle at stone faces like Charles
Bronson or Lee Marvin, but Tim Lincecum’s long hair made him an
inviting target for the Phillies’ inventive fans. The ballpark
filled with the sound of 40,000 mockingbirds for each of Lincecum’s
at-bats.

Despite some shaky moments, including a rare mound visit from
Bochy after Lincecum showed frustration in the third, Lincecum
didn’t let the hostile environment affect him. After grounding out
in the seventh, he laughed at third base coach Tim Flannery as the
crowd whistled him all the way into the dugout.

“You’re fighting more than just the Philly team,” Lincecum said.
“It turns into the whole Philly atmosphere. You know you’re going
to get that coming in here. It just makes the environment that much
more fun, that much more special, and a lot more pressure.”

Lincecum’s other thought on the whistles?

“I was thinking I must have a really nice butt,” he said,
laughing.

In a game that was billed as a crossing of swords between
Lincecum and Halladay, neither pitcher emerged without a scratch.
Lincecum allowed six hits and three walks and struck out eight in
seven innings; Halladay lost to the
Giants for the second time this
season, allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out seven
in seven innings.

Both pitchers allowed two home runs.

Ross said last week that he grew up in New Mexico, the son of a
chiropractor by day and cowboy by night, and he did his share of
mutton busting as a kid. But he really dreamed of being the guy in
the barrel and painted face.

He took the barrel to Halladay, all right. The Phillies’ ace was
coming off his historic no-hitter of the Cincinnati Reds in his
first career postseason start, and he retired the first seven
Giants before Ross cracked his home
run into the left field seats with one out in the third. It was the
first hit Halladay allowed since the eighth inning on Sept. 27, to
Adam Dunn of the Washington Nationals. He had retired 40 of 41
since then.

Ross knew Halladay well. He was 0 for 3 against him as a member
of the Florida Marlins on May 29, when Halladay threw the 20th
perfect game in major league history.

“In the past, I’ve tried everything against him,” Ross said.
“Try to wait him out, try to be aggressive, and I guess in between.
I was just looking for a pitch to drive and luckily I got it.”

The Phillies tied it when their own No. 8 hitter, Carlos Ruiz,
hit a home run off Lincecum in the bottom of the inning.

But Ross didn’t miss another pitch down the middle, putting the
Giants ahead with another shot that
landed in nearly the same spot in the fifth. He joined Jeff Kent,
Rich Aurilia and Will Clark as the only
Giants in the club’s San Francisco
era to hit two home runs in a postseason game.

Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff
chuckled when told Ross is a streaky hitter.

“If you’re going to be streaky now’s a nice time for it,” Huff
said of Ross, who was claimed off waivers from the Florida Marlins.
“He’s been a nice garbage find for us.”

The
Giants’ two-run sixth turned out to
be golden. Pat Burrell hit a run-scoring double off Raul Ibanez’s
glove in deep left field, and Juan Uribe’s single up the middle
scored pinch runner Nate Schierholtz to give the
Giants a 4-1 lead.

“I’m thinking there’s no way we’re going to make it this easy,”
Huff said. “Two pitches later, it’s 4-3 and I’m thinking, ‘That’s
about right.'”

Lincecum yielded a two-run homer to Jayson Werth. But Bochy
trusted his ace, letting him hit in the seventh. And Lincecum
rewarded him with a quiet, 11-pitch inning.

Javier Lopez retired Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the eighth,
Wilson finished the rest and the
Giants won another game with no
margin for error. Each of their four postseason victories has been
by one run.

They don’t win going away. But they keep winning.

“We like the odds stacked up against us,” Wilson said. “If all
the odds say we’re going to lose, then what do you have to
lose?

“We went out there played our game, attacked the zone, we had
our ace going and we shut the door. We were able to draw first
blood. That eases the tension and takes the air out of the other
team.
Giants lead series 1-0

(Best-of-7; x-if necessary)

TV: FOX Radio: 680-AM

GAME 1:
Giants 4, Phillies 3

TODAY:
Giants (Sanchez 13-9) at
Philadelphia (Oswalt 13-13), 5:19 p.m.

TUESDAY: Philadelphia (Hamels 12-11) at
Giants (Cain 13-11), 1:19 p.m.

WEDNESDAY: at
Giants, 4:57 p.m.

x-THURSDAY: at
Giants, 4:57 p.m.

x-SATURDAY: at Philadelphia, 12:57 p.m. or 4:57 p.m.

x-NEXT SUNDAY: at Philadelphia, 4:57 p.m.

InsideInman: Lincecum ignores the distractions. Page 10 Pat
Burrell gives
Giants a boost in return to Philly.
Page 11