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.