Burrell puts dent in Phillies

PHILADELPHIA — In his previous life here, Pat Burrell rather

than Raul Ibanez would’ve been the one in left trying to

desperately run down a long drive in the gap knowing the game might

be hanging in the balance. After all, for nine years at Citizens

Bank Park — and before that, the Vet — that was his turf.

But there’s no room for sentiment in the National League

Championship Series. Two years ago, Burrell led the Phils’ World

Championship parade down Broad Street.

Now he and the

Giants are trying to ruin their

party, to make sure Charlie Manuel’s team doesn’t become the first

NL club since the 1942-44 Cardinals to win three straight

pennants.

“There’s a lot of memories because of all the time I spent

here,” sighed Burrell, after Ibanez was unable to flag his RBI

double, which turned out to be a crucial hit in the

Giants’ 4-3 win over the Phillies in

Game 1. “Really great memories, and it’s hard not to think of

them.

“But you know what? It’s business time. All that’s over with.

I’m on a new team — with the same goal.”

Step one — of four — of that goal was accomplished Saturday in

large part thanks to Burrell. After ripping his sixth-inning double

off a suddenly vulnerable Roy Halladay, he was lifted for pinch

runner Nate Schierholtz, who promptly came around to score what

proved to be the decisive run when slumping Juan Uribe singled up

the middle to make it 4-1.

“He made a heck of an effort to get back there and got his glove

on it,” said Burrell, who had to hold his breath on an 0-2 fastball

moments earlier, which Halladay thought should’ve been strike

three. “You never know in this park.

“You can hit some balls certain days and they can go over the

fence and some days they don’t. You just have to run out of the box

and try to get to second base.

“Fortunately for us he wasn’t able to grab it.”

Tim Lincecum, with help from Javier Lopez and closer Brian

Wilson, took it from there, and suddenly Burrell and the

Giants are three wins away from

something he couldn’t have possibly imagined months ago after being

released by Tampa Bay.

Having been there once before not that long ago, Burrell wants

that taste again.

“It’s easy for guys to come together when everyone has the same

goal,” said Burrell, after another castoff, Cody Ross, twice took

Halladay out of the yard to set the tone. “And that’s obviously to

win.

“There’s a lot of guys here that didn’t start the year here that

are big parts of this team. Starting with a different team and

having it turn out the way it did is not what you hoped for,

obviously. But the

Giants gave me an opportunity to

come out here and play.

“I just tried to make the most of it.”

Facing Halladay, coming off a bravura performance vs. the Reds

in the NLDS that put him in Don Larsen’s previously exclusive

neighborhood for throwing a no hitter in the postseason, Burrell

and the

Giants had a game plan that they

worked to perfection.

“Everyone’s familiar with how he did in his last game,” said

Burrell, who went 2 for 3 on the night, including an opposite field

bloop single. “Off a guy like this, we have to make a conscious

effort to tone it down and get good pitches to hit, which isn’t

easy.

“So for us to get on the board first was great. You can’t say

enough about that as far as playing in this environment and

quieting the crowd down a little bit.”

A few innings later Burrell kept them quiet with his double, as

the

Giants handed the Phillies their

first Game 1 loss in a series since they were swept out by the

Rockies in the 2007 NLDS.

But he’s not about to take things for granted, having seen

firsthand how resilient the two-time defending NL champions and

their boisterous fans can be.

“It was just loud,” he said of the frantic, towel-waving fans.

“But that’s what you expect.

“I’ve certainly seen enough of that while I was here. The home

team fans want their team to win, and it shouldn’t be any other

way.”

Leave it to Burrell, then, to spoil the fun. At least for

now.