Tim Lincecum was a late scratch for the Giants, having fallen ill with the flu. Lefty Barry Zito made the start in his place.
The game started with a quick lead in the Giants’ favor. Andres Torres led off with a double, headed to third on a Jeff Keppinger ground out, and headed home on a Pablo Sandoval sacrifice fly. But that lead would disappear just as fast with a Chase Utley two out single in the bottom of the first. The next batter, Ryan Howard, promptly drove Utley in with a double. But that wasn’t all — after a walk to Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez stepped up to the plate and hit it out to right center. 4-1 Phillies. And suddenly, all the hope in Zito vanished in one pitch.
The second and third innings rolled around quickly, being shutdown, 1-2-3 innings for each side. Keppinger led off the fourth inning with a single, but no offense Â followed after that. That wasn’t the case for the Phillies, as John Mayberry hit a 2-out home run.
It wasn’t a shock that the offense would keep quiet; that seemed to be expected. Zito’s pitching also seemed to be predictable, going back to the self that many Giants fans unfortunately know. However, the predictability also lead to an inside-the-park home run for Utley.
Then, in a white flag move, Aaron Rowand came in to pinch hit for Barry Zito in the 8th. He walked to the batter’s box to applause (if you want him, Phillies, you can have him), and hit one well and deep into the stands. Such a shocker from a man who is … Aaron Rowand. However, in the bottom of the 8th, Howard hit a home run that cemented the loss.
It wasn’t a very great game at all for the Giants. Only three hits collected and only one walk drawn. No offense, below decent pitching, and not much they could do about either.
Tomorrow’s starter is still up in the air, depending on Tim Lincecum’s health. In the meantime, the sighs of “Oh, it’s THAT Zito” fill the air.