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Giants jab, unable to knock out Halladay

Giants jab, unable to knock out Halladay

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants had chances Thursday night.

Boy, did they ever.

They had Roy Halladay, the likely National League Cy Young Award winner, in trouble multiple times. They scored in the first inning, and could have added to their total in three of the next five innings.

Instead, shutdown pitching by Halladay and a few San Francisco mistakes made the Giants 4-2 losers at AT&T Park in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.


"I thought we worked him pretty good, but you give him credit, it was a gutty effort," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We had him on the ropes a few times, and we were just missing another hit."

The Giants couldn't have asked for a better first inning against Halladay through the first two batters. Leadoff man Andres Torres drew a walk and advanced to third on a single by Freddy Sanchez, bringing up the heart of the order, but Aubrey Huff followed with a hard-hit line drive right to Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard for the first out.

"It was one of the plays of the game," Huff said. "He made a great play on it."

The Giants were able to get on the board when Buster Posey hit a fielder's choice to second baseman Chase Utley. Torres scored on the play, while Sanchez was thrown out at second for the second out. Pat Burrell followed with a strikeout, which ended the inning and any further threat and prompted Burrell to shout a few words toward Halladay in the heat of the moment.

"He had words," Halladay said. "I was just looking to see what was going on, and he started yelling. But that's part of the atmosphere right now. Emotions are running high. Everybody wants to be out there, wants to compete, and it's part of it."

"I think the turning point of the whole game was in the first inning," Huff said. "Howard made a great play on my ball, and we couldn't really cash in on a big inning. We were able to get a run in there, but that one hurt."

Following the game, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Halladay came in the dugout after the second inning with a mild groin pull. Although Halladay went to the trainers and told them about the injury, Manuel said he knew there was no way he would be able to take his ace out of the game that early.

"He wasn't going to let us take him out," Manuel said. "He wanted to stay in, but he said that he hurt it when he tried to really [bear down] on Posey in the second inning."

Despite Halladay not being 100 percent, other than a third-inning single that ricocheted off Howard by Torres, Halladay was his vintage self through the next two innings.

The Giants scored their final run in the fourth, when Burrell and Cody Ross connected for back-to-back doubles to bring San Francisco within one, but Ross was thrown out by right fielder Jayson Werth to end the inning after trying to tag up from second on a flyout by Pablo Sandoval.

"I'm sure Cody will tell you now it's not a good play with making a third out there," Bochy said. "I think he felt that he had it easy, but it's the last thing you want to do is make a third out there."

The Giants were able to put two runners on in each of the next two innings, but Halladay bore down and got out of the jams.

He was removed after six innings, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out five on 108 pitches and a pulled groin.

"You've got a guy, Halladay, he's not just going to give in," Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt said. "He probably didn't have his best stuff tonight, but he competed with what he had, and he never gave in. He didn't leave a lot of balls down the middle for us to hit, so he had stuff going, and he never gave in.

"He made a couple pitches tonight that I thought were pretty risky and it worked out, and that's why he his who he is and has been who he's been for a long time."

Cash Kruth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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