10/22/10 1:54 AM ET
Giants still in command of hard-fought NLCS
Unable to clinch at home, club takes 3-2 lead, confidence to Philly
By Cash Kruth / MLB.com
"We took one there, took two out of three here and tonight was a real tough game," Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff said. "If you would've told us before the series that we were going to be in this position, I think we'd all take it. But we've got to go out there and play like we've been playing all year."Here's what the Giants have done this series: They have continued to keep the Phillies' bats in check, holding them to an average of 3.8 runs per game. They have gotten contributions from seemingly everybody on their roster. And last, but certainly not least, they've beaten all three of the Phillies' "Big Three" starting pitchers in Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels. The Giants' next plan of attack, then, is no doubt surprisingly simple. "We're going to go there and keep our heads up, have good at-bats and play well on defense," third baseman Pablo Sandoval said. "It's a tough game; one day you win, one day you lose. But you have to keep your head up and keep fighting." It shouldn't come as a surprise the Giants were unable to finish the series Thursday night. After all, it took them three games to get one victory against the Padres during the final weekend of the regular season. And perhaps even the most hardcore of Giants fans may expect a Game 7. Plain and simple, that's the way it's been this season. "With this club, as you know, we don't do anything easy," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "What they've been through, they'll put this behind us. And, believe me, under no illusion did we think this was going to be easy playing a great club." And although 43,713 fans left AT&T Park disappointed on Thursday, the Giants still are right where they want to be: leading the series. "It's 3-2, I think we're still in the driver's seat," Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt said. "That was a big game tonight and both teams were battling. Line-drive outs here, line-drive outs there, for both sides, just seemed like a weird bounce went their way. "I think you're going to see stuff like that in the next couple games, where every pitch is a big pitch, and you've got two lineups that are going to go at it. And I think with what we've got going on the mound the next few days, I still feel pretty comfortable with where we're at."
Cash Kruth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.