They haven't homered in a week. They haven't had to. (Getty Images)
Forget about how the Giants fell apart in the 8th. Let's look at how the Phillies ripped the game away from them in the 5th and 6th. As soon as the Phils solved him, Barry Zito didn't have a prayer. The breakthrough came when Carlos Ruiz worked a one-out walk in the 5th. That set up Jimmy Rollins' two-run flare into shallow center, part of a 2-for-5, 3 RBI night for Jimmy. There's Chooch, who's been worshiped by Beerleaguer, and then there's Placido Polanco, point person for the small ball movement and deserving of no small amount of credit, either. The Phils haven't homered in a week and haven't been any worse for wear. Polly Polanco finished four-for-five and singled to open the sixth, opening the gash over Zito's right eye and forcing his corner to throw in the towel three batters later. Polanco also leapfrogged Joey Votto for the league lead in hitting (.325)
This period has also been marked by more attempts to steal and better reads between stations, and nearly all of these efforts have been flawlessly executed and have resulted in runs, it seems.Other stuff: Is Shane Victorino underrated as a hitter? The Phils made a concerted effort this offseason to acquire Polanco and move Victorino out of the two-hole. Nobody will argue against it. However, Vic led the team in hitting the previous two seasons and keeps showing us that he can attack a breaking ball despite his reputation as a fastball hitter. Moreover, there has been some unfair emphasis placed on his situational deficiencies, even by the broadcast team, that hasn't been placed on others. ... Best pitcher on the mound last night? Ryan Madson. No disrespect to Roy Oswalt, who was terrific, but Madson was bringing the filth. Finally, the home and away difference with this team cannot be overstated. They attack with a far greater ferocity in their home confines.