Roy Oswalt fanned nine over eight stellar innings, while the Phillies offense methodically broke down Jonathan Sanchez, as the hometown nine pulled even with the Giants with a 6-1 win Sunday. (Getty Images)
Beerleaguer: A brilliant effort by Oswalt, who had a bead on every hitter except Cody Ross (no middle-in fastballs, please). No matter what, whether he's mowing down the side, surrendering a bomb to that troll, running through Sam Perlozzo's stop sign or deflecting Charlie Manuel back into the dugout, the diminutive veteran wears the same, deadpan expression, the perfect front for his sneaky dominance. Tonight, the Giants couldn't resist his rising fastball. Oswalt is simply a different breed.
On to the offense, which smartly got after Sanchez with the running game in the first inning, with Chase Utley swiping second on Sanchez's slide step. A throwing error moved Utley to third and from there the Phils allowed Sanchez to get himself into trouble by luring a bases-loaded walk to Jimmy Rollins. Give the Phillies credit for their patience, but also their plan and execution of that plan. The key to the game came on back-to-back sacrifice flies in the fifth by Chase Utley and Placido Polanco to cash in Shane Victorino's lead-off double. The Phillies rarely bludgeon the opposition anymore, and it's certainly not going to happen this series. But this station-to-station blueprint is something they can follow all series and outleg the Giants' lineup.
Footnotes: Tim McCarver said he wouldn't have taken the bat out of Victorino's hands in the seventh. So much for that; his bunt to move Oswalt to second turned into another key to the game. It was pretty clearly the right way to play it considering how the Phillies are scoring their runs this postseason. ... Nice work by Raul Ibanez to track down a couple of tricky balls in left. ... Excellent job by Ryan Howard to stay on the ball against Sanchez. ... Last but not least, the rumors of Jimmy Rollins' demise have been greatly exaggerated.