PHILADELPHIA — Tim Lincecum shrugged off his pirouette at the plate, ignored the derisive whistles he heard in the batter’s box and did his thing on the mound — where he’s most comfortable.
Lincecum outdueled Roy Halladay, Cody Ross hit a pair of solo homers and the San Francisco Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 in Game 1 of the N.L. championship series Saturday night.
In a mega-hyped matchup between marquee pitchers, neither starter came close to matching his sensational postseason debut last week. Both gave up homers to the No. 8 hitters.
“It’s tons of confidence, but I think it’s more about winning Game 1 for us, setting the pace,” Lincecum said.
Halladay’s bid for a second straight no-hitter lasted until Ross connected with one out in the third.
“It was just enough to squeak by for us,” Lincecum said.
Lincecum, who tossed a two-hitter, gave up three runs on homers to Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz in seven innings.
But the Freak got the big outs when he needed them, and the Giants earned their fourth one-run win in the playoffs. The two-time N.L. champion Phillies lost their first series opener since getting swept by Colorado in 2007.
Game 2 is Sunday night. Jonathan Sanchez tries to send the Giants back to San Francisco just two wins from their first World Series appearance since 2002. Roy Oswalt goes for the Phillies.
Halladay threw the second no-hitter in postseason history in a 4-0 win over Cincinnati in the opener of the division series. The only runner he allowed was a fifth-inning walk to Jay Bruce.
Pitching on nine days’ rest, Halladay clearly didn’t have the same, dominant stuff. He allowed four runs and eight hits in seven innings.
A day after Halladay’s gem, Lincecum had 14 strikeouts in San Francisco’s 1-0 win over Atlanta. He gave up six hits and struck out eight against the Phillies.
Lincecum, the reigning two-time N.L. Cy Young Award winner, had some adventures with a bat in his hands, though.
The notoriously tough Philly fans came up with a unique way to mock Lincecum instead of the usual boos. They serenaded him with whistles when he batted in the fifth and seventh, presumably poking fun at his long, shaggy hair.
His first time up, Lincecum struck out, spinning on one leg after swinging at a slow curve.
Lincecum gave way to Javier Lopez, who got two outs in the eighth. All-Star closer Brian Wilson finished with a four-out save.
The Phillies led the majors in wins (97) for the first time in franchise history, captured their fourth straight division title and are trying to become the first N.L. team in 66 years to win three straight pennants.