Playoff notebook

Phillies ace Roy Halladay pitches through a groin injury to win Game 5 of the NLCS

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay wipes his face during the second inning of Game 5 of baseball's National League Championship Series against the San Francisco Giants Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay wipes his face during the second inning of Game 5 of baseball's National League Championship Series against the San Francisco Giants Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (Jeff Chiu - AP)
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By Adam Kilgore
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 22, 2010; 12:49 AM

SAN FRANCISCO -- Phillies ace Roy Halladay was not himself Thursday night. He did not record an out past the sixth inning for the fourth time all season. The velocity on his fastball was down, and so he used plenty of change-ups and cutters in allowing the Giants two runs in six innings in his win in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.

Afterward, Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel revealed why. Halladay pulled his right groin in the second while pitching to Giants catcher Buster Posey. Manuel said Halladay will be able to make his next start should the Phillies advance to the World Series, and he "may be" available to pitch in Game 7, which would be Sunday if necessary.

"He wasn't going to let us take him out," Manuel said. "He wanted to stay in. I think he gutted it out. And I'll tell you something else, we needed him to. That was very big for us."

After the game, Manuel was talking to Halladay and joked, "When are we going to see you again, next year?" Halladay's immediate response: "Five days."

The Phillies removed Halladay after 108 pitches, a count he has been comfortable surpassing before. They had reliever Jose Contreras warming as early as the fifth inning, and he eventually replaced Halladay after the sixth.

"He was determined he was going to stay in there," Manuel said. "Once he got up to 108 pitches, and once he got us to a place where I felt like our bullpen could definitely have a chance at saving him, that's when we got him out."

Rare rookie company

When Buster Posey went 4 for 5 in a defining performance Wednesday night during the San Francisco Giants' 6-5 victory in Game 4, he joined a half-impressive, half-eclectic list.

Posey became the seventh rookie in postseason history to smack four hits in one playoff game. Some of the other names became the best players in the league -- Miguel Cabrera, Derek Jeter, Freddie Lindstrom (a Hall of Famer who turned the trick in 1924 for the New York Giants.). Others went on to varying success -- Jacoby Ellsbury, Joe Garagiola and Chad Fonville.

It seems a safe bet to include Posey in the former group. Posey, a catcher from Florida State who was the fifth pick in the 2008 draft, carried the Giants into the playoffs. After a 1-for-11 start to his maiden postseason, he could be ready to do it again.

"I think you have to give credit to the pitching we're facing," Giants Manager Bruce Bochy said. "And he has been seeing some outstanding pitching. But all hitters, they get out of sync occasionally. I think that's the case with Buster. But they come out of it, which he did [Wednesday] night."

Uribe back as a starter

After he played hero Wednesday night with a walk-off sacrifice fly, Giants shortstop Juan Uribe returned to the starting lineup Thursday. Uribe had entered as a late-inning substitute Wednesday after sitting with a sore wrist.

"He says it feels a lot better," Bochy said. "He's good to go, and that's why he's in there."

With Uribe's return, Edgar Renteria -- playing with a partially torn biceps muscle himself -- return to the bench. Renteria is 3 for 13 this postseason.

With Uribe's return, Edgar Renteria -- playing with a partially torn biceps muscle himself -- return to the bench. Renteria is 3 for 13 this postseason.

Lidge backs Manuel's call

The questions kept coming at the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday afternoon: Why let starting pitcher Roy Oswalt throw the ninth inning rather than closer Brad Lidge? A day after Oswalt allowed the game-winning run, Lidge backed Manuel's decision.

"It's pretty much a standard closer recipe at home: I'm throwing the ninth inning," Lidge said. "On the road, we wait until we get the lead so I can come in for a save situation. That's kind of the way we've always handled it."


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