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NLCS Notebook

GM Sabean proves to be an adroit architect

Phillies boss sees change from ’09

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / October 24, 2010

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PHILADELPHIA — Giants general manager Brian Sabean did not appear to have a drop of champagne on his stylishly untucked shirt last night after watching his team beat the Philadelphia Phillies to advance to the World Series.

Sabean left the celebrating to the players and coaches. Perhaps he was thinking of another way he could tweak the roster.

The Giants are a product of their general manager, their four postseason starters all drafted and developed on Sabean’s watch. He claimed NLCS MVP Cody Ross on waivers in August. Left fielder Pat Burrell was signed to a minor league deal in May. First baseman Aubrey Huff was signed to a one-year deal in January.

Ramon Ramirez, who became a key reliever down the stretch, was obtained in July from the Red Sox the same day Sabean traded for lefty Javier Lopez.

“We were able to keep our heads above water and when San Diego came back to the pack, I was able to do some things to help the club,’’ said Sabean, a New Hampshire native.

“Their personalities work well together. They respect the game, they respect each other. It’s like the United Nations in there, a clash of cultures. But they know what to do when the game starts.’’

Ross was the boss
Ross, the NLCS MVP, is playing with a badly bruise right forearm after being hit by a pitch Wednesday by Joe Blanton.

Ross remains able to swing the bat effectively, but the Giants had him x-rayed just to make sure.

“Nothing is going to keep me out but it swelled up pretty good and it’s bruised up,’’ said Ross, who has a large bruise just above his wrist. “I’m definitely going to play. I’m going to fight through it.’’

After watching Ross hit three home runs in the first two games of the series, the Phillies got away from throwing him fastballs low and inside to throwing pitches in on his hands then working the outside corner. He was 1 for 4 with a double last night.

Ross is 11 of 34 in the postseason with eight extra-base hits and eight RBIs in 10 games.

Werth will wait
Jayson Werth was 0 for 2 with a sacrifice fly and a walk in what may have been his final game as a member of the Phillies. He was on deck when the game ended.

In the Philadelphia clubhouse, several players said they did not expect Werth to return next season. He will become a free agent five days after the World Series.

The Red Sox, who need outfield help, could be one of the teams that pursues Werth, who was 6 of 30 in the postseason with six RBIs.

“He definitely enjoys playing here. And he’s been a solid player for us. And he’s got a ton of ability,’’ Manuel said.

Surprising exit
The Yankees beat the Phillies in six games in the World Series last fall, scoring 32 runs along the way. But Manuel saw a different Yankees team in the postseason this year.

After watching the Rangers eliminate the Yankees in six games in the ALCS, Manuel questioned New York’s approach at the plate.

“The Yankees got outplayed,’’ Manuel said last night before Game 6 of the NLCS. “I think Texas did a tremendous job. I was surprised, actually. As far as their hitting, I felt like they started chasing a lot of bad balls out of the strike zone and they’ve got a tremendous hitting team.’’

Halladay was ready
Roy Halladay, who suffered a groin strain in Game 5 in Thursday, told Manuel that he would be able to pitch again in the series if needed. Halladay had an MRI Friday that revealed a small tear, but not as significant an injury as the one that put him on the disabled list last season. . . . Last night was the 39th consecutive postseason game that Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley, and Shane Victorino have started for Philadelphia, a first for five players . . . Hall of Fame Phillies announcer Harry Kalas passed away last season. The team paid tribute to his memory last night by having Kane Kalas, his son, sing “God Bless America’’ during the seventh inning stretch.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com.

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