I'm with Harry. I don't know how to score it, either.
Scoring has never been my strength, but my best guess is Pat Burrell cannot take a base on a past ball third strike if the base is not open, and Jimmy Rollins scored on his own and was not forced. Burrell gets charged with a K and three men left on base.
I’d like to think Bobby Abreu moved toward second on the play, freeing up the bag for Burrell, making Burrell’s status on the play infinitely undetermined. According the giant stat machine at Stats Inc., he’s perpetually stuck between first and second for the rest of his career. At this hour, technicians are still working to fix the short circuit. His RBI total has reached infinity.
It’s goofy stuff, and the second time this season the Phils beat the Cubs with a Keystone Cops-type ending. Back in May, LaTroy Hawkins' throw to first base hit Jose Offerman's helmet and ricocheted into the stands, allowing the go-ahead run to score. It proved to be Offerman’s best moment as a Phillie.
It was also another goofy game for Burrell. When was the last time the bases were intentionally loaded to face a cleanup hitter? It worked … sort of. The day before, the slugger earned high praise for grounding out to second.
It was also a brilliant game for managers Charlie Manuel and Dusty Baker. The engine is running, but no one is behind the wheel.
With a man on third and first, two outs, and a 3-1 lead, Manuel pulled pitcher Robinson Tejeda - working the best game of his career - for pinch hitter Jason Michaels, a move that happened a day late and a dollar short. Michaels whiffed and the inning ended.
And how about that Dusty Baker folks! His best chance for an out in the ninth was to leave the left-hander Mike Remlinger in to face Chase Utley, who’s hitting just .211 against lefties. Instead, he went right-right against Burrell, even though he’s batting .276 against RHP.
Check out a good analysis of the Phillies offensive struggles this morning on Swing and a Miss. Writer Tom Goodman says nearly every hitter is stuck in a bad funk except Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard. Suddenly, the well of extra base hits has run dry. Even Howard, in the middle of a nine-game hitting streak, has been mostly a singles hitter during that stretch.
I’ve been highly critical of J-Roll’s approach to hitting this season, but for the past month, I’ve backed off saying he needs to be removed from the leadoff spot and replaced with Kenny Lofton.
I’m ready to get roasted with OBP figures … dah-dah-dah … or for being reactionary based on last night. First of all, I haven’t been real enamored with Lofton lately. And second, more J-Roll means more chances of a high-impact run-scoring play.
Of course there are times I’d like to grab J-Roll and shake him when he pops up a first pitch. But how many times does he double or triple in his next at bat and you want to hug him?
I said earlier in the year a good stat for determining his value is plain-old mom and pop runs. He’s eighth in the league with 70.
Leading off is more than just OBP. It’s also getting the best run-scorer as many at bats as possible. I’m for sticking with Rollins in the leadoff spot. I see no better option.
What a strange coincidence I post a picture of Deep Blue on the day I write a review of the film "Game Over: Garry Kasparov vs. the Machine" in today's Reading Eagle. Check out my review of the excellent documentary about Kasparov's monumental 1997 chess match against IBM's supercomputer, Deep Blue.