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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

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Yeah, I get down on Bell for poor performance, and he deserves it, but believe it or not, I do respect him as a ballplayer who tries and gives his all.

But I would like to know how Charley always gets off the hook so easily? He's the guy that keeps putting Bell out there.

Tonight, why would you not PH for Bell in the 9th? Where's Jason Michaels? Bell is maybe the biggest DP threat on the team, and he had already had 3 totally non-productive ABs in the game, hadn't hit the ball out of the infield, and has no chance of beating out an infield hit. Are you telling me that with the game on the line, needing only a productive OUT, Charley really felt David Bell was the Phillies' BEST CHANCE to get that tying run home? (The best chance with Bell batting might have actually been a squeeze play) Now sure, the PH might have struck out or hit into a DP, but at least you had given yourself your best chance to win. That's what managers are expected to do, not sit there, do nothing, and hope something good happens.

Make no mistake, CM let another game slip away last night. David Bell was just the latest instrument of his mis-management.

George S

Thanks, George S, I just realized how it could have been worse. Bell could have hit into a DP. I wrote my post for today before reading yours Jason, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.

I agree. I would have used pinch hitters for both Bell and Lieberthal in that situation, using Perez and Michaels.

It was a tough game to watch, and I walked away a few times. I just had the feeling there would be no clutch hitting. Also, you
pointed out something that struck me as odd..Burrell grounds out to 2B, Abreu advances to 3rd, and the announcers, and his teamates (high 5's in the dugout) respond to the great job he did. I would have preferred a lined double off the righ-center field wall.

Did anyone have issue with Urbina, not Wagner, coming into the ultra-difficult bases loaded jam in the eighth?

Well, with the benefit of hindsight, maybe. But I think he was ok with Urbina.

If you want to use Wagner, then you intentionally walk Ramirez with 1B open and have him face the lefty Todd Walker. That forces Chicago to decide if they should take their 2B out of the game for a PH. Walker is a .300 hitter, so almost any pinch hitter is a step down. Advantage Phillies.

But there's nothing wrong with expecting Urbina to be able to get Ramirez out in that situation. First off, with 1B open, he should not have given him anything to hit, and just hoped he could get Ramirez to swing at something out of the strike zone. (Good odds with Ramirez). But if he walked him, so be it. Then you think about BW or even Fultz to face Walker. (Unfortunately, CM would have destroyed that strategy by bringing in Cormier)
In fact, there's some question as to whether Bell should have fielded Ramirez' grounder anyway (Bell thinks he should have).

As to the bigger question, many people have argued that managers should use their best reliever (usually the closer) when the game is on the line, regardless of inning or save situation. Most managers don't. They'll use a reliever with an era of 5.75 in a 7th inning jam just so they can have their closer available in case they have a 3-run lead in the 9th. Of course by then they're probably down 4 runs. That's baseball thinking today.

Fact is the Cubs offered the Phillies that game with 4 walks in the inning, and the Phillies still couldn't get even 1 ball out of the damn infield. Not exactly what you would expect from 'contenders'.

I wish I could add something smart to your post, Jason, and to the comments it inspired, but you guys said it all. The Phillies are enough to make you seek out NFL exhibition games.

Great point on Bell/Lieby hitting back to back. Despite going 4 for 7 with 2 RBI last night, they both left 2 players on base. Everytime Lieby is up, I scream "There is NO ONE ON BASE!"

Someone should hypnotize him right?

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