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Monday, October 12, 2009

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Attack of the fifty-foot Lee!

Do we see Pedro in relief today if Lee can't go the distance?

I don't see Pedro in relief. What's his ERA in the first inning?

I think we see Pedro in relief. Weather is fairly moderate (mid 40s) so it shouldn't be too hard to warm up. It should feel downright balmy after that travesty of 27 degree weather last night.


And Utley got a bad call because he hustled. The umpiring has been atrocious in the playoffs again (much like last year). Its sad when the regular season is better officiated than the post-season.

***Attack of the fifty-foot Lee!***

Since height is to be desired, I'd say it's in the bag.

Re: whether the Phillies would travel back to Philly if they win tonight from David Murphy:

"The Phillies will travel back to Philadelphia regardless of the outcome of tonight's game. Nobody packed for five days, let alone 10"

Advantage LAD

Super...2 cross-country flights in 2 days for us.

A lot of people want replay on plays at the plate, but I don't know if you can do that and leave then the calling of balls and strikes alone. The whole complexion of a game is changed by a tight or liberal strikezone. Where do you draw the line at replay?

Plus, they showed on MLB Tonight last night that Madson balked once and Rafael Betancourt balked every single time he pitched (moved his feet after his hands were in the set position). Mitch argued this vofiferously. So, there's just been bad umpiring all around this postseason, not that it makes it any more acceptable.

If they win tonight, I presume that Cole would the the Game 1 pitcher? And since game 2 would be Friday, Lee could go on regular rest. Really need a win tonight boys!

I stayed up until 2:30 AM this morning, but never got to see my wish......watching the Rockies relief pitchers ride into the infield on a Zamboni.

I just want consistency. I don't want computers calling balls or strikes or making safe/out calls. No to any more replay!


Calling Balks is like calling Traveling in the NBA.

I think in regular season, the bad calls are just spread out over the many games there are in a day, plus they don't often seem quite as important.

My father still reminds me that the Royals got help from a bad call when they beat the Cardinals in the '85 WS.

I agree, Utley hustled. I guess I wish that was appreciated more by the analysts I've heard today.

I love how clout lists a bunch of pitchers ERA+ using whatever sample size he wishes. Some players get full seasons. Others get partial seasons. But we're told that a career ERA+ is irrelevant.

Ah... the joy of seeing clout dig a deeper and deeper hole trying to convince people that the Dodgers have a good playoff rotation.

Wolf-Kershaw-Padilla: The murderer's row of starting pitching.

99% of players would have stopped and/or starting hopping up and down on that play. Utley hustled. If he had been incorrectly called out (Helton's foot was indeed OFF the bag) I doubt the Rockies would be pissed. They can shove it up their 4th point of contact. Sh!t happens. I can link the pitchfx results from the Stairs AB if anyone wants to remember just how far off the plate both called "strikes" were. One was 6 inches off, the other a good 12 (no exageration).

Utley is an amazing player and more and more, I'm beginning to think he might end up in the Hall.

I feel like the last game just ended. It's time for the next one already? Wonder if that's how the players feel.

Really good piece by David Murphy on his High Cheese blog today as a reaction to last night's game. Thought it was a nice little closer to the past 18 hour debate about Charlie's strategy last night...(side note I met Murphy the other week at the ballpark as he knew the people I went down with. Nice guy, and my age which upsets me cause his job is writing about the Phillies...anyway- this section comes after saying how he and another friend were texting about second guessing Charlie all night)

Which is why it is time to take a break and highlight at strength of Manuel's that seemed to get lost in last year's title run. In 2008, Charlie the people person took center stage. As the Phillies cruised to their first World Series title in 28 years, Manuel was lauded for his ability to manage a clubhouse, to keep a roster full of stars playing as a team, to overcome adversity (the death of his mother) and keep his players in the mind-set it takes to win. The glowing reviews of his interpersonal prowess were both accurate and timely, but they also served as back-handed complements of sorts, their collective implication holding that his folksy understanding of the human element of the game diminished his perceived lack of baseball acumen.

But while Manuel may never find himself the subject of a Buzz Bissinger book, he has proven throughout this season that he has strong beliefs in the various strategies necessary to win a baseball game. And, much more than that, he does not allow the perceptions of the public or his professional peers to divert him from that course.

In short, Charlie Manuel has balls.

When the pitcher's spot in the line-up arrived in the sixth inning with one out and runners on first and second in a game the Phillies led 5-4, convention screamed for a pinch-hitter. Left-handed slugger Matt Stairs was still available on the bench. So too were Miguel Cairo and Ben Francisco, along with back-up catcher Paul Bako. But Manuel elected to let Joe Blanton hit, a decision that resulted in a strikeout on three straight failed bunt attempts. The Phillies failed to push another run home, and their lead remained at one. Might Stairs have driven home what would prove to be a cruicial insurance run? Or even create a comfortable margin with a home run? Perhaps. But Manuel looked at his bullpen and at the Rockies line-up and decided he needed Blanton to face the three right-handed hitters due up at the bottom of Colorado's order. Blanton retired two of those three batters, then gave way to Scott Eyre, who retired one of the top pinch-hitters in the game in Seth Smith to end the inning.

When Eyre left the game with runners on first and third and no out in the seventh, convention screamed for righthander Chad Durbin, who was already warm in the bullpen. But Manuel called on Madson, eliminating the possibility of the right-handed set-up man/closer pitching the eighth and ninth innings. Might Durbin have succeeded? Perhaps. But Manuel looked at the dangerous Todd Helton waiting on deck, and at the equally dangerous Troy Tulowitzki waiting behind him, and decided he needed the reliever with the biggest arm and the best chance to strand runners. Escape the seventh and perhaps Madson could pitch the eighth. Or, if worse came to worse, Durbin could take the mound with a clean inning. Madson struck out Helton, allowed a sacrifice fly to Tulowitzki that tied the game, then retired Yorvit Torrealba to make the best out of a bad situation. Durbin, meanwhile, shut down the Rockies in order in the eighth.

Ah, yes. And Lidge. Manuel's decision to call on the embattled closer in the ninth inning might be portrayed as yet another indication of his legendary stubborness, of his unfailing belief in his star players. But in reality, it was simply his best available option. In a perfect world, Madson would have been out there on the mound trying to protect a one-run lead. But on a night where starting pitcher J.A. Happ lasted just three innings and an already-thin bullpen was stretched tissue-thin, Lidge was the only option. And then you think back over the past couple of months, and Manuel's daily proclamations of faith in his closer, and how even when it became obvious that Madson was his guy in the ninth inning of a tight game, he continued to pump up Lidge, and profess a willingness to throw him back into the fire, all the while opening himself up to the ridicule of a fan base and media assembly who wanted nothing more than to hear him stand behind a microphone and lay his team's late-game failings at the feet of a closer who finished the regular season with 11 blown saves and a 7.21 ERA.

But Manuel is more than willing to play the part of the down-home dummy if it takes the emphasis off of his players and gives his team a better chance to win in the future. Because even in Lidge's darkest moments during an abysmal season, Manuel realized that there was a good chance he would reach a point in the postseason where he needed the veteran righthander to believe in himself, and believe that his manager and teammates believed in him. And last night was that moment.

There is no getting around the fact that Charlie Manuel's biggest strength as a manager is his ability to manage the his subordinates. But never doubt that he is also a tactician. And while you may disagree with his plan -- Might J.A. Happ have lasted longer than three innings if he had remained on a starter's routine throughout the postseason rather than pitching in relief? Might he have hit Stairs against Matt Belisle with runners on first and third in the fourth rather than Greg Dobbs? -- you have to admit one thing: For the second straight year, the Phillies are one win away from the National League Championship Series, despite the shortcomings of the closer and ace lefthander who got them there in 2008, despite the fact that two of their top relievers are injured and off the NLDS roster, despite the fact that his notoriously fickle line-up played Game 3 in record cold.

Last night, Manuel did it.

BGrettfan,

I must be as old as your dad. I remember that game. I believe Juaquine Andujar (sp?) was the pitcher for the Cards. He about blew his lid when the ump screwed up. Very bad call.

Overall, the umpiring in all the post season games has been very bad.

Hope Lee keeps it going and the Phils tee off with the bats.

I think they should just go right to LA and get lots of rest. If they didn't pack enough stuff, hire someone to go buy what they need. I'll do it!!!

NEPP, what got me is that Casey Stern, Kevin Kennedy seemed to think he was out at 1B. Or at least it sounded like that's what they were saying, hard to be sure since I was in and out of the car where my XM is. And I heard them interview Paul Lo Duca who clearly said Chase was out at 1B. THe mlb.com article on umps admitting mistake also suggests that Chase was out at 1B.

I agree with you, Helton's foot looked off the bag - and if not, it was too close to be able to fault the ump for a mistake, too close to call.

Even more recent. There was poor umpiring in the world series last year.

Play by Jamie at first and Jimmy being (not) tagged out at third.

Utley's safe call last night was karmic retribution for Davey Lopes safe call on Black Friday. Maybe not, but it sounds good.

My sole point in posting here the last several days is to bemoan the schedule. Game time is 6:07. I'm on a flight leaving town at 6:25. Bad timing - can't blame Bud for this one. I watched the first 3 last night and had the DVR as backup. Set it to record for like 3:53. Fell asleep before Happ got hte hook. Woke up in time to watch Blanton get hte hook in favor of Eyre. Woke up at 6am and watched the rest . . . until the recording stopped as Rollins hit bounced into CF to lead off hte ninth.
On matters of substance, Manuel absolutely made the right move bringing in Madson to stop the bleeding in the 7th. Ball game right there. I don't care if that left Lidge - would you rather he bring Lidge in? Fire your bullets when they matter most. That was the right plan going in and he's following it. There is no "closer". There is only the best card in your hand at any given time. I love how Manuel is managing this bullpen over the first 3. Even if I haven't seen an entire damn game yet. Hope you all enjoy tonight's game. I don't care to watch one tomorrow night.

Looking at that play multiple times on replay and frame by frame on my DVR in HD, he looked safe. The throw beat him by a split second but the foot came off. Live speed, the ump's call was a good one.

****

Even more recent. There was poor umpiring in the world series last year.

Play by Jamie at first and Jimmy being (not) tagged out at third.
****

That was terrible in that it screwed Jamie out of a WS Win and his place in the "Top 10 defensive plays in a WS EVER" countdowns they occasionally do. That play was up there with the Mays catch for me...and Utley's play last year.

I don't think that umpiring is any worse than it was a decade or more ago - I just think have more tools to assess umpiring, between the pitch trackers, super slow motion, and HD TV. The reality is that umpires will seem more and more wrong as technology evolves and lets us have better second looks.

They have to go back to Philly to pick up Mr. Mom so he can pitch Game 1.

Also, in the interest of at least getting a probationary BL card, i was AT the game in 2000 when Primeau scored the game winning goal at 2:38am. In fact, by the 3d OT, the place was so empty, I had moved down to sit against the glass and heckle Primeau unmercifully for hte AWFUL game he had played through that point. Typical Philly fan, I suppose.

Jamie made that great play to Howard at 1B last year! I'd forgotten that one.

Yes, bad calls happen. I don't know why that isn't acknowledged by the analysts. Maybe it's the cumulative effect of bad calls in all the series this year, combined with bad calls remembered from last year, that points to a supposedly worsening trend.

I think you make a good point, Spitz. I bet that has a lot to do with it.

"Since you can't win the argument on who's been better this season, you resort to who's had a better career."

clout: We weren't arguing about who's been better this year. We were arguing about who is better, period. But if you would rather have Randy Wolf as your Game 1 starter than John Lackey, simply because Wolf's 2009 ERA+ is 12 points higher, you're certainly entitled to that silly opinion.

Charlie just spoke to the bad calls in the postseason in his interview by Wheels: "That's part of the game, the human element."

I'm ready to put this to rest now, having vented enough.

I NEVER would have left that game. I don't care if I had to work or whatever...you stay for a 5 OT game as it is one of those things that will probably never happen again as long as you live.


The thing about bad calls is this: They tend to even out. The Utley call was no worse than the Stairs travesty.

On Utley, the play at first was extremely close. But I think the Rockies' real beef was not with the call at first, but with the fact that the batted ball appeared to strike Utley while he was still in the batter's box. So it should have been ruled a foul ball. But I guarantee you that I didn't lose any sleep over the missed call.

It definitely struck Utley, there's no question of that.

Wow, greenman made it out to Denver and got some camera time

The desire and expectation to see Pedro in relief is puzzling. Charlie made it clear (and had good reasons) that he would not use Pedro out of the bullpen in this series. Obviously, the snow-out changed things, but I still don't think Pedro will be used in relief unless the game goes extra innings.

Anyone got a feed for us non-cable folks?

BAP: Yeah I'll take the guy having the better season this year since, well, the post-season is this year. Not last year.

Look, you made an idiotic statement. The Dodgers rotation isn't remotely the worst of the six playoff teams. It isn't remotely a weakness. That's obvious to anyone who's watched baseball this season.

It's not your first idiotic statement and will certainly not be your last.

Game time. Just like that, my nerves start fraying.

Again with the massively off-set CF camera.

The Dogers have the worst rotation of the remaining playoff teams. It's not even close. That they may have had an advantage over the Twins is irrelevant at this point. There's not a team left in the playoffs that would even consider trading rotations.

The idea that Randy Wolf's ERA+ this season changes any of that is about the most idiotic suggestion anyone on Beerleaguer could ever make. It's mvptommyd bad.

Wow Jimmy is taking pitches?

Good eye so far by Jimmy.

At least he took a bunch of pitches.

Jimenez looks a little wild, keep it up

Rule for tonight: DO NOT SWING AT FIRST PITCH

Jimenez looks like he's starting where he left off in game 1. full counts on both Rollins and Victorino.

Wear this sucker out.

VIC!!!!!!!!!!


GAME ON!

OHHH MY, VIIIIIIICCCC

VICTORINOOOOOOOOOOOO

BOOYAH!

well, there goes the shutout.

SHANER!!!!!!

Vic don't F around in the postseason. Looking to stab 'em in the heart early.

Victoberino

Its beautiful...lets knock his ass out by the 2nd.

Yep, gotta love those 3-2 fastballs, Bob Apodaca. How about five in a row next time?

Shane Victorino is actively hurting this team.

Vic: Actively hurting the team('s chances at getting eliminated from the playoffs).

Good eye, Chase.

Vic!!

I'd love it if that was either a) all the PHillies need tonight, or b) the first of many runs scored by us.

Keep your feet to the pedal, boys.

Jimenez does not look like the same game 1 pitcher

GBrett: I'm gonna go ahead and pick b.

That's it, hit the ump. That'll get you those borderline calls.

Let's blow it up, Ryno!

The bats look very patient tonight

That was a great AB by Vic!

Inside strike called a strike.

SHouldn't be getting that call considering how wild he has been.

Not much Howard could do with strike 2.

Look at the wheels on Ryan!

The speed of Howard

First glance... Howard was out at first.

Sit down, Tracy!

Yep, confirmed by replay. Howard was out.

Looked "safe" to me.

Close calls at first, that coulda gone either way

Howard's hustle made it close...good for Ryno.

is the ump mic'd up? haha I hear every call. or is the crowd just that dead?

"Shane Victorino is actively hurting this team."

Those words of wisdom never fail to make me laugh.

Made him toss a bunch...hopefully we knock him out by the 3rd or 4th.

A nice 1-2-3 inning by Cliff Lee would go a long way towards that by getting him right back out there with no rest.

CJ: I expect a steady flow of stupidity from you, but this takes the cake. How a guy is pitching this season is irrelevant? So that means you want Lidge as your closer, right? He's got solid career stats.

Look, the Dodgers rotation is better than most of the playoff teams because they've pitched better this season. Not last season, not next season.

This season. Which is where we are now.

Howard took off for a steal ... I woulda liked to see that steal

Howard had a huge jump...I think he would have been safe.

is cliff lee unusually clean shaven or is it just me?

Just put one in his damn ear already.

Can we at least brush Gonzales back? Make someone else beat us

Get this guy out next time! Geez!

Even Cliff Lee can't stop Gonzales.

C'mon Cliff!!!

Come on Cliff. Calm down and make your pitches.

I guess the Phillies starters like to start off the game by making me more nervous.

Just like game one, Lee can settle down pretty nice in the later innings. Get out of this first

Good work getting the runner, Jimmy!!!!

Well, after getting hosed on the starting times, weather, etc., MLB must have told the umps to be lenient in their play calling. It's the only reason we can be catching a few calls going our way.

Sit down Tracy!

How can you argue that????

Good job, Jimmy! That's why I love you.

Great move by Jimmy.


Gold Glove move right there.


How come Helton is referred to as "Gold Glove 1B Todd Helton" but Jimmy never gets "Gold Glove SS" despite winnnig the last 2 years running.

Well Helton did win his GG 02 and 04

Bad throw by Chooch there. Better throw gets him.

These announcers love 'rocktober'

Sit Down Meat!

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