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Monday, November 02, 2009

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What a heartbreaking loss.

The last two games have been a microcosm of the Phillies' problems all year (Hamels spiraling out of control at the first sign of adversity, key at bats going to Bruntlett once and Stairs twice in two games, and a Lidge nuclear meltdown). Nothing out of the ordinary here.

Attempting to look on the bright side: I like the chances of fully rested Cliff Lee over Burnett on three days rest, and the chances of fully rested Pedro over Pettitte on three days rest.

this is so very upsetting. All year bench and lidge... It is so very hard to still be happy with what lidge gave us last year. I am trying but the anger is so strong right now... AARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH this sucks

Even with a man on 3rd base, it's incomprehensible that Lidge doesn't throw sliders in order to attack A-rod. I don't know whether that's on Chooch or on Lidge, but either way that is a monumental mistake.

This is a stomach punch game. Incredibly tough to swallow.

We will be back tomorrow, however. Keep the faith folks.

With their backs to the wall, there's only one inning that matters now: the ninth inning of Game 7. Only one problem: who's going to pitch it?

Answer: Cliff Lee

Hard to rebound tomorrow after tonight's kick in the groin - maybe the Phils won't even show up for Game 5. If so, at least the Yanks will have to celebrate in Philly rather than in front of their home crowd. Plus, we won't have to watch 50,000 of NY's finest go nuts while the FOX cameras cut to the Phils sadly emptying their bench and heading for the locker room.

See, who says we can't look on the bright side?

The Yankees are really taking us apart with clinical efficiency. By all appearances, the Pedro Feliz homerun was a huge momentum changer. In any other playoff series, against any other team, Lidge would have pitched a clean 9th & the Phillies would have come out & found a way to push the winning run home in the bottom of the 9th.

It's possible the Phillies win tomorrow with Lee on the mound -- although, at this point, I think even that's unlikely. But, even if we do win tomorrow, the Phillies have no other pitcher who is pitching particularly well right now. In the playoffs, the team with the hot pitching is the team that usually wins. Save for Lee, that hasn't been us. We managed to win the 2 NL series on the strength of our bats but, eventually, you're going to run up against a team with hot pitching. When that happens, the hot pitching almost invariably gets the better of the hot hitters.

I could be nuts, but the Phillies just need to come out determined to sweep what is now a 3 game series. It happens all the time in baseball and it can happen now. Make the Yankees conjure up their worst nightmare and they will help you make it come to fruition.

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

Anybody who has watched the Phillies all year long knew Lidge would blow one in the World Series. The event happened. It was as bad as we expected. Turn the page. There is a game tomorrow with our ace pitching.

From now on The Phillies throw rested starters against the Yankees, who are going to use unrested pitchers.

Round 4 of a 7 round fight.

Ali! Ali! Ali!

I was at the game. I hate when Charlie uses Lidge in a tie game. Madson should have pitched the 9th.

Also, Ben F. should have gotten the start in LF. Raul looks stupid vs. CC. Ben had good hacks in game 1 and another one as a PH.

Another thing, Lee should have pitched tonight. I know he's never pitched on 3 days rest but it's the WS. Follow the logical path that Charlie has laid out...Lee in game 5, Pedro in game 6. Now if we win them both, who will pitch in game 7??? Hamels??? I sure hope not. Lee on 2 days rest? Pedro on 1? Blanton on 3? Happ who hasn't started a game in over a month? Myers...Please! I know this would be a good problem at this point but prior to tonight's game, it makes sense.

That being said, the Phils still could have won this game. They tied the game and had momentum on their side. Even though they did not capitalize when they had the chances. They could have run CC's pitch count up and got him out of the game. When they hit balls hard (like Jimmy and Vic b/4 Chase's HR) they were right at people.

Very tough loss....very frustrating.

Well, we all feel a little sick to our stomachs now, but this is a great team when their backs are against the wall. It's a cliche, but one game at a time. Tomorrow we have a fully rested Cliff Lee going against an inconsistent AJ Burnett on 3 days rest. I like our chances in that one. Game 6 we have a rested Pedro against, well, I guess Andy Pettite on 3 days rest. I like our chances in that one. Game 7 anything can happen. One game at a time here folks. It's not over yet. It's time to put this one behind us. Dwelling on it won't do a thing. There is a game to play in less than 20 hours.

Just heard Manuel's comments postgame on MLB Network. He sounds defeated. Not good.

Catastrophic, heartbreaking, epic fail by Lidge tonight ... I'm hoping for a miracle but to lose the way we did, after Feliz's clutch homer .. I'm left grasping at straws here

I'll be pumped if Lee can shut them down again. Send it back to NY for Pedro. It sure is fun going to the ball park in this environment.

I seem to remember the Sox were down 3 games to none and came back to win 4 straight. We can do it too. I just wish our pitching were in order.

Let's go PHILLIES!!!

OMG...I'm going to bed.

Bap: Pedro's been pitching well. Not his fault they havnt scored runs in his starts

All the faults of an overly loyal manager come out tonight. It's been the same all year - Lidge sucks. Wasn't going to change against the best team in baseball.

This game...and this series...is on Manuel. I know hindsight is 20/20, but after the Phils took Game 1, I thought he should've started Hamels in Game 2. Hamels game 3 start, besides from being wretched, really put this team behind the 8 ball. I say you start Hamels in Game 2, and whatever happens,happens. You're playing with house money once you take Game 1 on the road. Start your mosttalented, but inconsistent pitcher, and see where it goes. You could always start Martinez and Blanton and have a good chance to win. I was saying this before the series even began. Manuel's decision to trot Lidge out there in the 9th is inexcusable. I understand the benifit of boosting confidence and all that, but whywould you trot Lidge out there in that situation? He Had eyre,a nd even Madson coul've gone out there with a quick pull in the back of his mind. Hell, if Madson let off the inning with a hit, you could've pulled him and brought in Eyre. I hate pulling pitchers in a tight game when the pitcher hasn't done anything to warrant a pitching change. i may be old fashioned, and Charlie may've gone with his gut, but I would've never even thought about going to Lidge without a lead. If the Phils had a lead when they brought Lidge in, I woul've understood it. But the decision to bring in Lidge jst reeked of a mental motivational ploy which blew up in Manel's face.

if this sounds like hammels - so be it

but i do not want the phils to win Monday to get our hopes up - then run up to NYC get demoralized there

let's end the misery Monday

gr8 season!

see ya

He slider looked great tonight, so what does Lidge throw to Damon, to Arod...fastball. Right over the heart of the plate. Well it broke mine, Brad. Thanks for 08 but we have short memories in Philadelphia.

That one stings, fellas. So close to getting a shot at a reliever OTHER than Rivera with a chance to win it in the ninth. I'm not looking forward to tomorrow night.

so im guessing by phils in 5 j roll meant lose in 5.. nice to see uc get on the hamels band wagon and call it a night too. jeez how soft this team has become..waa the f waa

"Answer: Cliff Lee"

No, that was the answer had Lee pitched tonight, but since he didn't... Well, we're not going to reach Game 7 anyway, so what's it matter?

Lidge and Hamels were studs last year and duds this year. Everybody was hoping for them to "return to form" but they didn't.

A more ruthless manager and FO would have found a way to bury them somewhere they couldn't have hurt us this postseason. But, then again, with that type of management, we might not have gotten this far.

All that having been said, it's not over 'til it's over and being a Phillies fan is to live and die by them. We'll all be fans and love our Phils no matter what.

ARoid shows us all why his teammates love him so by pointing out how well his team is picking up him AND Teixiera.

This is going seven. I still believe.

JZ - i like your optimism. Certainly, teams win 3 in a row all the time. Hell, the Yankees just did. Down 3-1 is not impossible - '86 Mets, '79 Pirates being the most recent teams to do it. It all starts with Lee in Game 5. With that said, I'm seeing a '93 replay. Yanks have just been a little better this series. I really thought Lidge was going to shut them down in the 9th and then the slider disappeared and, instead of every baserunner being on 2d after 1 pitch, Damon's on 3d and the rest seemed inevitable. I can't believe I'm thinking it but, somehow, some way, I would love for Lidge to find himself in another 9th inning situation before the season ends.

Lidge was a foul tip away from striking out Damon and keeping his '09 Postseason Goodwill Tour running. Every manager in baseball brings his closer into a tie game at home in the ninth. It's in the handbook.
But those two fastballs were just brutal.

The Yankees right now look like the more talented but more importantly more competent team. I'm going to vomit now.

Was at the game and still can't believe what I saw. A few observations, which I'm sure were covered in the game thread:

*Why was nobody warming up in the pen? Yes, it all happened quickly with two outs, but once Lidge hit Texiera, it was obvious he was unraveling.
*Forget the great AB by Damon, (how many flares and dink/dunk hits did they have last night?) and the numb nut play not covering third. The two real sins of the inning were hitting Texeria and Ruiz throwing the ball to second when Damon was throwing. That ball should have NEVER EVER been thrown to second in the first place. If Ruiz made the call about Hamels suddenly going to his curve on Saturday, he gets my LVP of the series.
*Had to sit in front of a typical Yanks fan last night, this woman who claimed to be a huge fan, cheering for "Tex-era" and "Milky." I thought the guy next to her was going to punch her. And man, up where I was in the 400 level in left field, they did not take any crap from Yanks fans. They threw four of them out quickly at the first sign of trouble.
*If Bud Selig is serious about speeding up the game, he should stop worrying about what replay might do and make a rule that limits the number of mound conferences a team can have in one inning, I've watched baseball for 35 years and I swear I don't remember a game with the catcher making as many visits as Posada did, it was ridiculous.
*Observation from this series: I hate the Yanks witha passion like most people on here, but until this series, Posada never bothered me either way. But wow is he a whiny little bee-otch. I officially hate that guy.

Hugh,

1986 World Series was 2-2 after 4 games.

The 1985 Royals were the last team to come back down 3-1 in the WS, helped by a blown ump call at 1st in Gm 6, back when blown ump calls seemed more the exception than the rule.

before we lay this all on lidge, let's remember how many missed opportunities the phils have had....how many runners left on base...how many guys who got on with 0 out who never moved...how many times the phillies' offense let the yanks' pitchers off the hook, etc. with the exceptions of burnett and rivera, no yankees pitcher has looked dominating.

it's also pretty quirky that all the HRs have been solo shots--are they just playing tight with guys on base? obviously the pitcher's approach is different with nobody on, but it still seems unusual that every HR would be a solo shot.

this series can be broken down game-by-game. the phils beat the yanks. then the yanks beat the phils. then the phillies didn't show up. and last night, it had the look of one of those unlucky games where the yanks got every bounce while the phillies hit the ball hard right at people over and over. throw in some missed opportunities, and lidge was just the nail in the coffin last night.

but, i digress, lee gets the ball tonight, and you can't give up yet. the phillies have won 3-in-a-row against better teams than the yankees.

There are a number of things going on here:
1. Phils bats are missing and that is key for a Phillies team that has been reliant on bats (all the HRs have been with 0 on base)
2. There is a problem when a guy like Park throws 14 pitches and basically retires the side (1 walk) is yanked out inexplicably and thus forcing Cholly to go with Madson in teh 8th and Lidge in the 9th.
3. I thought Lidge was the old Lidge facing the first two batters. Damon had a great at bat heads up base running and he is known for both and therefore this is not on Lidge.

The question remains if you are taking out Park after 14 pitches why not Lidge after a single (requiring more that 10 pitches) and a plunked batter?

You know, we won a World Series last year and we've won Back-to-Back Pennants.

I can't make myself angry at this team. The Yankees might be the better team (Personally, I just think they're playing better at the moment) or they might not. We should be happy with this team.

Upsides:

1. Our entire core is coming back. The only major free agents are Feliz, Myers, & Park. None will be missed too much. Feliz can be replaced with a FA signing and relievers are fungible.

2. We still got all the playoff revenue we could expect by playing 3 WS games at home. We'll have plenty of cash in the off-season that will see other teams make hard choices due to the economy. We should be able to seize that opportunity and retool for another run.

3. Hamels will be better next year and we'll have 2 Aces at the top of the rotation.

4. We have a pretty strong Farm system and guys like Drabek, Taylor and Brown will be helping the 2nd half of next year. Lesser names like Mathieson and Bastardo will likely have spots in the BP and we just might see the 2nd coming of Kyle Kendrick in the rotation.


All in all, its been a great year. I'm gonna enjoy that fact while I hope we force a Game 6 tonight.

Lot of disappointment and anger here, no surprise. But I have to say that the ninth inning was probably the most amazing collective effort I have ever seen on a baseball field. Two outs, two strikes, and a lot of momentum. Lidge appeared to have good stuff.

Hey, the first 2 fake Yankees fans just stopped by to brag. They're lucky I didn't kill them.

Oops, make that the first 3.

"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" - classic.

I don't want to look at next year already, but I thought Blanton was FA next year too?

Blanton is arbitration eligible. Its possible they'll non-tender him but I doubt it. He'll be worth the money for at least one more year.

What made it feel worse is that Lidge really did look strong with the first two batters. If they had just come out and bombed him, I don't think it would have felt as bad. Watching him dominate Jeter gave me hope.

I'm just glad that wasn't a walk-off in Yankee stadium - which would have been intolerable.

I agree with the comment that Park should have pitched another inning - I was surprised to see him lifted after only 1 inning.

Big Joe made $5.475 this year and had a pretty strong year. I would guess he'd ask for something in the $8-10 million range and the Phillies would counter at $6-7 million and they'd go from there. He's been a solid middle of the rotation guy for us in 2 years with a 105 ERA+.

Didn't the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor?

Last night's loss was as frustrating/disheartening as any I've ever seen in decades of Phils fandom. Jason summed up the atmosphere so well. My son and I kept talking when Damon was up to bat, "Just get him out, if you get this last strike, the Phils will scrape a run across in the 9th and win. Throw the slider. Don't put Tex and A-Rod into play. If Damon somehow gets on, it will all fall apart, as surely as walking the lead off guy begs for trouble." Frustrated at Lidge, but give Damon credit for a monster AB.

Another solid, workmanlike (if not stellar) pitching outing wasted. Like Pedro, Blanton did an overall good job, good enough to lead to a win most of the time. True, the Yanks did what they had to do and scored four runs off him, but as I recall, the only one of the hits off Blanton that was solid was Damon's line drive in the first. I do not recall ever seeing so many bloops, bleeders, and chops that ended up in dead zones.

On paper it looks like the Yanks are methodically demolishing the Phils, but I have not seen that, really. The little things are leading over and over to runs: The curves to Pettite that allowed him to get a hit. Blanton walking a weak leadoff man. Two BB to Swisher. Utley slipping on wet grass in the first inning. Lidge losing Damon - I mean, A-Rod is not going to whiff every time he comes up - you play with fire you will eventually get burnt.

Are the Yankees really that good that they seemingly can capitalize on every single mistake and turn it into a run? Or have they been fortunate with the breaks going their way? My view, is that it is a bit of both, aided by the Phils' NOT taking advantage of some situations where they could have put runs together.

Sad, but let's see what Lee can do tonight. Heard Charlie this AM on the radio, and he did NOT sound dispirited at all. I think they will come out and play hard with their backs against the wall, that's what they do.

Good point made above by Pblunts about Posada.. Man do I hate that guy at this point!

Everyone knows the first rule about being a catcher is not to complain about balls and strikes when at the plate, for fear that an umpire in response will not give your pitchers borderline calls once you resume duties behind the plate. As of yet, the umpires haven't seemed to show any frustration or willingness to respond to Posada's incessant whining.

I don't even know if he's starting tonight (with Burnett throwing), but I'd be curious if this series goes 6 to see Cowboy Joe West behind the plate, and see whether he takes any of Posada's antics to heart. I'm sure if anyone will do something about Jorge's ridiculous bitching, Cowboy would love nothing more than to make an example out of him.

Great post by bathtubhippo. Lidge gets the blame, rightly so, but there were numerous failures earlier that led to that moment including bad throws to the plate by Ibanez and Werth that would've nailed Yankee runners had they been good throws.

But for me the turning point of the game was when the Phils got the first 2 runners on (in the 6th?) with the heart of the lineup coming up and then failed to score. Winning teams come through in that situation.

I'm re-living my junior high baseball experiences: excrutiating Phillies' losses and obnoxious Yankee wins.

I'll be at the game today. The Phils CAN'T lose this one. They just can't.

Then it goes back to NY. If Pedro can pitch like he did in Game 2, and if the Phillies decide to hit like they can, there could be a Game 7. Then anything can happen.

Someone never saw Animal House

I concur. Lee in the 9th. Or will there be a 75% off sale at Forman Mills tomorrow?

Ridiculous:

One of the most absurd things in baseball right now is the nearly automatic steal that is coming as soon with even modest speed gets on 1st base against Lidge. I can't remember something so ridiculous before happening against a pitcher.

Lidge didn't even attempt a single throw over to 1st and Damon didn't even bother worrying about it. Damon just set up with a really lead and went.

If this trend continues, I don't see how Lidge can remain an effective closer in 1-run games regardless of how well he is actually pitching. Essentially anytime a runner gets on 1st, he will almost certainly be in scoring position and have a real possibility of stealing 3rd too if he has some speed.

Maybe I am being a bit harsh on Ligde but I find it ridiculous that a closer can't at least throw over to 1st place a few times to keep a runner somewhat honest.

****Didn't the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor?****

So you believe everything the Man tells you, don't you?

WAKE UP MAN!!!

Well what a horrible game last night. After being on Lidge;s side ALL year and getting told all the time here that he will blow one in the WS, I am not saying I was wrong. Lidge looked good through the first 2 batters then for some reason after the ump called what should have been strike 3 to Damon a ball to make the count loaded, Lidge went with fastball, huge mistake.

I am disappointed in alot of things this series. Obviously Rollins and Vic have been no-shows. Along with Lidge, Hamels and Howard not showing up in key spots. Also the crowd. I expected that place to be going bonkers the past 2 games and they haven't been. It has been pretty dead I think overall. I am afraid that "great" World Series we all expected, has turned into a dud thus far.

from my post "not" should have been "now". Sorry for the typo.

This isn't on Charlie. There comes a point when you put your players on the field and they either produce or they don't. When you 'ace', your closer and your clean up hitter all wet the bed you don't win the world series. Simple as that.

I think Chooch is in charge of calling which pitch to throw, not Lidge.

Haven't been overly impressed with the Yanks and the general managing or play by both teams. Even though this series was touted as having the potential to be a "great World Series because it had the two best teams" you generally haven't had crisp play or that many notable highlights for either team.

As for the Phils, they really are playing for some respectability this point. Yeah they were the first NL team since the 95-96 Braves to go back-to-back in the World Series appearances, a "great team" doesn't lose 3 straight games at home to close out the series.

Is it wrong that I would take pushing the Yankees to a Game 6 or 7 as a moral victory at this point?

Lidge should take a course in keeping runners close/develop a pick-off move. I won't even get into what courses Hamels should take.

How did Lidge do holding runners last year?

I don't remember him being so completely incompetent.

Clout, You sight bad defensive plays. I don't think Raul's throw was particulary bad. Got an unlucky result. Tough error to be hit with. Werth's throw was worse.

The biggest bone head play was by St. Utley. Plant your feet and take the out at second. Would have resulted in 2 outs and a runner on 1st for Jeter. Don't know if Jimmy makes that play in the hole, but he certainly could have if he were in normal position. For our smartest player, that was very disappointing to me.

Absolutely terrible. Worse than Jose Mesa, worse than Mitch Williams, worse than all the terrible relievers the Phils have had over the years. The worst season by a closer ever.

Lets be honest here for a second...

Its probably AMAZING the Phils have gotten as far as they have, with Lidge having the season he has had. Think about that for a second.

Winning a WFC with a closer having arguably the worst season in major league closing history, would have been a miracle. Even for this Phillie group, who we always believe can do about anything.

We all knew down deep (or should have) that Lidge would eventually do us in. He turned it around (somehow) for 2 playoff series. He couldn't erase everything though in the 3rd playoff series.

You are probably back to square one with him now mentally.

I give the Phils credit for battling and getting as far as they have, with such a fatally flawed part of the team.

I was looking forward to seeing Gnome pinch-hitting to lead-off the 9th against Coke too. Our other fatal flaw would have risen up there, having to pinch-hit Eric Bruntlett in a tie game in the 9th inning of Game 4 of the WS. Jason is right though. The Phils would have somehow won it in the bottom of the 9th. Unless Girardi brought in Rivera to bail Coke out.

MG, you haven't been impressed by the Yankees? Their starters have been K'ing us left and right. They stay out of big innings. Every time we score runs they come back and answer with runs of their own. And their closer is lights out.

Both Cholly and Girardi have had their share of mistakes or decisions that were pretty easy to second-guess. Neither guy has been that sharp but then again there hasn't an incredibly egregious mistake either manager that has made that directly cost his team a game either.

I do think you will see some of the "Cholly is a tactical genius" talk really die down again that you saw through much of October. Same for "Ruiz is a great game-caller" talk that was so readily apparent.

I think Ruiz is a great game caller against teams he has faced regularly. Not so much against the AL. Perhaps he simply needs more video and scouting work? He does seem to be above average in handling the pitching staff during the rest of the year.

Be honest, we're playing a very very talented team that punishes mistakes. We knew going in that we'd have to play perfect baseball to beat them and we haven't. Back to Back WS appearances is not a bad thing.

Tony D - The Yanks' starters ERA through 4 games is 3.38. Solid but not spectacular. The only guy who was "unhittable" was Burnett it game 2 and that was really only after the 3rd inning. Sabathia was ok last night but Petitte was very hittable the night before. Phils just haven't been taking that many good swings and haven't had much luck with balls dropping in.

Yanks had 4 hits of their 9 hits last night that bounced in front of the pitcher's mound and yet wind up being hits. You might see that happen during a regular season game maybe once a month and probably less.

BTY - The Phils' starters ERA is 4.26. You get the impression from watching ESPN that there has been a world of difference between the two teams and their starting pitching during the series.

The numbers and the actual hits tell a somewhat different story.

Ultimately, Lidge is responsible for throwing whatever pitch he is comfortable with. All he has to do is shake Chooch off. This one is on him, as if it weren't already apparent.

Moving on to tonight. You have to love Cliff Lee against Burnett on short rest. Lee is having a better postseason even than 08 Hamels.

In all of Phillies postseason history, Lee has 3 of the top 6 starting pitcher game scores.

We won't need our bullpen tonight.

A win tonight and it's still anyone's series.

Yes, Im trolling, but why the eff not. You have a really good team, but some observations...

- Blanton wasn't as brilliant as Joe Buck made him out to be. 'Joe the Pitcher' (dumb) was getting those strikes that crossed at the shins, and 3-4 inches to both sides of the plate. Right ump at the right time, actually made it a game. Strike zone was consistently inconsistent - admittedly CC got a few also, but he also made the big pitches when needed.

- Cliff Lee is an excellent pitcher, but a joke of an ace if he's not in Manuel's office up until first pitch demanding the ball. On the big time pitcher scale, that was more Jake Peavy than Josh Beckett.

- Lidge was never "back". He just faced some prety unclutch teams afraid of the spotlight - i.e., the whole Dodger line up sans Manny. Saw those Dodger outtings, and the appearance that they claimed he was officially the '08 Lidge, he gave up a single, a BB, and a bee bee that was fortunately hit right at Utley for a double play. More lucky than good. Right after Damon battled for the single, the Pujols '05 seed was planted. Once Damon got on third, Pujols '05 was in full blossom & in his head. No way he handles Yankee Stadium if a runner gets on.

- Where's Ryan Howard?

- Somebody should have told the Phillies that this isn't the NL's version of a NY baseball team. Predictions, joking around and making dumb face on the field, taking shots at the Yankee fan in press conference's does not fly. Both Jeter and Posada have that Michael Jordan killer insinct, you put them into a position where they have to save face...and have.

- Never really watched the Phillies until the past month+, and the one big thing these two teams have in common is a lot of talent with a manager that is along for the ride. At least Girardi tries to make it look like he can contribute positively (he can't).

After '04 I like to keep the confidence in check, but it's looking grim for you guys....

"you generally haven't had crisp play or that many notable highlights for either team."

Actually, the Yanks have been pretty crisp, with none of the boneheaded plays, poor execution, or bad luck that has hurt the Phils this Series. This team has definitely been playing tight, possibly due to the Yanks' rep, possibly due to the actual talent of the Yanks. In any case, perhaps having basically lost this thing will give them some added motivation or make them play a little looser.

Well, Hamels was essentially told NOT to shake Ruiz off so its very possible that Lidge was told the same thing.

I think last night's loss was a team effort.

It was already said before, but Lidge not throwing his out pitch to ARod did him in. His straight fastball is very hittable, especially with ARod at the plate.

Perhaps Chooch shouldn't have made the throw to 2nd to try to get Damon, but shouldn't Lidge have been covering 3rd b/c of the shift?

"But for me the turning point of the game was when the Phils got the first 2 runners on (in the 6th?) with the heart of the lineup coming up and then failed to score. Winning teams come through in that situation."

Holy Cow, I agree with clout. When I saw Jimmy Rollins on base with no outs- and nobody brought him home!- I knew it was over. Went to bed, in fact.

****Cliff Lee is an excellent pitcher, but a joke of an ace if he's not in Manuel's office up until first pitch demanding the ball. On the big time pitcher scale, that was more Jake Peavy than Josh Beckett.****

Being an Ace means showing up your manager and disrupting the team? Good to know.

Yes, Lidge SHOULD have been covering 3rd. That was a total breakdown on defense by him and it is as egregious as his complete inability to hold a runner. Dubee needs to take him aside this winter and teach him the fundamentals of defense. Its pathetic that he doesn't already know how to do these things.

Yep, the Yanks would have rolled over if Rollins didn't appear on the Leno show.

Gimme a break. They're the winningest winners ever, Rollins could have predicted the Yankees to sweep and the series would play the same.

I don't recall the Phillies losing many games because Lidge threw a slider that got away from Ruiz. Why not keep pitching your game and not worry about Ruiz's ability to block a pitch.

I don't care what the situation is, Lidge nor Hamels should get in a game the rest of the series.

NEPP - on Lee, Cholly said that he was not going to throw Lee on three days rest. He said Lee came to him and insisted that he wanted to do it, but Cholly said no. To your point, anything more that what Lee did would have been disruptive to the team.

It isn't over; it is looking grim. I honestly don't feel like we're getting outplayed by more than the slimmest of margins. The first two games were simply great outings by the pitchers, one apiece. Game three was a Hamels meltdown, and this last game came down (in my opinion) to a few swings of the bat. Utley and Howard popped up with two on, and then both the hard hit balls before the Feliz home run went straight at someone. Lidge can give up runs, but I think there's a convincing argument that the whole inning goes differently with a lead.
Yankees are clearly a talented team, they've taken advantage of a meltdown by one of our pitchers, a soft bullpen, and some uncharacteristically bad outings from a few of our hitters (namely Howard, although Rollins is also there, and Ibanez).
Either way a couple things go differently and this is 2-2, or even 3-1 Phils (we had a great chance with two on against Rivera in game 2).
These Phillies have proven time and time again that they never give up, so I expect them to keep on playing at a high level. With some determination and a little luck, there's a strong possibility of Game 7. I'm not sure who we can trust to pitch that game but I'm sure we can get there if we keep battling.

Exactly UD Hens. It was Cholly's call, not Lee's. Lee is an Ace. He is the definition of an Ace.

Game 7 if it happened:

Start Happ, Lee in relief and then the BP if need be.

On Smerconish's (sp?) program this morning Charlie said that he would expect the catcher to cover third on that play. Doesn't seem to make sense because Lidge has less ground to cover but that's what he said.

NEPP - I didn't see that Cole was told to not shake off Chooch. In fact I remember someone saying that he shook him off to throw the curves.

But I agree, this loss is on the team. I meant the pitch selection was on lidge, which I still believe.

The worst part of losing to the Yankees is proving the national media right. I hate the feeling of being deservedly underestimated (or is that being correctly estimated?).

For the love of Scott Franzke's soul patch, can we please pull off a miracle comeback?

I just want to see ARod cry. That's all I want.

It's simple, the Yankees have been playing better than us. That's all. We're a great team to have gotten as far as we have for the 2nd year in a row. It's been a fun run.

It feels sickening now b/c we (or at least, I) believe this team is capable of more than they've shown us. But realistically, everything that's gone wrong has been...not expected, but not a surprise either. These are areas that faltered frequently during the season(Hamels, BP, Lidge, clutch hitting).

Every team has strengths and weaknesses. To win a WS, a team must capitalize on most of the opportunities that arise and play almost flawlessly in all respects. Make the big pitch when needed, get the clutch hit. The Yankees have done that. The fact that their top 3 pitchers and their closer have been doing their jobs, and the fact that their offense has been relentless all postseason, were reasons we knew they'd be tough to beat.

The Phils are capable of the relentless offense, too, but we haven't seen that for several games now. And our pitchers haven't been quite effective enough against their lineup. It's a team effort, and it just hasn't been working for us.

Now, if the Royals can come back from 3-1 (not sure they did it as a visiting team), and the Pirates can (they were the visiting team, it was just on MLB Network yesterday), and the Red Sox can come back from 0-3 in the ALCS, then the Phillies can come back, too.

So I'll hope, and that hope will lead to frustration if they fail (which is statistically much more likely). But I love this team, and I think we can be proud of them. For their character as well as their accomplishments.

Demanding the ball is not disruptive to a team, if anything it rally's the team together. Go back over this decade and recount the big games that top line pitchers went on 3 days rest. Beckett in '03, Sabathia carried a team on 3 days rest last year, Pettitte has been doing it forever.

If Lee did demand the ball, and Manuel said no, then he doesn't appreciate the moment. Its the WS, all hands on deck. Like a previous post mentioned, why wait until the 8th and 9th to use your best bench players, when the big moment could come in the 5th or 6th.

Hamels and Lidge have been poster children for the Sports Psychologist Association. Very disappointing and helping to make WFC2 a long shot.

I've written this team off before, so I won't do it now, until the final bitter stirke 3. Winning the next two puts all the pressure back on the Yanks. Burnett makes me nervous, Phils need better ab's against him. Agree that Ben should play against CC, Raul looked lost.

Hope this isn't a five game series, that would be embarrassing. Reminds me of the 2000 NBA finals (last time I cared about the NBA). Sixers come out and "dagger" the Lakers(the Yankees of basketball) in game one. Iverson (Cliff Lee) hits that shot and steps over twerpy Tyronn Lue (any Yankee). After that the Lakers roll off 4 straight. I hope we're not repeating that, cause that sucked!

I don't know how long I'm going to be questioning why they didn't throw a slider to Damon ahead in the count, or even in a full count. Probably a long time. It's the only thing running through my mind this morning.

Obnoxiousyankeefan,

-Agreed, Blanton pitched a workmanlike game but CC was better in the end.

-This is your only obnoxious cheap shot. We don't know what went on in the clubhouse with Lee. Don't knock him without knowing the background, I think he would have taken the ball. Bottom line is, someone else besides Lee has to win a big game for the Phils to win.

-Agree on Lidge, sadly. Valid points.

-Howard's with Tex and A-Rod.

-On the trash talk or whatever, what can I say. You guys are up. We're not real wild about Swisher's BS, Melky's faking throwing balls into the stands after the last out of an inning, Posada's whining about calls, and Burnett's acting like getting the last out of an inning is like the last out of a series. But again, your guys are doing what they have to do. Talk is cheap.

-I think Charlie is the right manager for these Phils at this time. He has some pretty good coaching assistance - Lopes, anyway.

-Phils backs are against the wall, it is grim no doubt. They'll be there tonight and we'll go from there.

Lee did demand the ball, Manuel said no. After 8 innings in Game 4, the score was tied 4-4. It came down to the bullpen. If Manuel's gamble had paid off, they go into Game 5 at 2 games each with Cliff Lee on the mound. That would have been a great position to be in. And if Lidge could have put Damon away in the 9th, today's discussion would have been very different.

CC also broke down last year on three days rest.

What's done is done. We haven't played our best, but we're not dead yet.

Lee vs. Burnett (on short rest)

Pedro vs. HGH (on short rest)

To get to a Game 7, we just have to play a little bit better, pitch a little bit better, get some breaks. It starts tonight with Lee.

Looks like typepad is still struggling. Posting so i can see the new comments.

If the team isn't mentally beaten down (something that's probably much more of a risk for fans than the guys who actually have a say in how the games turn out), it's not crazy to think they have a legit chance to get to game 7. And, as has been noted, anything can happen in game 7. It's just hard to conceive of three straight wins against the Yanks right now, especially with two of them in NY and it being a totally mystery who UC would go with in game 7.

That said, if the Phils manage to come back and sweep the three game series this has come down to, it will be the most satisfying spectacle any of us will ever see. The Phils' accomplishment would be huge and it would be a delicious stab to the heart of NY jackasses. There's a real opportunity here for them to do something special.

Said it last night but for all of the criticism that Utley and Howard have taken, they have been better offensively than their Yankee counterpart (Texiera and ARod). In fact, the Yanks have a couple of guys who are really notably struggling including Texiera, ARod, and Cano.

Biggest difference is that Jeter and Damon have thoroughly outplayed JRoll and Vic. The later two should also have a distinct defensive advantage too but I can't remember a particularly noteworthy play by either JRoll or Vic this series so far either.

Can someone tell me why we were playing the shift with two outs last night against Texiera? The guy has done nothing to warrant such a strategy.

Other than Lidge's meltdown, the 5th innng failure, after Rollins & Vic both got on base, was very definitely the game's critical moment.

Cy: Ibanez's throw was awful. A good throw easily nails Swisher. And Jayson Werth's throw on the very next play was no better. Again, a good throw nails the runner.

One thing for sure...

Ibanez looks his age out there right now. He just looks old. I think we will be seeing a surgery of some sort shortly after the season ends.

I think we will be seeing a lot more of Francisco and maybe Mayberry in 2010 in the OF for the Phils (and maybe even Taylor at some point as well). No way you can continue to trot Ibanez out there EVERY day, at 38 years old, and expect him to be fresh for October baseball. Plus, this series is showing how much the Phils could use another righty bat in the lineup against lefty pitching.

2 silly, but oft-repeated, myths that have been utterly dispelled this post-season:

1. The bench isn't important.

2. Money doesn't buy championships.

This loss is going to take a full winter to get over. I was really routing for Lidge. I WANTED him to be the Lidge of last season. He looked like it the first few batters. It's just that the Yankees are a great team. They didn't win 100+ games for nothing. The only thing that can wash this game from the crawl of my mind is a three game sweep. Otherwise this was one we should have won. It was ours for the taking.

These 'clutch' Yankees are mostly the same guys who lost in the playoffs from 2001-2007 and finished 3rd last year.

Look at Game 1, Phils got the swinging bunts and seeing eye grounders and looked like way more clutch than they did last night when they didn't.

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