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Thursday, October 21, 2010

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Halladay didn't come here to get bounced in the NLCS. Even if I'm dubious about 3 wins against a very good and timely-hitting team, I'm looking forward to seeing Halladay's back-against-the-wall start tomorrow night.

I agree with everything except the choice to send Ruiz. I think it was the right call and it took a tremendous play by Posey to tag him out.

"...the end of Phillies baseball as we know it."

If I'm not mistaken, JW said something similar around mid-season.

JW, great writeup. One big thing you missed, though...Rollins not getting the runner over. Instead we saw his signature infield popup. Produce a run there and you're up one with three outs to go.

"if this is the end of Phillies baseball as we know it."

Alright, I'm all for hyperbole, but Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt are all here next season. So is much of this team, and if they get healthy, and maybe an infusion from Dom Brown, there's no reason to think they won't be right back at the top the NL East next season.

On everything else, you're right. The Phillies played like a team that didn't belong in the postseaosn tonight, and have played 3 games this series like that, and have lost all 3.

I just don't get why Doc didn't start tonight. You have TWO GUYS who have started on short rest in their careers, successfully, and would be MORE THAN WILLING to make short rest starts in this series. Every team in the league would kill for that advantage, and would certainly take advantage of it if they were in need of it. The Phillies just spit on it. Now, they have to win every game from here on out.

They can still do it, and I expect this series to return to Philly, but you would have optimized your chances of getting it back to Philly if you started Halladay tonight. We would have won this game.

Why does everything have to be "The end"? Raul slumps, it's the end of the line for him. Lidge blows a save, it's because he's washed up. Phils lose to a VERY tough Giants team, it's the end of Phillies baseball as we know it.

Not everything needs to be so fatalistic. Sometimes you just get beaten, even when you think you're the better team.

Sending Ruiz was the right call. If the other team has to make a perfect play to get the guy at home, you send him. They make that perfect play and you just tip your cap. Great throw by Rowand and phenomenal block by Posey.

Don't disagree with your carelessness theme in general though.

This is the end, my only friend, the end...

""...the end of Phillies baseball as we know it."

Don't think so.

losing the first game really hurt us. series would be tied and it wouldn't feel like the end.

If the Phillies go down 1-0 tomorrow, JW's final line will be spot-on.

I'm already as sick of hearing that Halladay should have started as I am of hearing they should have kept you know who. I cannot believe 4 short-rest starts would be the best move. This series comes down to one thing and one thing only. Execution. The Giants are playing their best, and the Phillies are playing absolutely nowhere near theirs.

eh who cares guys...they gave us a good run....we saw a world series....its amazing to think we have become so spoiled

"Including the NLCS matchup, Halladay has gone 0-3 with a 6.66 ERA in four career starts against the Giants."

Doc's focus on beating Giants, not Lincecum

Phillies baseball as I know it: Resiliency and, before this season, offense.

bottom line - posey delivered, going opposite way twice once on a ball outside. Phillies trying to pull when they should go opposite field and then popping it up when they need to roll one to the right. Last nights goat Utley, tonight's goat Rollins and Durbin and the Pitch calling. Worse is Durbin was told not to throw a strike to fat Panda and Durbin grooves it. Happy to see him gone in a day, several weeks?

They didn't deserve to win tonight. Chooch should have blocked those pitches in 1st inning, Ben should have caught the ball that lead to 2nd run, Polly had a chance to turn a DP that lead to 3rd run, Leadoff walks in both the 5th and 6th, Durbin's location was horrendous, not bunting with Jimmy in the 8th, not pinch hitting with Ben in 8th, and Oswalt coming in the 9th was plain stupid.

They may win tomorrow, but this offense has showed me nothing that they can win 2 straight let alone 3 straight...

They are being outhit, outpitched, outmanaged, and the Giants are playing much better defense, and I know the Sabermetricians won't like this, but they look like they want it more, they are doing everything right with alot of emotion, the phillies just look flat.

one more thing - post season howard ZERO RBIs

@fatalotti

I still don't disagree with the move, I think it would have come back to haunt them eventually, I just don't believe in the whole short rest thing.

I also agree with this could be it, they are looking older and older by the minute, the bullpen is going to be a bunch of castoffs and Oswalt for one I think is going to work much better in the short term than he will in the long term

@slocs

people have to be on base for him to drive in runs, he is the only guy we have hitting in this series....

I think the key phrase from JW is "as we know it." This is no longer a team that will beat you with offense. With Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt as the starters and Madson and Lidge at the back end, they'll be relying on their pitching and defense to win the next couple of years. Werth is more than likely leaving, Ibanez and Rollins are on the decline offensively, who knows if Polanco can recover from nagging injuries...

The last year and a half we've been hoping the team was simply slumping at the plate, but I think this is just who they are now. Great pitching, good defense, and occasional offense. Throw in some good luck and try to stay relatively healthy, and it's not a bad way to win some games. Still a good team, just not what we're used to.

Yeah! And Howard only has a 1.115 OPS. I'm sure Howard's lack of an RBI has nothing to do with the guys in front of him.

mmm, i agree with the iceman on so many accounts.

except for this...

"Sometimes you just get beaten, even when you think you're the better team."

truth, sometimes you DO just get beaten. but i don't THINK the phillies are the better team. matter of factly, THEY ARE better. sadly, they just haven't really shown it.

@matt

still a good team, but they are probably going to be like the Braves good enough to get in, but not good enough to win championships, I don't know about you, but all I care about is championships......

I forgot to add in my rant some of Amaro's bad moves are going to start to add up as we move forward.

How's Howard gonna drive anyone in when there's no one on base in front of him? Give me a break.

i'll agree with a previous poster and add one thing - Halladay didn't come here two lose twice in the post season, if he does lose look for 27 wins next year

In Chooch's defense, he blocked a lot of balls later in the game.

If Howard was really earning his money, he'd get RBIs with no one on base.

There's no way Halladay lays an egg tomorrow. I hate hyperbole, but if after all of his season built up to tomorrow's game he comes out and gets hit around by a mediocre lineup, it's fair to lay a good share of the blame at his feet. He'll have had two starts in this series. If he doesn't win at least one of those, it's a failure.

Agree. It's a lot easier to block a breaking ball in the dirt than a 55 mph fastball. They're called wild pitches for a reason.

howard has had key at bats and K'd with men on base but Utley has been awful, if he is injured and can't swing sit the F down. Further on Howard he makes $20 million to hit bombs so far I haven't seen one. Cody Ross 3, Howard zero.

Meant 55 foot.

@JW

Correct, I'm not blaming him for the loss. My point was those balls in the 1st inning were just one of about 7 things that they did wrong tonight....It was a team loss, they played poorly in so many ways, and even the manager/pitching coach, perfomed poorly they played/managed like a team that is playing in postseason for 1st time...

*none

@slocs

sit the f down for who? exxon? remember utley was probably the mvp of the game in game 2.

If Howard went up to bat in that park trying to hit home runs it would be completely idiotic. His opposite field double against the loogy tonight was as good an at-bat as you'll ever see him have.

Did the Swedish give up with the Australians bombed Pearl Harbor?!

Wait ...

If Piece was trying to hit a HR every AB, he would be like every other player in this lineup, there is a reason Piece is hitting .385 and everyone else is around the mendoza line, it is frustrating watching every AB trying to take the ball deep...

Old Phan: You were being sarcastic, but yeah, he could hit a home run...

Anyway, obviously Howard has been our best hitter here. Werth has been fine, relatively speaking (huge double in the 8th tonight). It's the guys at the top and bottom killing us. Utley, Polanco, Jimmy, Ibanez/Francisco and Ruiz.

Maybe Manuel's gut gave out this series. His gut instincts used to be better.

The decision-making does seem a bit ragged, doesn't it? Flying by the seat of his pants, the way Jerry Manuel might manage a postseason. Keep Blanton in? Take him out? In? Ok - Aw, shucks.

Maybe there's nothing more to read into it than the Phils simply had a couple bad plays in a close game, and the Giants made a couple good ones.

Hats off to the Giants. As they say, those guys get paid too. Maybe not the huge contracts that our guys get paid, but they get paid too. They're a good professional baseball team. They win sometimes.

@JW

He is being exposed by Bochy in this series....The way he handled Blanton was bizzare, sticking with Durbin so long, needing Contrearas for the 6th, why ph with 2out and nobody on, he would have been a better option in 6th, he is throwing ball well...The thing that still is killing me is the non bunt by J-Roll and not PH for Ben with Gload, if they go lefty there then you bring Sweeney in....and Oswalt was dumb...I get you need Lidge to close and you were down to Romero and Kendrick, but he burned through his pen like my Dad burns through a pack of smokes...

But not all his fault they made a million other mistakes...

It was a disappointing game to be sure and a loss is a loss, but it was nowhere near as catastrophic as some are making it sound. They lost 6-5 in the 9th. It wasn't as if they weren't competing the whole game. Yesterday they seemed out of it from the beginning. That wasn't the case tonight.
A better inning by Durbin and/or Oswalt and the Phils win this game.

I think you have to send Ruiz in the 4th inning, considering the way the team hadn't been scoring runs. It took perfect plays on both ends to get him.

But yeah, far too many mistakes, and I don't really recall the Giants making *any* in this one. The most egregious were a) the putrid three-batter sequence that failed to advance Jayson Werth from second base in the eighth inning. You just can't miss an opportunity like that in this venue, in this setting, where every run means so much; b) Oswalt *inexplicably* throwing an offspeed pitch to Uribe after busting him inside with fastballs, correctly trying to exploit his sore wrist. Why oh why did they retreat from that plan? It will never make sense to me.

You could see this loss coming, though. The Giants are finding ways to win these games, they are the ones playing with presence and flair, and they seemed in control of this game the whole way. They are the ones who are assuming the role of the hungry upstart, while the Phillies, who looked tentative even with their brief lead tonight, are no longer postseason darlings. They've had their share of fortune and glory the past two years, and even had a few bursts of it against the Reds this year. Here's the reality check: it doesn't always work this way, and if you go into the post-season enough times, there's bound to be disappointment mixed in one time around or another. Maybe, who knows, there will still be some magic to come, a stirring comeback that will make us wonder how we could ever doubt. But that much I *don't* see coming.

@Jack

I'm a passionate fan, I don't look at sports that way, we should crush this team, but we are playing like the Indians team in Major League....

@Old

If this was game 68 I would agree with you, but they lost a must win game, by playing like the Bad News Bears.

@RSB

according to Dave Campbell on ESPN radio he said that Chooch took two steps back to second for somereason instead of breaking right away and that's why he was out...plus shane double clutched on the throw he should have had Torres on...

Still don't think you send Chooch

@RSB

To add to your point, when you go into postseason with no offense you won't win...

Joe Blanton:

- I can't believe Blanton hasn't taken alot more flack on here.

It was so telling tonight in Blanton's body language with his glove on hip that he was pissed that Cholly was pulling him in the 5th. Guess what bum you didn't get the job done and Cholly gave you as long of a lease as he could. As Al Pacino would say, 'You blew it!'

Funny but I have seen that face from Cholly before in Blanton starts and I knew exactly what he was thinking - 'this guy couldn't even give me 5 stinking innings tonight.'

Last good appearance/start by Blanton in the postseason was Game 4 of the '08 WS vs. Tampa. Since then it was been 3 average/below average starts including tonight.

Not looking forward to another 2 years of this underachiever signed to relatively large dollars ($10.5M in '11 and '12).

Jim: Pretty sure we're all passionate fans, considering we're writing on a freaking internet blog at 1:15 AM.

That said, sometimes you just have to recognize baseball for the game that it is, and note that plenty of times the lesser team will win by simply playing better for a couple nights. Again, if this happened in July, you wouldn't blink an eye. The game doesn't change just because the weather is a little chillier. It's still baseball, and with two playoff-quality teams, one of them is gonna win. That's 4 games now, 3 of which have been within 3 runs and 2 within 1 run.

It happens.

@MG

He wasn't great, but the first 3 runs scored on him should have never happened with better defense, and he is out of the 5th with better defense...then you can go with Contreras in the 6th and the rest of the game sets up much better for you from there...

@jack

not saying your not, but I'm the type of fan that will over analyze this until 7:57 tomorrow night, I see it as they made 10 dumb mistakes in this game, which just isn't like this team and that's why they lose and that pisses me off...

This game was extremely important to the Phillies, and to his credit, Charlie Manuel certainly recognized this and managed as if it were their last game. Therein lies the problem though. It wasn't their last game. So now you can't just play Game 5 and think ahead to 6 or 7. You have to pull out all the stops to win the game that's in front of you. If that means burning a starter in the 9th like he did tonight, then so be it. That's the position Manuel has put himself in because now every last one of these three games the Phillies potentially play WILL DEFINITELY be their last if they don't win.

I didn't like the Oswalt move, but I was just thinking about it, who was left? Kendrick and Romero I believe, and knowing your on the road and if you pitch Lidge he never goes two innings, if Oswalt on his throw day was avaliable where else do you go?

Jack, I appreciate your sense of perspective. I listen to the radio and I read the comments and it's like there's this sense of *entitlement*, and people are so pissed off for the Phillies having the audacity to lose. Post-season history is littered with favorites bowing out before their time. That's why they play the games.

Old Phan: "It was a disappointing game to be sure and a loss is a loss, but it was nowhere near as catastrophic as some are making it sound."

Yeah, yeah it was. Phils had a chance at historical greatness this postseason. Not many people even get their in the first place, even less overcome the final hurdles.

Maybe the Phils can win tomorrow night (I actually like their chances alot with Halladay on the mound) but I haven't felt this way about a Phils' lose since the '93 World Series and Game 4.

Phils had multiple chances in that game and in this game. Both times they came up short and you knew that it was too much of an uphill climb for them to come back down 3-1. History redux.

This will likely be remembered as a good team in years to come that had a nice run but not a historically great team.

@RSB and Jack

logically you guys are correct, but as a fan I will be pissed when I watch my team play and manage like a team that is a 75 win team in the biggest game of the season, they are getting outplayed sure, but they are playing horrible, and it pisses me off, and I will never apologize for being that way..

MG- you're right about Blanton. At the root of it, this game hinged on Blanton at least giving them a QS and he couldn't do it. Frankly he's lucky he didn't give up more runs than he did- everything was in the middle of the plate.

If Blanton gets through 6, Manuel has the option of having a shorter leash on Durbin, or even just throwing Madson for two innings. He didn't, Manuel had to roll the dice with the middle relief and that's where it all fell apart. A cherry on top of a horrible season for Blanton- especially considering most (if not all) would have been forgiven if he came through tonight.

@MG

I second that thought, anytime I root for a team that has a chance with a championship I am not going to tip my cap to the other team and say great season guys....that's what soccer mom's or cardinals fans do.

They have played brutal in this series, not that I am shocked they haven't hit all year, but the sloppy play the bad defense, bad baserunning, not bunting in an obvious bunt situation has me steamed....

They aren't dead H20 is what got us here, and they can still take us where we want to be, but sorry if I am lacking confidence, the rest of this team doesn't look that great and H20 hasn't exactly been light out, good, but not great...

I haven't been this mad about a game since Pitt-Nova (went to Pitt) not going to Dejuan Blair all game when he was unstoppable..

Wait I am lying Game 4 of WS last year...

haroldv raines with mlb just demonstrated how when Rollins was picked off it was a "double balk" add to it the called 3rds on Vic and Ruiz it one of those years where the breaks are going against us

This is the first game of the postseason where I did felt Cholly didn't make the right calls. Anyone though who has walked this team though the last 5+ years though knows that Cholly does a few things as a manager including:

- Saving his best PH (Gload) as late in a game as possible
- Always going with a veteran option out of the bullpen (Durbin) over an unproven youngster (Bastardo)
- Not necessarily having a great feeling on when his starting pitcher is done or not.

Cholly didn't lose them the game tonight. Lack of execution and poor play did that. He managed as he usually manages and came up short on some of his gambits.

Here is the thing about Blanton if Polly turns that double play, he gets out of 5th up 4-2, Contrearas can pitch the 6th, and they probably don't have to use Oswalt in 9th, but it probably doesn't even get there, this postseason has been about bad defense and the phils defense killed them tonight...

@MG

1.don't forget Rollins should have bunt.
should have ph Gload for Fransisco, and if 2.Bochy counters with a lefty you go with Sweeney.

Not all his fault, bad defense and bad offense (again) bad baserunning, but they had a chance to steal that game, and Charlie didn't help things out...

MG, if thet don't reach historical greatness it's because they're not an historically great team. I would argue that even if they manage to win this series, they just are not at that level. Right now, their rotation migth be at that level, but their lineup and bullpen just aren't.

@philipper

but as a fan you always want to root for your team to accomplish something to get into that argument, and when you are so close you can taste it, it is frustrating, but you are right alot people overvalued this team..

Where are people getting this idea that because it was Oswalt's side day he was somehow "available"? If that were the case maybe he shouldn't have pitched the bullpen session as well, eh?


"Oswalt ... was pitching on two days' rest - but technically four hours' rest since he had already thrown a bullpen side session before Game 4."

Matt Gelb, 20 October 2010

"Oswalt, who threw his regular between-starts bullpen session before the game, warmed up again and came in. He got only two outs, and the winning run scored on the second, the sacrifice fly by Uribe."

Bob Ford: 21 October 2010


It's just unbelievably stupid. Every good reason Charlie had for not starting Halladay on 3 days rest -- reasons I largely agreed with, by the way -- flew right out the damn window when he made this panic move. Starting Blanton was a crap shoot, but having made that move Manuel needed to see it through to the end. If Kendrick, Romero or Lidge couldn't be trusted to get through a sole scoreless inning they shouldn't be on the damn roster at all.


The typical Manuel stubbornness that leads to a loss:


Manuel ... about Jimmy Rollins popping up in the eighth inning with no outs and Jayson Werth on second base: "He pulls the ball. That's one of his strong suits, pull the ball. That's why we let him hit."

High Cheese: 21 October 2010


So much for learning anything from the only Win his team has gotten this series.

@gtown

well said, my thing is who are you going to pitch in the 9th other than Oswalt, since he told Dubee he could go....Kendrick/Romero?

Things that came up small:

- Sam Perlozzo and Davy Lopes. Perlozzo has made his share of shaky calls on sending runners this year and Lopes hasn't seemingly had much of an impact on the Phils' running game. My bet is that Lopes very will might be in his last game in a Phils' uniform tomorrow if they lose.

- Phils' defense. With the exception of Game 2, the Phils' defense has really let them done. Didn't see that coming.

- Ben Francisco. Yeah he had a hit tonight but you can see why Cholly doesn't like him. Not a good fundamental player who makes his share of shaky decisions despites some talent. denny b is right and it wouldn't surprise me at all if the Phils move Francisco this offseason via trade simply because Cholly's doesn't like his fundamentals despite his value as a 4th/platoon OF & cheap contract.

- JRoll. Yeah he had that big hit in Game 2 and he has had some other big moments in the postseason. Those largely overshadow though his relative lack of contributions in the 3 CS and 2 WS the Phils have appeared in the past 3 years. He was brutal tonight as he has nearly all of this postseason. Sucks to watch a hobbled, aging player who clearly is a diminished player at this point in his career.

- Utley. Been a very good player who had a very bad series offensively and defensively. Killed them in Game 3 and another guy who you have to wonder a bit if he hasn't started to recede a bit due to age.

- Blanton. Cholly showed alot of confidence in going with you in Game 4. You came up small. Real small as you did most of the year.

Dave - Yeah it was pretty clear that Cholly panicked a bit and gambled on Oswalt gutting it out. Oswalt was clearly gassed a bit though tonight. In order to throw hard, he had to give up some of his normally solid location on his fastball. It had the velocity but it was very erratic. Also didn't have good command on any of his breaking stuff.

If there is a crucial decision that comes down to Cholly making in regards to pitching and his ability to gauge when a pitcher has it/doesn't have it, I would generally bet against Cholly's judgment.

I will add Chooch to that list, he had an awful AB in the 8th, and didn't block those balls in the 1st, which he should have.

And Oswalt if you want the ball in the 9th and if you say your good to go, you have to pitch better than that, every ball they hit was hit hard..

It was a complete team loss in this game, other than maybe Howard, Werth, and Madson.. I can't think of anyone else that didn't make a key mistake at somepoint in this game....that shouldn't happen with this team...

Jim: Why not? Isn't that pretty much the only reason Kendrick/Romero are on the roster, for situations such as this? And let's face it: Charlie started Blanton. Charlie left Durbin in for a full inning when he had nothing. Charlie threw Bastardo into the mix when he had nothing. The game couldn't have ended any worse than it did, & could have been lost w/out the accompanying blow to morale that watching Oswalt enter & fail inflicted. I simply feel that once the Phillies went down this road they needed to see it through. My view is that Charlie panicked, gambled & lost, & that the team (& Oswalt in Game 6, should there be one) will be worse off for it.

Guys who are likely in their last game in a Phils' uniform if they lose tomorrow:

- Valdez, Francisco, Werth, Durbin, Contreras, Lopes

Guys who are likely in their last MLB game tomorrow:

- Romero, Sweeney

@MG

Cholly said that it was Dubee's call, some on twitter were saying he threw Dubee under bus, which I don't agree with, and I do think Dubee makes most of those moves, and Charlie trusts him, but whoever made that move that it was a panic move...

I think G-Town's best line was if you don't trust Romero/Kendrick/Lidge why are they on the roster? I get why you don't use Lidge in that spot, but good call on the other two.

MG: Don't feel sad. We've got Baez locked up for another whole season!

Don't worry guys. We will win the next game. Remember this? http://shortme.eu/exk

G-Town

I agree with you, I thought the managing was bizzare all over the place tonight from Cholly/Dubee...

I do think the defense was a bigger factor to me the first 3 runs were the result of bad defense, which would have set the pen up better if Blanton gets out of 5th, which he should have if Polly turns that DP.

Now back to the managing, why is Kendrick on roster if your not going to use him? Look I know everyone hates Baez, and I'm mostly with him, but he is a relief pitcher with hard stuff, if you don't trust Kendrick in that spot, then maybe Baez should be on the roster, like him or not, he has the stuff to get you to the 10th inning...I know Baez isn't on roster, but if you won't use Kyle unless it is a blowout then maybe you should have Baez just incase it is one of those wacky games like tonight

whatever i said before, as i relax, for me this last 4 years has been the best ever basebajj for me, an easily likable tean with gtit, management has loosened the strings to keep our heros and bring some new ones, while all beimg led by Cholly. fun. fun, fun!

no way season is over yet. i still have the phaith - our next 3 starters can beat anyone, anywhere with very little run support. i think we get better seeing the same guy so soon. but i worry about the tghings that win, 2 out rbis, fielding aggressive baserunning and hits with risp. saying that i look for a huge start by doc qans sqeeking through a few runs

GTown: Romero has been awful all year. Kendrick is better than Romero, but you'd want to save him in the event that it turns into a long extra inning game. Lidge probably would've pitched the 10th (on the road, you need a pitcher for the 9th and the 10th - they couldn't have won it in the 9th).

I think using Oswalt is absolutely the right move in that situation.

You say that if you can't trust Kendrick or Romero to pitch a scoreless inning, they shouldn't be on the roster - they're on the roster because they're better than the other options (particularly Herndon and Baez), but that doesn't really convince me that they should be pitching in the 9th inning of a tied playoff game.

The way he handled the bullpen tonight shows that Manuel has no faith in Romero. Given his performance over the last 2 years, can you blame him? LH relief is always coveted, but I'd be surprised if J.C. gets a major league deal next year.

MG: You're talking as if this is the only chance the Phillies will have to be considered historically great. The Phillies will be favored in the NL East again next year. They'll have a full season of Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels. Even if the Phils lose tomorrow, the run isn't over.

Dave - Sadly, I think he will be counted on heavily to be a key middle innings reliever in the 1st half of the year along with a number of younger arms and 1-2 'Value Village' FA reliever signings.

DH Phils - No but there payroll is maxed out, they don't have alot of immediate help ready at the AA/AAA level to help them out, and they are going to lose a couple of key cogs this offseason.

Likely have a good team again next year. Just an uphill climb though to get back into the NLCS or World Series.

You can discuss all the roster moves, the pitching changes, the pitch calls, and every other detail until you lose sense of the original picture (Coincidentally, that's the point of beerleaguer).
There are only four teams still playing. Every one of them has an incredible amount of quality, and as often as not it goes to to whomever has the hot hitters, whoever steals a close pitching matchup - it's not a long season anymore.
I hope this just puts into account how much magic it takes to win a World Series.

But don't think that we can't win the next three. Anyone who has ever watched a hot hand in a postseason series, or a football game; or any statistician can tell you that the momentum rides and rides until it stops. That's when having postseason experience, when having a roster of guys who've played together through this before, when all of that comes into play.

They might well win; it certainly looks that way. If they do, appreciate this Phillies team for still giving you High Hopes late into October these last few years.
On the other hand, if Halladay shuts them down, and if Oswalt keeps on them late into that first game back in Philly - that's when experience comes in.

On a side note, as a serious question, would you rather be the Phillies having to beat Lincecum with Halladay, Sanchez with Oswalt, and Cain with Hamels to get to the World Series - or be the Yankees needing at least a win against Cliff Lee.

@DH

I think he is talking about having a Yankees type run, not a Braves type run, they may be favorites to win East, but won't be favorites to win NL..

Oswalt had no command which was predictable for a guy that isn't used to pitching in that spot....

Sure it shouldn't have come down to this, better defense, better baserunning they win the game, they didn't play well enough to win...the story of this series...

@rock

sorry I will bitch and analyze tonight, and start drinking the Kool Aid at 7:57 Thursday night.

@rock

just to play I would take my chance in one game vs. 3, but the yankees have to win game 6 first.

Jim: Regarding not using Kendrick - Kendrick has to be the last man used in the bullpen. Manuel tried to squeeze extra outs out of Bastardo to avoid using him earlier. The last thing you want is to end up in a 15 inning game where you have to use Halladay for innings 13, 14, and 15.

Jim: The thing is Charlie has been just as reluctant to use relievers other than Durbin, Lidge & (most notably of all) Madson in blowouts as he has been in close games. It's almost as if Charlie plays w/ a short roster intentionally, as there are certain pitchers he seemingly will not go to no matter what the situation. However, Romero & Lidge have not been a part of that purgatory, & the only obvious reason for including Kendrick on the NLCS roster was to have a guy who could pitch 2-3 innings in an extra innings situation.

If Game 4 had been an elimination game I'd understand the desperation ... but it wasn't. And the reason for starting Blanton (at least as I understood it) was exactly that: This is not an elimination game, we'll send Joe out there & see what he can do, & at any rate we've got our 3 best starters on regular rest lined up for the rest of the series. The only thing consistent about the Charlie/Dubee pitching philosophy is that there is no consistency. I just don't get it.

MG: Sadly, I think you're absolutely correct RE: Baez.

DH: That type of managing might work out over the course of a long regular season, but it's doomed to failure in a Postseason series. These are games in which everyone on the roster will most likely be needed at some point or another. Besides which, you never know when a guy will have a crap outing. Going into tonight I felt pretty good about having Durbin available. He was a key bullpen guy for most of the season. He also had nothing whatsoever tonight. To a certain extent it's a crap shoot, but in a non-elimination game I'll damn sure empty my bullpen before I go messing w/ one of my scheduled starters, esp. a #2 (who would be a #1 for many teams) like Oswalt.

@G-Town

You nailed it. The managing coaching was head scratching. Bringing a guy in the game who mentally wasn't mentally ready to pitch or wasn't used to pitching in that spot until they sent him out to the pen was stupid.

Did Romero not pitch well in his one outing against the Reds? I will answer that he did. I would have gone Romero in the 9th, Kendrick 10th+, until they hopefully got the lead and use Lidge then, sure if it gets into 13th inning or something that is when you use Oswalt...

Sure we have our 3 best starters going, and I would have more confidence being down 3-1 and we were playing sharp, they just look flat and sloppy.

But Boston had Beckett back when he was dominant on the hill in Cleveland down 3-1 in 2007, and won game 5, and took it back and the rest is history for Boston, maybe Doc can do the same for us...

@DH

Using Oswalt having no idea what kind of command he would have was stupid, and his command was awful, he had good velocity, but his command was bad, that is why he got hit the way he did.

G-Town

I am still more pissed about the defense, thinking Blanton got robbed by horrible defense, and on a side note I so want to call big daddy graham this guy is such an idiot he has no idea what the hell he is ever talking about, but he is so arrogant and since I disagree with him he would hang up on me, so I won't

Okay back to the point about the managing that game had the feel as one of those wacky games, and they managed it like a 1-0 game. It was a panic move they had to be prepared for the exact situation that happened and they weren't, made a desperate move that didn't work....so damn frustrating.

Jim: You have no idea what kind of command Oswalt will have, but you know exactly what kind of command Romero will have: terrible.

Side note: Buster Posey looks like one hell of a hitter. Glad we'll only have to worry about him 6 times a year.

As much as Baez sucks I would much rather have him throwing 99 in the 9th than Oswalt, so even if we get by tomorrow who knows how him throwing twice in a day will affect him.

I just don't get why KK is on roster if they are so afraid to use him, you can't manage the way they do in tight games.

They didn't have to worry about this in the past, but the way he managed last year with the way they used Blanton and Happ last year shouldn't suprise us.

@DH

Romero had great command in Game 2 against Cincy, it was predictable that Oswalt wasn't going to have great command when he wasn't able to go through his normal routine..

Another side note: This Giants team is way more likable than the Dodgers team the Phillies played the last 2 years. I probably wouldn't have watched a Dodgers-Yankees WS last year, but a Rangers-Giants WS is one in which I wouldn't mind seeing either team win.

@DH

I think the only person I like on Giants is Burrell, maybe Posey.

I hate Wilson, pot head, Ross and his little hop, I will watch and root for Cliff Lee, cause I am still in the camp RAJ f'd up with that move....

I am going to drink a little Red Kool Aid for a second.

Doc came her for this spot, he won't lose....Cole won't lose a Game 7 at home, and Cain won't dominate like that again...to me being an optimist for a sec this series comes down to Game 6.... Oswalt-Sanchez again...toss up, if they win that we can win this series...

Of course it is hypothetical but I could see it being very realistic...

and damn this big daddy graham is an idiot how does he have a job, all he ever does it blame managers/coaches, sure ours sucked tonight, but there were so many other factors...

i've been drowning my sorrows and still i just can't get over why cholly decided to go with fransisco over ibanez against a tough righty, let alone sending oswalt out there with two perfectly good relievers available. so now we have to rely on a win from doc tomorrow, hamels on short rest, and oswalt on short rest in game 7? i guess it's either that or start kendrick in game 6, but that non-move on the fransisco at bat just killed me.

@drake

Ibanez was not the move, Gload was the move, and if Bochy brings in a lefty, then you go with Sweeney, and Werth should have been on 3rd, Jimmy has to bunt in that spot.

Oswalt will go in game 6, he said so after game, it was his side day anyway, so he should be okay, but it will be something to wonder if he really will be okay, but lets hope we get there.

I am so downed by this loss tonight - can't describe the sick feeling in my gut. I'm thinking I take the Phillies and baseball too seriously but I don't know how to change that. Of all the things that angered me in this game, I think Rollins not bunting or getting the runner to third in the 8th with no outs and a man on second in a tie game against a tough pitching staff blew me away. Inexcusable.
And yes after the game, several of us were still downing shots and beers and bemoaning our beloved Phils being down 3-1 and of course talking about that last winter trade that we all have detested since it happened. Somehow I got to amp myself up for tomorrow's game. Sh*t, we gotta beat Lincecum. Halladay, Phillies - just do it please!

The more and more I think about it, Contrearas should have hit for himself in the 6th, he threw the ball well the past two nights, 2 outs nobody on, I can't remember the last time Dom had a good AB, realistically you weren't getting anything at that point in that inning, I think he gets you to the 7th the way he was throwing, and then you can set things up the way you want with the lead...

Damn they lost this game 100 different ways, I get more and more pissed off every second, I am glad I work till 7am and have nothing to do, but let this loss stew

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