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Monday, October 03, 2011


Cue 2008 world series MVP Cole Hamels. I'm confident.

phils have scored runs this series. the pitching has let them down. i dont think we'll see 3 starts in a row by this staff where the starter gives up more than 3 runs.

Have a feeling Cole will pitch well, but not good enough, because Garcia will shut the Phils down as he always does.

This Game 2 loss will loom large.

Phils and Nova: Remember that the Cards offense, believe it or not, was the best in the NL this year. It shouldn't be surprising if our starters give up more runs than you expect to them.

Phils and Nova: Remember that the Cards offense, believe it or not, was the best in the NL this year. It shouldn't be surprising if our starters give up more runs than you expect to them.

Everyone would be justified to resume panicking.

Cole Hamels has not been right since returning from the shoulder soreness. His velocity is down, and he's been giving up homers left and right. Do these last six lines inspire any confidence whatsoever?

09/03/2011 @FLA 0 0 2.63 0 7.0 4 3 3 7
09/08/2011 @MIL 1 0 2.60 0 9.0 4 2 2 2
09/13/2011 @HOU 0 1 2.71 0 5.0 9 4 1 6
09/18/2011 STL 0 1 2.80 0 7.0 7 4 0 9
09/24/2011 @NYM 0 0 2.75 0 7.0 4 1 3 7
09/28/2011 @ATL 0 0 2.79 0 3.0 4 2 0

The Phillies can't hit Jaime Garcia. Period. It will be up to Oswalt and Halladay, I'm afraid.

Also, it should be noted that Charlie absolutely got outmanaged by La Russa last night.

TLR annoys me as much as the next guy, but he absolutely pulled the right mvoes last night, and Charlie did not.

The best thing TLR did yesterday came before the game even started: and that was putting Theriot in the lineup. He had good career numbers against Lee, and it turned out to be the right button to push.

The subsequent hits by Jay, however -- utterly mystifying.

Cole's velocity is not down. His location was off. I think he spent the last couple games to build his arm up but wasn't pitching, just throwing. I wouldn't worry about the mph. If he's hitting his spots 91-92 is all he needs.

re-post from last thread --

personally, i thought that was a very tough spot for charlie. yes, lee was over 100 pitches but he did have 8 or 9 k's and had moments where he looked like typical postseason cliff lee.

my thought was, let him start and yank him immediately if he didnt get the first out. didnt work out that way.

the problem was -- do you send in vance (who i think was the only one warming up at the start of the 7th) in to face pujols in his first playoff appearance or go with cliff lee? righty-righty with worley may have worked...or he may have grooved a fastball for a 2 run homer, we'll never know.

i think this game is on the lineup, not charlie. cliff gave up 5 and our bullpen was pretty freakin good over the last 3 innings.

I suspect Mini Mart or Valdez may be a stronger hitting option than Polly at this point. I got a sports hernia just watching him struggle last night.

Cholly left Lee in too long last night...simple as that...He tends to trust his guys a little too much sometimes. Most of the time, he's right. Last night was not one of those times.

Our lineup hit the same wall Cliff did last night. I've never seen such a ebb and flow team in all my life. One guy gets hot and they all get hot...Hot guy cools off they all cool off...It's like their chicks and all get their period at the same time.

Half the lineup didn't get any hits. We should have scored a few more there.

I cannot believe Charlie didn't pinch-hit Mayberry for Polanco. That's inexcusable.

If you want to talk about sticking with a veteran too long, it was that, not leaving Lee in, which I think was a borderline decision. Hitting for Polanco was not a borderline decision, it was one that absolutely needed to be made.

Even if we lose tomorrow, I'm not going to panic. We have Oswalt vs. Jackson in game 4. Howard against a mediocre right-hander in St. Louis? Yes, please. Win that game, and you have Doc at home against Carpenter coming off a start on short-rest, a situation pitchers typically struggle in.

Series is far from over.

Jack, absolutely agree. Charlie didn't really manage poorly last night, even if you question leaving Lee in.

But letting Polly hit against a flame-throwing righty; terrible management. Mayberry was not just the right move there, but the ONLY move.

Jack/Fat: Disagree, for reasons I stated on last night's thread.

To repeat: the pitcher's spot was due up 2 spots after Polanco &, other than Mayberry, our pinch hitting options were Valdez, Mini-Mart & Schneider. I'd rather have Polanco & Mayberry hitting than Mayberry & Valdez.

Of course, if Mayberry pinch hits for Polanco and he homers, then it's all mute. But, in the far more likely event that he merely reaches base, then you've got a problem 2 ABs later.

Now, on the other hand, I was screaming at Cholly to get Lee out of the game about 2 ABs before he actually did. He definitely left him in too long.

BAP, Mayberry gave you the best chance to get a hit in that spot, to get on base, and to get an XBH. It's all well and good to want to have Mayberry up there with 2 guys on base later in the inning, but you need to get to that part of the order before you can even worry about it.

Nobody here seems to understand the notion that you have to take care of what's in front of you and stop worrying about situations that may never come.

I think I would've taken Lee out for the Pujols AB, but once you let him face Pujols, you had to let him face Berkman.

Berkman is so much worse against left-handed pitching that you had to keep Lee in. Berkman got a bloop base hit, but it was absolutely the right decision to leave Lee in to face Berkman.

The real decision was whether or not to pull him for Pujols. Very tough call there. It's easy to say now, but do you really trust Vance Worley against Pujols with the game on the line more than Cliff Lee?

Jack: The way Lee was pitching, yes I would have rather had Worley than Lee

I agree that the Lee decision was not clear cut, but they could have had Bastardo warming for Berkman.

Fat: I DO understand it. In fact, for that very reason, I thought Cholly should have used Mayberry earlier in the game, when he used Francisco.

But here's the thing: when it comes to the pitcher batting in the 9th, we're not talking about some hypothetical future event that may or may not have ever come to pass. If the Phillies had gotten a runner on base, the pitcher's spot WAS going to come up that very inning. And if I'm trying to start & sustain a rally, I'd rather have Polanco & Mayberry coming up than Mayberry & Valdez.

BAP, how'd having Mayberry ready for the 9-hole work out for them last night?

If he doesn't get to bat, it doesn't matter if the specific permutation you outline is better, which it actually might not be.

Since May 1st, Polly has just a .591 OPS, with a .243 BA. Valdez had a .634 OPS this year with a .249 BA.

I'll take my chances with Mayberry/Ruiz/Valdez over Polly/Ruiz/Mayberry any days of the week, especially if there's a chance I might not even get to the third batter.

The only move you can really nitpick about Cholly was leaving Lee in for a long hook in the 7th.

Even then it was a tough spot. Lidge has gotten hit hard by Pujols in his career (9-27 with 2 HRs with 4 BBs and 4 Ks) and that was a hell of a spot to put Worley in.

Stayed with Lee & he simply didn't make a pitch when he had to.

Cholly should have had Bastardo warmed & ready to turn around Berkman though. Left him in a batter too long. Cholly was fortunate that Lidge was able to get the DP & get out of the inning with no further damage.

Limitations of the bullpen came into play though. No 2nd lefty & no Contreras to put in that spot in the 7th.

Cholly is going to give his starters as long a hook as possible. I can understand why he did that with Lee. Hope he doesn't give Oswalt the same latitude.

MG: You can't nitpick about letting Polanco face Motte while Mayberry never got into the game?

Does kind of suck that in 2 of the Phils last 3 playoff games, they've knocked the starter out after 2/3 IP, with a lead, only to do nothing over the next 6/7 IP against the team's bullpen, and watch their pitching squander the lead. Not sure if I can take another one of's not good for the health, haha.

As shocking as this may sound to some, I felt more comfortable with Lidge pitching than the Bastidge last night.

The eternal whining about the umps is ridiculous. The guy last night was as good as you're going to get from a human being. The Cards won because they hit and pitched better than us.

I submit that very few managers, if any, would have pinch hit for Polanco there.

Jack - You can but it was understandable was Cholly was saving with for a possible PH for the pitcher.

This bench stinks though including Gload. Didn't get a single big hit last postseason nor do I have much faith they will this year either besides Mayberry.

Criticizing the decision to let Lee face Berkman, instead of Bastardo, is complete 20/20 hindsight. Berkman made weak contact in that atbat and it fell in.

Letting Polanco bat for himself in the 9th was an arguable decision. Polanco's teh proverbial "professional hitter" there. That said, I think Manuel would have more readily used Gload than Mayberry in that spot, had he not burned him earlier. You had to wonder, though, when he opted for Francisco in the 7th what situation he was saving Mayberry for. I'd have wanted my best right handed bat to get a crack at the lefty, then, when the chances for him to tie the game with one swing were highest. I think that's a less defensible decision than letting Polanco bat. Although, I fully understand criticizing Manuel for letting the game end without ever having gotten Mayberry to the plate.

TLR absolutely out-managed Charlie last night. And he will continue to do so, because love him or hate him, TLR is a better manager than Charlie Manuel. He is insufferably annoying, but a much better manager.

(loss is still on Lee, though)

good thing about not going 11-0 in the postseason - more baseball! it's a gift from the baseball gods - rejoice!

Yeah, Lee screwed up. But I'm more worried about the here-today-gone-tomorrow (and, often, gone-the-day-after-tomorrow-and-after-that-and-after-that-and-after-that-and-after-that) offense. There were no hits after the second inning.

It was offensive.

Phils lose by a run.

Francisco gets an AB.

Mayberry does not.

There's something wrong here, no?

I did not sleep well last night. Also not sure where the Game 4 bravado is coming from. Posters on here are acting like Phils are locks to beat Jackson. I would have said the same thing 24 hours ago about Lee vs. STL's BP.

Lee never found his rhythm. This was not his night. He looked terrible at the plate and the ball hit by Molina, missed by Lee in the 4th, was an easy double play clearing the bases and changing the game. Lee was off by a click and a quarter last night. It happens.

Now that I think about it, I blame the Yankees for this loss. That 30 extra minutes threw Lee off of his game.

i will say, however, that if the Phillies win it all, but it takes a record of 11-8 to do it, my liver will need to be sacrificed to said baseball gods. small price to pay.

I will give LaRussa credit for haggling over the balls/strikes too in the 4th. It did result in getting a call there on Utley.

He also made the right calls in the bullpen although he was fortunate to get 2 scoreless IP from Dotel.

He's gone more the 1+ IP this year 6 times during the regular season. He gave up at least 1 R in 3 of those appearances.

let's not give the Cards' bullpen too much credit for "shutting down" the offense; other than the 8th & 9th innings, the Phillies were getting plenty of decent contact, but they became fairly routine plays... the opposite was true of the Cardinals. The Cardinals got away with plenty of bad pitches; the Phillies didn't seem to get away with any.

I will give LaRussa huge props for bringing in Salas when he did. Salas has been a back-end reliever for them all year, and a pretty good one at that. He brought him in for the 4th and 5th, and he shut us down, just when it looked like we were about to blow the doors off teh game and run away with it. He restored order and gave the Cardinals a chance to chip away at a shaky Lee, which they did.

It's exactly what happened in the NLCS game 6 last year. Affeldt (Lopez?) came in during the 3rd, pitched two scoreless innings at a time his team desperately needed it, and got the team back in the game.

Smart move by TLR.

The Molina ball that Lee "missed" in the 4th hit Jimmy Rollins right in the glove. Not an easy play but, a makeable play. In the proverbial game of inches, alot of close ones went the Cards' way last night. I thought it was a double play right up until it ricocheted into shallow right.

The play by Ibanez and especially Ruiz to hold onto the lead in the fourth should not be lost in the post-mortem. Nor should Ibanez's failure to make a better throw on the next play at the plate. A better throw had the runner.

I hate Tony La Russa...He is such a douchy bitch

Polanco is a "professional hitter" in the sense that he gets paid to play baseball, much like Mayberry does. Polanco had an 85 OPS+ this year, which is Wilson Valdez-like. All of Polanco's value now comes from his defense at 3rd base. He's simply a bad hitter.

Mayberry is better at getting on base (which is what you need there), and better at hitting for power (which is what you'd really like there). Also, Mayberry is better against righties than Polanco is, despite his reputation as only a platoon player.

The argument that you had to hold Mayberry for the pitcher's spot is basically the same theory as holding out a closer in a tie game and the middle of the opponent's lineup up, which is saving your best bullets for a situation that will never come if you don't have success right now. I understand it, but I don't think it's a winning argument. I would've pinch-hit Mayberry for Polanco.

Not so sure Charlie was wrong on Lee (without the benefit of hindsight)

-Lee had had a good previous inning

-He had handled Pujols well thus far, actually making him look bad

-Do you really want to put Worley in there against Pujols - as good as Worley has been, that's a helluva spot to put him in. Stutes melted under far less pressure. And this is pure gut feel, but to me Pujols seemed (and still seems, IMHO) way due to start hitting.

Agree with Jack as he stated above, once Lee pitches to Pujols, you leave him in against Berkman.

Berkman's hit was a blooper in no man's land that reminded me of Pence's hit against Atlanta. It wasn't like Berkman hit a rocket off Lee. He hit the ball hard in the first and Polanco made a nice play, but Lee had handled Berkman reasonably well also.

I wasn't happy with Lee's performance any more than anyone else here, but I can't really Monday morning quarterback the man's decision to leave him in.

"how'd having Mayberry ready for the 9-hole work out for them last night?"

First, you know full well that's an invalid argument. I've seen you say so, yourself.

Second, considering that Polanco has hit for pretty good average since coming off the DL I think it's arbitrary to use "Since May 1" stats to make your point.

Based on full-season stats, Mayberry (.341) & Polanco (.335) have, essentially, the same odds of getting on base -- which is basically the goal in that situation. But, if you do get the first hitter on base, Mayberry has a WAY better chance of driving him in than Valdez does.

Cliff Lee's first 8 postseason starts:

7-0, 1.26 ERA, .427 OPS against, 67/7 SO/BB

Cliff Lee's last 3 postseason starts:

0-3, 7.13 ERA, .903 OPS against, 22/3 SO/BB

Fata: So Lee obviously changed somewhere in there from having the unique mental fortitude necessary to succeed in the playoffs, to now being a total choker.

Or maybe those things don't exist?

Polanco + Mayberry > Mayberry + Valdez.

And anyone who had any expectation that Charlie would lift Polanco in that spot is simply looking for a reason to whine.

"The argument that you had to hold Mayberry for the pitcher's spot is basically the same theory as holding out a closer in a tie game and the middle of the opponent's lineup up."

It drives me crazy when a team loses a 14-inning game without ever using its best reliever. But I don't think this was the same situation at all. In one case, you're saving your best reliever for some indeterminate point in the future that may or may not arise -- and, even if it does arise, the lead may well be comfortable enough (2+ runs) that you don't even need your top reliever to preserve it.

In the other case, you're saving your best pinch hitter for a situation that WILL arise in just 2 ABs if you merely get a single man on base -- and, if the situation does arise, you know with 100% certainty that it will be an absolutely urgent scoring situation.

Anyway, I gotta get to work, so I'll leave it at that.

People seem to forget that in the WS clincher last year, Lee was absolutely dealing before giving up Renteria's homerun. Yeah, he lost, but let's not pretend he pitched poorly (whereas he did pitch poorly, or at least was hit around, in game 1). He pitched much better in that game than he did in game 5 of the 2009 WS. Besides, the Rangers were shutout.

To win the NLDS after their Game 1 loss, the Cardinals had to beat three of the four Phillies starters over the next four games. Didn't that seem a lot more impossible about 12 hours ago?

Fata - your post in the last thread was about Lee pitching bad. You said that the Cards had a lot of hard hit balls.

I don't recall that many hard hit balls. He had what, nine strikeout? That doesn't usually happen when a pitcher is locating poorly and throwing pitches that catch too much of the plate, as you stated.

I'm not saying that he pitched great - but I think that basically he pitched OK and ran into some hitters on a good team that managed to get a lot of hits - along with an ump who had a relatively tight strike zone.

And, IMO, digging up small sample size stats about how poorly Lee has done over his past three post season stats, while it might be interesting, isn't informative for much of anything.

BAP, it's a half-hearted argument, I'll give you that, but it's an extension of the point I made earlier. Saving your best weapon for a situation that may never come.

Also, not arbitrary. For whatever reason, after his torrid April, Polly just hasn't even been close to the same hitter. Even if I use your time line, since he came back from teh DL on 8/22, he's batting .282 with a .684 OPS, whereas Valdez has a .634 OPS and .249 BA on the season. The difference is not that huge. The difference between Polly and Mayberry is pretyt significant, though, since Mayberry gets on base more, but he's also a much more prolific extra base hitter.

And you keep forgetting that Ruiz is batting behind Mayberry. EVen if Mayberry does nothing more than get a single or a walk, he has the ability to steal bases (though, not easy on Molina), and you're in a situation where a single from Ruiz can get him in. When you are down in the 9th inning by 1 run, and you already have one out on the board, you have to plan around the only two batters you know will definitely get to the plate, and not worry about the 3rd guy which may never get there. Jack said it; it's just like the closer on the road in the 9th argument. You take care of today, and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow, because if you don't take care of today, there'll be no tomorrow to worry about.

Phlipper, never claimed it was informative. Jack understood my point perfectly. Lee isn't, as some would have you believe, some super-human postseason pitcher who rises to the ocassion when the games count the most. He's the same pitcher now as he is in the regular season. he can be flat-out dominant at times, and suck at others. THAT was my point.

There does seem to be a tendency for Cliff to either be virtually unhittable, or for him to really scuffle.

To me, that may be the most telling difference between he and Doc. Halladay may bend on a bad day, but seems to very rarely break.

If the aces pitch the way they are capable of and the lineup doesn't do a Van Winkle impersonation for long stretches, I can't imagine anyone beating the Phils. If the aces are off - as Lee was last night - and the offense goes to sleep - like they did for the last several innings - the dream will be over before it really starts.

"Mayberry was not just the right move there, but the ONLY move."

This is the kind of comment that I just don't get. Sure, either way it was an arguable move - but the notion that only one move was in any way viable seems to display a fundamental lack of understanding of baseball.

I think Jason summed it up best last night. If lee would have focused on outs, instead of k's with a lead, we would have won that game. He got too "cute". It happens with him sometimes and that's what seperates him from halladay and make halladay the better pitcher.

I have complete faith the phils will win this series.

Phlipper: I have an expectation/hope that Charlie will manage in a way that maximizes the team's chance of winning.

Letting Polanco hit there, was, in my opinion, a bad decision. Why on earth does Polly deserve the benefit of never being pinch-hit for? That sparkling 85 OPS+? The .316 OBP against right-handed pitching?

We desperately needed a baserunner there. Against a right-handed pitcher, Polanco is our worst regular at getting on base. Why wouldn't you use your best bench hitter there?

Please explain.

The idea that Lee got too "cute" or "clever" is simply nonsense.

I know it was on the last thread but I thought it should be said that, in my opinion, Jimmy was totally right about the crowd. Sitting in the outfield, I felt some life early on, but the crowd around my group wouldn't get amped for anything. And not just a few rows around me. My section and those on both sides. Tough. Obviously it's not an excuse for their play, and they didn't give the crowd much to get excited about, but still...

I'm actually glad Jimmy said it. Because i was thinking it all game.

And the number of people that left in the eighth was awful. This isn't Tampa, people. It felt slow and tired- the crowd and the game. Despite the K's, cliff didn't look fluid on the mound. You didn't see the catch-&-throw we all love.

Fat: I considered the base-running aspect of it & it is one of the stronger arguments in favor of using Mayberry. But Mayberry's not a good enough base stealer to make that a good gamble against Molina. And, yeah, I understand that the pitcher is 2 spots away & you could score before then. But there's a good chance you won't -- and, even if you do, you'll still need to score again.

I get (and agree with) the point about not saving your best pinch hitter. But I think a much better argument is that Cholly should have used Mayberry instead of Francisco, after Larussa brought Raskolnikov into the game. Mayberry kills LH pitching, so that was simply the best matchup you were going to get for him all game. Francisco, OTOH, has reverse lefty-righty splits for the season & even splits over his career.

Ok, this time I really am getting to work.

I get the other argument, saving Mayberry for the pitcher's spot, and it has some merit. But to me, it doesn't make as much sense as hitting Mayberry for Polanco.

And any argument that rests on "Polanco is a veteran, Charlie will never hit for him" is one that has absolutely no normative merit whatsoever (though it obviously has some descriptive merit).

if Lee does his job, folks are likely questioning the genius' decision to start carpenter on short rest for the first time in his career.

The notion of Cliff being "cute" is ridiculous. He was inconsistent with his command all night. There were a couple hitters where he's bury them early and then put them away quickly. Then he'd have trouble spotting his curveball or his fastball, and was unable to put guys away.

Lee knows how to pitch. It's just a matter of executing and he wasn't able to do that last night. Lee said it himself during his June run where was ridiculous, but wasn't racking up many Ks that month. He doesn't care how he gets the outs, as long as he gets them.

I suppose I should add it wasnt that cliff looked bad.but in the stadium, watching him, it just didn't feel good. That's nice an ambiguous but its all I've got after yesterday

Don't expect charlie to pull Polanco for Mayberry even for Ibanez--too insulting to the older dudes--that's why the players love him.
But not sending Mayberry up there instead of Francisco clearly shows that he is basically clueless in these kind of situations. I don't understand why there can't be a second who could provide the proper analysis on the spot to help him.

'And any argument that rests on "Polanco is a veteran, Charlie will never hit for him" is one that has absolutely no normative merit whatsoever '

Jack, I usually think you're more right than those you argue with here, but I don't think there's anyone making this argument (a) and (b) the only argument I have really seen is that the counter to your argument has merit (which you just admitted), which means your insistence that pinch-hitting for Polanco was a no-brainer was not justified.

BAP, your argument has merit. Thanks for engaging me in a civil discussion.

Still, at this point in time, I think the gap between Polly and Valdez isn't all that big, while I think the gap between Mayberry and Polly is pretty significant, especially against a hard-throwing right hander.

Jack - BAP basically covered it.

It's an arguable decision either way. But we all knew that Charlie was simply not going to PH for Polanco there - particularly not with a RH batter, and one who doesn't exactly have a proven track record in the majors.

It's like with your blind logic about Howard - an ability to only see one side of the fence. What I don't quite get is the need for people to puff out their chests and call the arguable decisions that Charlie makes as "mistakes," as if: (1) there isn't viable reasoning for either choice and (2), there is some kind of evidence that the other decision would have led to a better result.

Even if Mayberry PHs and gets on, and Chooch fails as he did, you would have joined the chorus with all the other hand-wringer predicting doom and gloom with each and every pitch of a Valdez AB. I can hear the comments now:

"The only reason Exxon won't hit into a double play here is that there are already two outs."

Phlipper, it's sad that you can't simply debate with someone without attacking their character in almost every other line.

And just because it's admitted that there may be merit in the other side of the argument, doesn't mean that the decision was a coin flip. There may be some argument as to not using Mayberry for Polly, but the best decision is to use Mayberry there, and use Valdez (who's not much worse of a hitter right now than Polly) 2 batters later, if you get there.

Phlipper: Forget whether or not "we all knew Charlie was simply not going to PH for Polanco there."

I'm talking about evaluating the decision on its merits--what SHOULD have happened. If your argument is just that Charlie won't hit for a veteran, that doesn't change the fact that he SHOULD sometimes. Come on.

And I admitted there was some merit. I don't think it's a slam dunk move to hit Mayberry, so yes, I have reconsidered my position after hearing some good points. But it's still what I would've done. The baserunner now is more important than the hitter who may never come up if you don't get a guy on base now. Simple as that, to me. And Mayberry gives you a better chance at a baserunner now, as well as a much better chance of tying the game with one swing.

The "when to panic" question is easy to answer.
Series tied at one game apiece= don't panic.
Down two games to one= panic.

Jack/Fat: Since I work for myself, and don't have a boss who can yell at me for wasting time . . .

Out of curiosity, what did you guys think of the decision to use Francisco instead of Mayberry after Larussa brought in the LOOGY with the long, unspellable name? Because, to me, that was the more egregious decision than the debatable one with Polanco.

I agree with JRoll. The crowd was dead after the second inning and didn't make any noise again until the 7th. I remember the Phils were UP 4-0 and Lee had 2 strikes on someone and it was as quiet as the first inning in game one. Lee works off adrenaline so I think the crow deserves some blame.

BAP, I agree with that completely. Mayberry should have been used there.

Two times last night, Manuel had a very good opportunity to use our best pinch hitter, and probably our 2nd best power hitter, off the bench in a 1-run/tie game, and didn't.

That's not the primary reason we lost, but it could have been a different game if Mayberry is used in either spot.

bap: Tough to say. I will say this, though: If you already know, in your mind, that you aren't going to use Mayberry for any regular hitter, then you use him there, sure.

In my mind, saving Mayberry was just for the purpose of using him for Ibanez (if a lefty was throwing) or Polanco later in the game at a crucial time. But if you're only ever willing to pinch-hit a guy once every three innings when the pitcher's spot comes up, then yeah, he should've used Mayberry there.

"I've had nothing yet, so I can't take more."

Whitey: You still like the Phillies bet at -300 here?

No, not panic time but the bottom line is, the Phils handed the Cards home field advantage last night. Jaime Garcia is sick against the Phils and while I think Hamels is certainly up to the task, I'm not so sure Garcia doesn't get the better of him. If we got down 2-1, it'll probably force Halladay to be used on short rest to bring it back home. Hopefully it doesn't come down to that.

Jack: To me, it's about matchups.

You're losing. You need a pinch hitter. The opposing manager just brought a LHP into the game & the best guy on your bench just happens to kill LHP. You're never going to get a better opportunity than that one to get Mayberry in a favorable matchup.

Trent Cole is hurt. We blew a 20 point lead because the crowd got quiet. Time's yours.

Yo, new thread

As a general principle - you want to use a PH when you can realize maximum gain.

The gain of Mayberry over Valdez is, arguably, greater than Mayberry over Polanco (assuming that despite career statistics, the argument that last night Mayberry would be a better choice than Polanco - something that I don't really concede).

Of course, in the end, the advantage of Mayberry over Valdez was never an option, but...

At best, even assuming the argument that Mayberry > Polanco, the advantage gained there is only a tiny fraction better.

The chances of either one getting on base are slightly better than 1/3. So the likelihood that Mayberry would get on where Polanco wouldn't is tiny.

That given, the likelihood of Mayberry producing a run if Polanco got on is probably greater than the likelihood of Valdez producing a run if Mayberry got on.

In the end - it is simply a judgement call. But the notion that either decision was a mistake, or something Charlie SHOULD have done, doesn't add up, IMO.

As BAP says - the greatest advantage gain would have been to use Mayberry against a loogy - replacing a LH hitter. But even there, probably the maximum advantage you can gain from using Mayberry is if you are using him to bat for a pitcher. At some level, it makes sense to roll the dice to see if you can create a situation where you realize the maximum gain. Sometimes your gamble doesn't pay off.

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