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Thursday, May 03, 2012

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It'll be fun to sit down this Oct. & figure out how many late & tied road games the Phillies eventually lost w/out Papelbon throwing so much as a single pitch, & whether those losses made any difference in the outcome of the season. I think we're up to at least 4 such games thus far.

I'm also completely fed up w/ hearing otherwise intelligent people, local & national sportswriters most of all, excusing the non-utilization of Papelbon late in tie road games w/ some variation on "Every manager in baseball does it like that". Super. Wonderful. I'm thrilled. And guess what? THEY'RE ALL WRONG. Beyond which it's incredibly lazy journalism to not at least question whether such (in)action truly makes sense.

Kudos to JW for at least raising the issue right up front.

Worst Call Of The MLB Season So Far?

Wow. That's truly awful.

What's even more of a shame is the fact that someone felt it necessary to add the words "So Far" to the header. MLB fans have become so used to watching umpires make awful calls that they now fully expect there will be an even worse incident at some point this season.

3r0ck, big difference is that it sometimes happens that pitchers struggle and give up lots of runs. Unavoidable. Managers, though, should npt make the mistakes that Charlie made tonight.

Posted by: Fatalotti

So because it "sometimes happens" and pitchers sometime "struggle and give up a lot of runs" that means they can't be blamed? Did you blame Charlie Manuel when Cliff Lee blew a 4-run lead in the playoffs? Just like we pay Pap big $$ to close games, we pay Doc big $$ to win games.

This loss is on Doc. If he pitches the way we pay him to, this would have been a cake walk.

Just watched the Angels game conclude on DVR. From the last thread, for what it's worth, even if he didn't walk a guy, it would not be a perfect game because Iannetta dropped a strike three earlier in the game, allowing a runner onto 1st base. Even if they got a double play to get it back to 27-up/down, still no.

I remember cursing Charlie Hayes for a good week when he ruined Terry Mulholland's perfect game in 1990 with a throwing error.

Barring injury if Bastardo can get back to form(or close) our bullpen will be ok. If KK was available I would hope he go 2 innings to get to Papelhead. Kendrick if memory serves me correct usually does good against the Braves. The positives is the Phillies scored some runs made a comeback in the game. Roughed up a good starter and got hits on the Braves vaulted bullpen. A little too soon to see if Conteras is washed up or not.

Miserable game that highlighted Charlie's incompetance when it comes to managing pitchers. Forget Papelbon, why'd he leave Halladay out there to cough up more runs in the 6th? It was clear he was cooked after the 5th. And Schwimer with loaded bases and the lead on the line? Who does that?

Ugh. It's good we play early today. I don't want to think about this one.

I'm just curious...

Is the general consensus on BL still that Charlie Manual is one of the best managers in the game (as opposed to a man who found himself at the right place in the right time in Cleveland and Philadelphia) and that Domonic Brown is a stud prospect who has proven all he needs to prove at the minor league level?

(waiting for the spelling error cheap shots and the defense of Cholly's brilliance)

3r0ck, when did I say that Halladay had no blame in this game? He's obviously the biggest culprit for this loss. Staked to a 6-0 lead, he has to hold that.

But Halladay didn't CHOOSE to give up 8 runs. Sometimes that happens.

Charlie, on the other hand, DID choose to bring in Schwimer, and unproven rookie pitcher, with a 2 run lead and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 8th with 1 out, against a divisional rival who figures to vie for the division title this season.

Read that again, and seriously wonder why we would complain about THAT decision.

You misspelled Schwydzer.

Ah another round of Schweitzer revisionist history. My favorite time of the baseball season.

No one on this site has ever argued for Charlie Manuel's brilliance. While knowing that his tactical moves are much to be desired, it has been stated that he keeps an even keel and a loose clubhouse. To some players that is more necessary to perform better. His bullpen management has been criticized from Day 1 of his arrival. And even if you believe that Charlie fell into a great situation, you can't argue with results. He has the most wins in club history as a manager. Could that have happened if Jim Leyland was hired instead of Manuel? Possibly, but we will never know.

On Dom Brown, Schweitzer has wavered more than any other poster. First he said he wasn't ready, then he said the Phils mismanaged his playing time, then he said he wasn't worth the hype. Again some have argued that Brown has the POTENTIAL to become a stud. The only way to find out is to let the kid play. I would rather see him play everyday at the MLB level as opposed to AAA but that's just my opinion. As long as he is playing everyday and not sitting on the end of the bench, we get a better idea of what Brown can become. However, 25 games into a season is still too small of a sample size to give a judgement one way or the other but simple minds don't understand that concept.

I dont blame the umps, I blame Charlie.
He has been awful this season.

Dom wasn't major league ready and his career has been mismanaged by promoting him too soon. These two opinions do not contradict one another. As for Charlie...I think that anyone who watches this team will agree that his ineptitude is not limited to his use of the bullpen. He is the Phillies leader in wins in spite of himself. He is the beneficiary of being the skipper of two clubs during a time in which a vast pool of homegrown talent was present. He may be well liked and run a loose clubhouse but this club needs a little less Ozark and a little more Green.

Charlie managed last night like he still had Utley and Werth and Howard and Ibanez ready to hit bombs to put them ahead.

In other words, his decision making last night made sense for a lot of teams, but not for his team.

Has Schwimer been sent to AAA yet?

If not, why?

Still can't believe he brought in Schwimmer, and still can't believe there are actually people out there that excuse the decision.

So Schweitzer you are saying they should fire Charlie then?

The worst part is that last night would have been a great game to win. Not only guaranteeing a series win, but with the two pitching matchups coming up (especially tomorrow's Kendrick v. Strasburg, which might be the most lopsided pitching matchup against the Phils in the past two seasons), it's very likely the start of a 3-game losing streak.

Oh today's game is over already?

Ah, for the old days, when the Dan Quisenberry of the team would have been brought in to get out of the 8th and finish the game in the 9th. Actually, he might have started the 8th.

I know Madson was used for 4 outs before. Not sure about 5. And I can't remember - was that when he was 8th inning guy, and there were a few occasions when Charlie brought him in with 2 out in the 7th to get out of a jam?

I'm sure Papelbon would say he'd have been happy to come in to the game.

And I guess Sanches could always have pitched the 9th.

It's a mystery, but it does seem to be the way of the baseball world these days.

* * *

GTown, that Welke call in CO!!!!! That is abominable!

Wouldn't the home plate ump have seen the error and said something, just out of pride for his profession? I mean, that call makes umps look incompetent! (A sentiment with which LA would agree, and some of us fans, too.)

Ridiculous.

If abdicating use of your closer in emergency situations is "by the book", though using him to start an inning when leading by three/four runs is somnehow more appropriate, then the "book" is just plumb wrong. That's just common sense. And some manager will have the balls to actually flout the stupid book and do something that makes sense and other managers will follow sity and the "book", thank god, will change. Just the way it changed into this. Really, why even bother having a manager in uniform if he can't make his own decisions over and above what some unofficial protocol is supposed to dictate? Why don't they just have a babbling Charlie doll to stroll around the clubhouse and fumble his way through pre and post game interviews and hang his jersey in the dugout once the game starts?

In case you were curious, Papelbon had 4 multi-inning efforts last year alone including one game where he pitched 2.1 innings.

Cholly and Thome need to retire gracefully. Losing games due to Cholly's inept game management is disgraceful. Shouldn't the pitching coach have some input on when to use or remove a pitcher? Why leave this decision to Foghorn? I'm glad that I didn't stay up to get the final result of this bad game.

Well, apparently reporters did ask Charlie about it, because David Hale said Charlie never even considered bringing Papelbon in.

* * quote * *
Charlie used rookie Michael Schwimer over Papelbon in the 8th and never considered the alternative: "No, I wouldn't. We never do that. It's just not the way it is. Papelbon is in the ninth inning for a save. When we ever have a lead, when we start the ninth inning, he's gonna save."

Well that's just stupid.

I wonder whether anyone followed up by inquiring: "Even if the alternative sucks?" Or "Even if it means losing the game?" Or "So, bringing in a less experienced pitcher with bases loaded is more preferable to bringing in your most successful, proven reliever to get out of the jam? Do you really think that is more likely to lead to a win?"

See, we didn't have to worry about this when we had Madson pitching the 8th and Lidge was having his perfect season. Nor when we had an effective Bastardo as our 8th inning guy and Madson to close.

Now, with a weaker BP, the disadvantage of saving the closer for the 9th inning is more glaring.

Although I agree that Manuel is mishandling the bullpen, it's just not right to say that it cost us four games.  Putting aside the eighth inning for a minute, there were four games in which Papelbon could have come in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game.  regardless of whether he played or not, the odds were against the Phillies.  If they used Papelbon, the Phillies would need the following to win:
Papelbon had to get through the ninth without allowing any runs
The Phillies needed to score runs before the other team
and once the Phillies did that, whoever was the replacement closer had to not allow any runs.
 
Odds-wise, the Phillies were only likely to win one of the four.  And frankly, they've been a little unlucky that they've lost all four games. 
 
Now, the decision to not pitch Papelbon in the eighth was a clear mistake.  but even still, Schwimmer only had to get two outs before three runs scored.  The Prado single was a shame, but the real travesty was walking Bourn (a man with no power) on four pitches.

Use a closer in a non-8th inning situation?

No, we never do that.

Bat a catcher higher than 7th?

No, we never do that.

GBrettfan: Were I running an almost-billion dollar business, there's no way on earth I would let someone with that mentality run the show.

I like Charlie Manuel. A lot. I think he does 90% of a manager's job really well.

But you simply cannot justify that sort of thinking. It's based entirely on a made-up statistic. As recently as 35 years ago, every manager in baseball would have laughed at Charlie's answer. Laughed him right out of the clubhouse. And now that's baseball "orthodoxy."

There has to be a point at which this crap stops. What the hell is wrong with these managers (Charlie is by no means the only one)? Why doesn't Rube or someone who knows this is idiotic in the front office have a talk with him?

To paraphrase Jim Leyland after the Phils lost in 93-- "What are they saving Papelon for-- the Christmas party?"
I hope Sandberg doesnt walk away for another lame duck year of Charlie.

amount of blame for this 1 single loss and nothing more:

#1 Halladay
#2 Rollins
#3 Manuel

How is it Halladay's fault when you can see from your couch 600 mile away he is completely exhausted-- totally spent, and the manager keeps him in for another inning and a half to get hammered. He isn't the kind of guy to wave in the manager when he is gassed. That is why we pay a manager.

Ted: He gave up 6 earned runs in the 5th inning - when is that not the starter's fault?

Doc is the man, he f'd up, i have 100% faith in him going forward, but he f'd up.

well. . . . at least we scored some runs. . . .

Jbird - I was kind of hoping DPat would be on here complaining about offense today...

About Chooch: “He’s been awesome for us,” Halladay said. “That’s what hurts most. My teammates are out there grinding it out, getting it done, and I let them down.”

(from Salisbury at csnphilly.com)

And Jimmy was mad at himself for that error. He tweeted about it last night.

Not that either of these guys being sorry about their lapses makes a real difference.

It's not about "blame" so much as it is about the fact that Charlie simply made demonstrably wrong decisions.

As someone else pointed out, Doc didn't *choose* to pitch like crap last night. Yes, he pitched like crap. But Charlie *chose* to adhere to an idiotic managing strategy that leaves your best pitcher sitting in the bullpen while a rookie blows the game to a division rival.

Anyone with some common sense could make a better decision than Charlie made. Roy Halladay tried his best, and didn't perform. Charlie didn't even bother trying. The manager owes his team one thing, and one thing only--to put the players in the best position to succeed. Charlie miserably failed that, last night. Blame has nothing to do with it.

Fire UC, promote Sandberg

Yes, at least we scored runs....may it continue today.

We face Randall Delgado. Phillies.com "Probable Pitchers" says this about him and his 6.30 ERA:

"Delgado has shown his youth while struggling through his past two outings. Not commanding his curve, he primarily remains a fastball-changeup pitcher. He limited the Phillies to two runs in five innings on Sept. 26."

Jimmy Rollins should be ashamed of himself so far this season. Maybe he's a "fair weather player"...

NEPP: By the way, did you catch Chooch flipping his bat and staring down his home run last night?

Obviously showboating. What a freaking jerk. Can you believe him?

What info do we have that suggests Sandberg would have managed last night's game differently? Savior Sandberg is as popular as a backup quarterback.

Jack, I do find it hard to believe that Charlie's gut told him that Schwimer was a better option than Papelbon in the 8th.

As you and RSB said, he just seems to think he can't break with common practice regarding the use of his closer.

I understand that Papelbon won't be able to pitch more than an inning very often. These guys are trained to go all out for an inning. Buttttttt, last night screamed for one of those few 1+ inning appearances, especially as Contreras was laboring. Take the bird in the hand in this case.

You worry about Thursday's game on Thursday.

Phillies relievers not named Papelbon or Qualls have a combined 5.26 ERA this season.

I'm still confused as to why Papelbon didn't pitch. He's pitched 3 out of the past 4 games, but Charlies said he would have brought him into the game in the 9th or later had the Phils had the lead.

Bullshit!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That drives me crazy. These retarded managers and their "closers rules" need to stop. It's about winning ball games, not saving the 9th inning for the almighty closer. If the closer is needed in the 7th or 8th, then bring them in to douse the fire. Don't wait for the game to get tied or be losing, hence rendering the closer useless by their definition because it's no longer a f'n save sitaution.

AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Yea seriously... I can't find the quote that says Ryne Sandberg always pitches his closer in tie games on the road. Anyone else got it?

***What info do we have that suggests Sandberg would have managed last night's game differently?***

He couldn't possibly be worse.


Also, I blame Tony LaRussa for formalizing all these stupid bullpen usage ideas over the last 25 years.

Wow Carson showing some emotion for something other than a bad Hamels start.

Ah yes the old closer role comes back to bite the baseball world again. So incredibly stupid. Maybe at some point someone will write a book and cause a stink and we can abolish this role on a baseball team for good. Charlie said Papelbon was available for a 3-out save and that was it. Wonderful. If managing a baseball team is like running a computer program then why do we need Charlie? What does he get paid for? Is it not to manage? If Qualls isn't available and the rest of your pen consists of stiffs then you have to go to your best and only good arm in the 8th. Sorry Chuck, that's the breaks. Sometimes life throws your curveballs.

Even with this said the reason the game was lost, ahead of Doc's dreadful performance and Charlie's "managing" is the Rollins error. If you have 2 outs and the bases empty then that inning and game is over. Plain and simple. Jimmy got his bot bot and got his leadoff spot back. That error is inexcusable. I'd hit him 3 today just because.

Awful loss. Just awful on so many fronts.

When Chooch cleared the bases in the 8th I was thinking about how I'd come into work today and watch his pimp job on that bomb he hit on loop. Now I'll probably only watch a few times.

And for the love of God can someone tell Hunter Pence there are 3 fields you can hit to.

NEPP: Still waiting for your comment on Chooch's bat flip and staring down his home run.

You must think he's the biggest showboating jerk in the world, right?

"If the closer is needed in the 7th or 8th, then bring them in to douse the fire." - GM Carson

You are right. When I was a kid, they used to refer to the relievers as "firemen", brought in to put out the fire. I also agree with NEPP about blaming LaRussa for all these bullpen rules. What takes more out of a pitcher, pitching in two successive games for one inning each, or pitching two innings in one game over a two day period? I'd believe that the former wears out pitchers more. This 7th, 8th and 9th inning specialist stuff is a bunch of crap to me.

lol Jack

One is a veteran of many seasons, the other is a 19 year old rookie. Clearly you are aware that different rules apply as a result, right? Something about earning one's place in the Majors, etc etc.

There's no one that supports the rule that closers only be used in save situations except for managers and agents.

It makes no sense. Fans can see it's stupid. Most writers and analysts talk about it being stupid. Hell, you would think a front office would realize that if they used a closer in situations other than "save" situations, they could probably pay guys less because their "save" stats wouldn't be as gaudy.

And yet for some reason here we are. I think it's mostly a desire by managers to shift the blame. If they go against orthodoxy and lose, then they get questioned. If they follow the "rules" and lose, then it's the players' fault. It's self-interest, pure and simple.

That quote from Charlie is just nonsensical.

Also nonsensical- blaming the loss on Rollins. Again, we had a FOUR RUN LEAD when he made the error.

Attention all haters of Howard's contract. It may look good compared to Jroll's down the road.
I'd take 50 mil to be available for an inning a couple of times a week. Don't blame Pap. What's he gonna say: sorry Raj that's just too much money for a closer.
Atleast we know Swim is not our guy,NEXT!

NEPP: Ohhh, ok. Got it. So you're a jerk when you do it at 19, but not at 33.

Now, it sort of seems to me that's logically backwards--we expect a 19-year old to be immature, while we would think a 33-year old veteran would act like he's been there before.

But yes, I suppose it's all about earning the right to act like a jerk. I understand how it works.

And I have been wondering the same thing Jack has: mainly, why has Rube not called Charlie into his office and explained to him that this stupid line of thinking of only using Papelbon in the ninth is hurting the team and, more importantly, wasting the team's money?

You'd think at some point a conversation would be had along those lines.

Even scarier: Perhaps Rube fully agrees with UC's bullpen usage...

iceman: it would have stayed a 4 run lead if Rollins turns 2 on a hobbled Chipper down the line. Pathetic error. Oh yea, and he tapped a grounder back to Chad f'n Durbin, that might be worse.

The closer thing will always blow my mind. I hate it with such passion.

Jack: they are a jerk when they are on the other team and awesome when they are on your own team. I used to hate Brett Boone's little bat flip. I'm sure they loved it in Seattle. I'm sure Mets, Nats, & Braves fans hate Shane Victorino.

But Jimmy is happy guys. He is back in his coveted leadoff spot. He is Rickey Henderson after all.

$50 million for a guy that will pitch 60 innings a year in which 20 of those will likely be non-Save situations to "get him work" and another 20 of the remaining 40 will be situations where he's got a 3 run lead in the 9th inning.


Money well spent.

Iceman: RAJ is probably happy Cholly isn't "wearing down" his $50mil trophy closer

I never understand paying all that money for a closer. So far Papelbon has done his job but the last I checked I don't think he'll be getting any big hits in October.

Joe D - Considering the offense has picked up since J-Roll has been in the leadoff spot, it seems it was the right move no? I don't understand your consternation for J-Roll.

- Most other MLB managers probably have done the same thing as Cholly last night in the 8th. It really doesn't make any sense but it will continue to be the case where you need your best bullpen pitcher to get 3 outs up 2-3 runs despite their being a much higher leverage spot in 8th.

Why I hate when Cholly uses his best reliever to close out the 9th inning up 4 or 5 runs. He's done that especially with Madson the last few years.

- Schwimer simply didn't make a pitch when he had to last night but there is no one else right now in AAA with De Fratus hurt/Aumont banged up & having control problems. Not his fault he was placed in a bad spot last night.

- Normally I don't complain about calls but that call by Hoye on JRoll 3-2 to get him looking was horrendous. Officially almost 11 inches off the plate. One of the worst called strikes you will ever see in a big spot. Funny thing when I watched the replay was Hoye's hesitation too.

Next inning Sanches made 3 of those same pitches that were much closer to the plate and didn't get a single one called a strike.

- Halladay looked like a guy suffering from heat exhaustion especially with the red blotchy face. Given this same thing happened last year in Chicago, where the hell is the trainer and why wasn't he out there in the 5th?

Baseball issues aside, you need to make sure the guy is ok.

- Important thing is that this team is starting to hit a bit including some of the regulars especially Polanco. They do and this team will be able to move above .500.

Iceman and Jack: thanks for the railing against the closer lunacy. If RAJ really wants to make a mark on this club in a time of real uncertainty, here's a suggestion. Retire Charlie to the FO, and promote Sandberg with a mandate to get the most out of available resources; our roster's abilities.

Nothing more, nothing less. That means Papelbon in a limited fireman's role and Carlos (7 rbi) Ruiz batting 5th until he proves unproductive. No more excuses.

Closer lunacy:

Does Sandberg really do anything different than Cholly did last night in the 8th or would most majors?

I doubt it.

"Although I agree that Manuel is mishandling the bullpen, it's just not right to say that it cost us four games."

No one said that. The contention was that we have lost 4 late and tied road games in which Papelbon never pitched: the 2 in Pittsburgh, the 1 in SF, and last night. There's no way to know if we would have won any of them if he HAD pitched, but he didn't and we lost all 4.

@RedBurb...Jimmy was asked to hit 3 and through my eyes performed terribly because that's not where he wanted to be. His body language was bad and general approach was child-like. Then you get last night with the error. I guess since he got paid he's all good now. He went from being a discount prior to this new deal to someone who seems to need pampering. He's gotten himself going in the short-term at the leadoff spot but in the long haul it will be more of the same from Jimmy. I used to defend him to the death and I still think he is one of the greats to play for this team but sometimes you need to suck it up and try to adjust.

"This loss is on Doc. If he pitches the way we pay him to, this would have been a cake walk."

I will never understand the rigid mindset which believes that there can be only a single cause for a loss. There were multiple events which occurred last night, any one of which, if it had played out differently, would likely have altered the outcome of the game. Cholly's managing was one such event.

"His body language was bad and general approach was child-like."

Now that you mention it, I don't know why Chooch isn't taking more heat this morning. Sure, he got 7 RBIs and 3 extra base hits but, if you watched his ABs carefully, his body language was terrible the entire time.

I just don't understand who dresses Doc. I'll never know why you'd wear sleeves if it is near 90 degrees. Can someone explain that to me? It's like the one playoff game where Cole wore sleeves and performed terribly then after the fact thought the sleeves might not be a good idea. Doc did the same thing with the sleeves in Wrigley last year. He looked like he was going to have a heat stroke last night.

@bay....airball.

You can tell when Jimmy is pouting. You certainly can. And the Ruiz comparison makes zero sense.

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