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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Game 93: Romero faces two righties, yet earns the save (50-43)

In the bottom of the ninth with a switch hitter and a right hander scheduled to hit and two men on base, Charlie Manuel opted to take Ryan Madson (who should have been removed) for Jansas City Romero. We have been over and over and over the reasons why Romero should not be pitching against righthanders (his .489 OBP against comes to mind). So, since Brad Lidge was unavailable and Tom Gordon is on the DL, that leaves either Rudy Seanez or Clay Condrey as your options. Both of those pitchers have better numbers against righties and lefties than Romero does against righties. Manuel refuses to acknowledge Romero's shortcomings against righties, and, for the most part, he has been lucky that Romero hasn't blown a game when he shouldn't even have been pitching.

None of this would be an issue if Brad Lidge were available. He could have come in with two men on and one out in the 9th after Madson was unable to finish the game. However, Lidge has thrown 42 pitches in the past two days and was seemingly unable to pitch today. Perhaps if Lidge had been used more sparingly in the past week, instead of pitching in both 4- and 5-run games in Atlanta for no reason, he would have been available for a game like today.

It's nice to get your closer work, but overusing him in 4- and 5- run games on back-to-back nights is inexcusable. Lidge couldn't pitch today for his third game in a row. That reality is even more reason to use him only in games with differences of two runs or less instead of three or four or five.