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Sunday, October 12, 2008

NLCS Game 3: Blame Moyer, Feliz, and Manuel (2-1)

Jamie Moyer didn't pitch well at all. Blame him for tonight's loss.

However, we have repeatedly stated on this site that Pedro Feliz should not play against righties. He's awful. A .290 OBP is not acceptable in any lineup, regardless of defense. Feliz was in tonight's game because of defense, but Greg Dobbs has a better bat against righties, by far, and Manuel did not maximize their lineup's potential output.

Yet, Feliz' worst moment was on defense. The first batter of the game, Rafael Furcal, lined a base hit to Feliz' left, just out of his reach. Replays showed he was very close to the third base line before the pitch. When I saw where Feliz was lined up defensively, I freaked out at my television. You have to cover as much ground as possible when nobody is on base, and if you play too close to the line, some of your potential range ends up in foul territory. That is extremely inefficient defense, and the fact that it happened on the first batter makes me even more bemused. The Phillies coaching staff is also to be blamed for not fixing Feliz' mental defensive error. If Feliz is off the line enough to keep all his range in fair territory, he catches that ball. Instead, Furcal reached, and the Dodgers scored 5 runs in the inning.

After that, I had no problems with the managerial decisions. Allowing Romero to pitch the entire 8th was fine: saving Madson's arm (who pitched in each of the first 2 games) is more important than lefty/righty splits factoring into a potential ninth inning, 5-run, astronomically improbable Phillies comeback. Starting Feliz was bad; allowing him to hug the line was an absolute disgrace.

Derek Lowe, a righty, pitches tomorrow. START DOBBS PLEASE. THIS IS THE NLCS, CHARLIE, NOT SPRING TRAINING. IF YOU START FELIZ TOMORROW, WITH A NON-GROUNDBALL PITCHER IN BLANTON STARTING, I WILL LOSE MY MIND*.


*Editor's Note: Mr. Musser's mind is already lost.

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