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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Game 64: Cito Gaston has a clue (36-28)

The Phillies literally got caught twice today with their heads down. Marco Scutaro advanced to second without stopping following a walk. John Mayberry Jr. let his guard down briefly allowing Rolen to stretch a single into a double. Both men scored when they otherwise would not have (assuming the same plays followed).

I seem to talk about this everyday, and it's probably really annoying to all of you, but it is extremely important and seems to come into play frequently: Manuel's placing lefties back-to-back unnecessarily. In the bottom of the 8th, Shane Victorino singled to center to score Rollins from second after he doubled with two outs. The pitcher at the time was a righty, the Blue Jays newly named "closer". Instead of allowing Chase Utley to face the opponent's righty "closer", Victorino was caught stealing to end the inning. This is a huge gaffe. He definitely should have had the hold sign placed on him.

Madson gave up an 0-2 homer to Rod Barajas in the 9th. Then, Cito Gaston, a man who really "gets it", decided to remove his closer (gasps) to go with lefty B.J. Ryan for the matchups against Utley and Howard. Utley walked, Howard should have walked but swung at two consecutive balls to get himself out. Gaston then went to another righty to face Werth. HIS LAST ARM OUT OF THE BULLPEN. Werth hit a ball hard to center, and Vernon Wells made a sliding catch to retire Werth. Feliz singled, and Mayberry popped out to end the game.

Why not break up the 2 lefties? In this case, it would have ensured that Werth faces a lefty, or Utley and Howard face the righty closer. Werth had already homered today off of a lefty (apparently he's good against them or something). It's a joke how vital this has been, and how easy it is to fix.

Romero again squeezed by after pitching to a few righties, and working into a jam.

Had the Phils not allowed two runs to be stolen from them, and had Rod Barajas not paid off the gods, the Phillies probably could have won this game.

Rollins had a good game today (3 for 4 with a BB, HR, 2B, 1B, and K). Hopefully he's turning things around.


Anonymous said...

no talk of using clay condrey over chad durbin?

Henry Rowengartner said...

Coste is a moron. Every single time a catcher has called for a high fastball from Madson this year on an 0-2 count he has failed to get it high enough. Instead of being at the chin he throws it at the upper chest and it gets hammered.

But that didn't stop Coste from calling for it against Barajas. Throw 4 changeups in a row there and you make Barajas look like the fool he is.

I guess the Phillies catchers must not watch as many games as I do.

Scott Graham said...

Nothing really about Durbin/Condrey. Condrey has been pitching better than Durbin this season. Neither Durbin's nor Condrey's career numbers are all that impressive. Durbin pitched Tuesday and Wednesday where Condrey did not pitch yesterday.

To Rowengartner, I have had that complaint dating back to last season. I hate the high pitch calls. If I remember correctly, Hamels (?) got smoked like that a few times. With respect to today, I think you just hafta tip your hat to Barajas. Madson got it up there at 95-96, and it was outside and not over the plate (from what I remember). He hit a relatively high pitch that was not over the plate and was thrown pretty hard.

That being said, I think Madson's best pitch is his change, and it does baffle me how he doesn't use it there.

I honestly think all the other mistakes I mentioned are worse. People who read this site probably think I'm a clown for mentioning the lefties, when it's obvious Manuel won't change it. It's a very big mistake that has given my plenty of gripes for the past month or so. I think Utley should be permanently in the 2 hole with Werth 3 and Ibanez 5. This is regardless of the handedness of the starter.

In the archives, I wrote a long post regarding how people who have run statistics find that the 2, 4, and 1 holes should be for the 3 best hitters. Furthermore, last year I found that Howard knocked in Victorino/the 2nd lineup spot more than Utley/3rd lineup spot. Utley gets on base ALOT more than Vic, and from these stats I've drawn the conclusion that the important lineup slot it 2 spots in front of a power hitter. Utley has the highest OBP on the team this year, and it is REALLY good. around .430. Pretty ridiculous.

Combining L/R matchups, the Howard RBI knockins, and "The Book"'s statistics, using Utley, Werth, Howard, Ibanez makes tons of sense