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Friday, October 16, 2009

NLCS Game 2: Poor defensive 8th kills Phils (1-1)

Both Pedro Martinez and Vicente Padilla pitched extremely well today. I can understand the future Hall of Famer's success, but I cannot even begin to fathom how Vicente Padilla shut down the Phils offense aside from a Howard solo shot.

Pedro Martinez threw 7 shutout innings while allowing 2 H. I believe he was correctly removed from the game for a pinch hitter (Dobbs -> Francisco) in the top of the 8th inning. The Phillies had managed to get a runner on base, and runs were at a premium. Francisco just happened to hit into a DP.

Chan Ho Park started the 8th inning, and I felt he got squeezed on the second pitch he threw in the inning. Rather than being ahead 0-2 on Blake, he was even 1-1, and eventually surrendered a single. Now, I haven't seen a full replay of the single yet, but it seemed to me that Feliz was playing too close to the 3rd base line. So close in fact that I think he could have covered ground in foul territory. Mr. Musser and I are largely against guarding the line, so long as the fielder is able to cover ground in foul territory. It is completely unnecessary. I think that a 3B should play close enough to the line that he can make a diving play on a ball on the line, and no closer. Had Feliz been shifted off the line a bit, he probably could have made the play (I don't know the significance of the shadows on that play).

Ronnie Belliard then attempted a sac bunt that Park could not get to, and I think Howard should have been able to field it, had he taken a better route to the ball. Not awful on Howard's part, but I think it was a make-able play. Russell Martin then hit a double play ball to Feliz that Chase Utley would have turned 99 times out of 100, but this time, he threw past Howard allowing the tying run to score. I agree with all of Manuel's pitching moves after this point: Eyre to face Thome; Madson to face switch hitting Rafael Furcal because Manuel needed a strikeout; Happ to face Ethier with the bases loaded; and Durbin to face Manny. I agree with Happ facing Ethier because that batter is virtually the game. If he gives up a hit, 2 runs probably score, and the game is essentially over. Broxton isn't Huston Street. Since Happ only gave up 1 run, the game was still in reach, and it was pretty important that the Dodgers didn't score anymore, so Durbin was probably the safest bet.

Tough loss for the Phillies today, but I blame it mostly on the team's defense in the 8th. I also point some blame on the Phillies lineup for being masterfully shutdown by a pitcher who is sub-par vs. LHB.

I would like to introduce a rule for the remainder of the playoffs. If your name isn't Utley, Howard, Werth, or Ibanez, you are not allowed to swing the bat until you have 1 strike past you. I'm sick of Rollins, Victorino, and Feliz not making the pitcher work.


Anonymous said...

Even taking into account Feliz's position, he still should have had it if he read it properly. Can't hit, can't field. I can't wait till we don't pick up his option.

Scott Graham said...

Pedro Feliz is one of the best fielding 3B in MLB. I wouldn't say he can't field.