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Thursday, October 8, 2009

NLDS Game 2: Hamels, Manuel lose game for Phillies (1-1)

The Phillies lost today, 5-4, allowing the Colorado Rockies to tie up the NLDS at one game apeice. It is now a best-of-three series, with the next 2 games played in Antarctica.

Cole Hamels allowed 4 of the Rockies' runs. The first run (occurred in the first inning) wasn't really his fault, because the leadoff man probably should have struck out on the 1-2 pitch. It was called a ball, and he ended up getting a hit and scoring on a fielder's choice.

The next two runs came on a two-out, 2-run homer by Yorvit Torrealba, on a hanging curveball from Hamels. Why Hamels is throwing a curveball to the righty Torrealba is beyond me. It's his third best pitch, and he really should only use it against lefties.

Hamels allowed another run in the 5th. Joe Blanton came on to pitch the 6th inning and some of the 7th. He allowed runners on first and third with zero outs in the 7th, and he was inexplicably removed for J.A. Happ. The Rockies had three lefties coming to the plate out of the next four batters, and Scott Eyre is a lefty specialist. Moreover, Happ has not appeared out of the bullpen in about 6 months. He allowed a line drive off his leg that knocked him from the game. THEN Eyre came in and stranded 2 of the 3 runners. Had Eyre appeared one batter earlier, perhaps the Rockies do not score that 5th run.

The most terrible of Manuel's errors came in the bottom of the 9th inning. The Rockies closer is RHP Huston Street, and the Phillies had the pitcher's spot to leadoff, then Carlos Ruiz, then Miguel Cairo. Jimmy Rollins at the top of the order was due up 4th in the inning. Manuel correctly let Francisco hit for the pitcher, but then removed Carlos Ruiz for Matt Stairs. UNBELIEVABLE. Stairs got on base with 1 out, then Miguel Cairo, who could not even beat out Eric Bruntlett in spring training, had to bat. He flied out. WHY NOT USE STAIRS FOR CAIRO AND LET RUIZ HIT??? Letting Ruiz hit instead of Cairo is the equivalent of using Clay Condrey as the game 3 starter instead of Pedro Martinez. Yes, the Phils would have had zero infielders left -- but you have to tie the game first, guy. Even so, you can move Ruiz to third and have Bako catch. Manuel's done it before with Ruiz.

If Ruiz hit, the Phils chances of winning would have been significantly greater. Manuel, they won last year despite you.


Henry Rowengartner said...

And not having Jimy Williams on the bench finally costs us.

Bringing Happ in in that spot was probably the dumbest thing Charlie has done all year. The Rockies have a significantly worse lineup against lefties than righties and for some reason it was his plan all along to send out Pedro for Game 3. Even if Happ is available for Game 4, if Pedro implodes in Game 3 the Rockies will have all the momentum.

Once he knew we were locked in to play the Rockies (and thus likely to follow the EXACT SAME TV schedule as 2 years ago because Colorado is such a crappy opponent), he should have held back Happ on Sunday and had him pitch Game 2, saving Hamels for Game 3 at night.

But that, of course, is asking way too much.

And now we get to play at 10:00 PM on Sunday in, as you say, Antarctica. Only person dumber than Manuel: Bud Selig.

Anonymous said...

i can;t even imagine hamels pitching in the snow. his arm might fall off.

Scott Graham said...

Henry- Not that Manuel probably knows this, but the Rockies career stats vs LHP are better than vs RHP

Andy Musser said...

For what it's worth now, I actually think the Rockies are slightly better against righties than lefties...and Hamels does have significantly better numbers in night games that day games. However, the last person on the staff who could mentally handle subfreezing temperatures is Hamels. But yeah, I think the Rockies overall hit righties a little better.