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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Game 62: Phils top hitter bats last in loss (32-30)

Carlos Ruiz, the Phillies' leading hitter in terms of OBP (.395 after Tuesday night's loss), batted last in the lineup Tuesday. It came back to haunt the Phillies when 8th hitter Juan Castro (.246 on the season) came to the plate with 2nd and 3rd and only one out in the top of the 4th inning when the Phils were down 5-3. Castro struck out and the Phils stranded those runners; had Ruiz batted 8th instead, he would have had a much higher chance to drive in at least one of those runs. In fact, the Yankees may have been tempted to pitch around Ruiz and go after Castro with the double play in order. Instead, the Yankees got to face the Phils worst hitter with runners in scoring position. The Phils never scored again.

It likely would not have made any difference: the Phils lost 8-3 and Halladay struggled against the New York lineup, but it seems that Manuel may have recognized his mistake, because catcher has batted 8th in the two games following Tuesday.

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