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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Game 68: Moyer baffles young Tribe lineup (36-32)

While the Phillies only recorded 4 hits and 2 runs, Jamie Moyer went 8 IP and gave up 2 hits and a walk. One of those hits was a home run, but overall Moyer pitched a very good game. Much ado was made about Manuel (who had been ejected from the game) starting the top of the 9th with J.C. Romero against a S L S lineup due. Without looking at the splits to determine whether this was a good move, I was very pleased to see Manuel thinking outside the box by not just throwing Lidge into the game because it was a save situation. Had Lidge been immediately inserted, he would have faced three consecutive LHBs, against whom he does not fair well.

Situational splits:

JCR- OBP/SLG (vs. RHB and LHB): .378/.424 and .311/.296
Lidge- OBP/SLG (vs. RHB and LHB): .288/.342 and .343/.380

Trevor Crowe (small sample)- OBP/SLG (vs RHP and LHP): .291/.341 and .302/.344
Shin-Soo Choo- OBP/SLG (vs. RHP and LHP): .405/.518 and .341/.397
Carlos Santana's MLB sample is extremely small let's just say he's identical from both sides of the plate.

We all know that Romero is awful against righties. In this situation, he would face 2 RHBs, and one LHB. The best hitter in the inning was Choo. Santana looks to be a very talented hitter, but he has yet to prove this over a long period. Given the choice, JCR obviously should be the one to pitch to Choo. This being said, you either can bite the bullet and use Lidge against all three batters (not a good idea due to Choo), start the inning with JCR against a weak hitter from both sides of the plate (although he is slightly better against LHPs) and Choo a much worse hitter against LHPs and then insert Lidge who is much better against LHB than Romero is against RHB, or try to use Romero against all three hitters (not smart because he is wild).

If I were the manager, I probably would have used Romero against the first two batters thus more likely neutralizing the most dangerous bat of Choo, and then put Lidge in to face a young switch hitter that might be susceptible to his slider. Manuel used Romero for the first three hitters. Romero retired Crowe, allowed Choo to reach on an infield single (unlucky), and walked Santana. Lidge was brought in to end the game which he did with two straight Ks.

In no way should the manager's knowledge of match ups be construed as a lack of faith in the closer. He used intelligence to know that Lidge is terrible against LHBs, and would be guaranteed to face 3 of them in the inning. Hopefully the manager used this rationale because I am giving him a lot of credit for this.

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