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95% Phillies, 4% Eagles/Flyers/Sixers/Big Five, 1% Nonsense .... Contact us: Scott Graham ~ Andy Musser

Sunday, October 17, 2010

NLCS Game 2: Phillies offense lacks discipline early, pull out win (1-1)

The book on Jonathan Sanchez coming into this game was this: he can be very wild. He also is better against LHB than RHB to the tune of .663 OPS against vs. .726 OPS against.

Knowing this, Charlie Manuel opted to have Chase Utley and Placido Polanco flop spots in the lineup. Now, I appreciate this move; however, I'm not exactly sure Manuel did it for the right reason. We all know how many statistically minded people (including Mr. Musser and me) think the 2nd and 4th spots in the lineup are the most important. We also know that Mr. Musser and I believe that Howard and Utley should be split up with the potent lefties present in the Giants' bullpen. I would be willing to bet that neither of these were the reasons why Manuel did it. Manuel likely believes that splitting up Utley and Howard makes Jonathan Sanchez's job harder, and it just might have. However, I think Manuel should have used Werth to split the lefties. Werth is a lefty-masher, and this spot would guarantee him a better chance at getting more PAs than batting 5th.

The first inning ensured hope for the Phillies. Sanchez threw 35 pitches and allowed 1 run in an inning where the Phillies did not record a hit. Sanchez combined 3 walks and was hurt by an error, and exited the inning down 1-0.

Sanchez walked 3 batters in the first inning. His career BB/9 is 4.6. Phillies taking walks. Good sign, right? Apparently not. From the 2nd inning through the 6th inning, 13 different Phillies batters swung at pitches in 0-0 (first pitches), 1-0, and 2-0 counts.

2nd inning- Ruiz (1-0) and Victorino (0-0)
3rd inning- Polanco (1-0) and Howard (2-0) (OK for Howard as he's the Phillies 4th hitter and he's given an understood green light because of his power)
4th inning- Rollins (0-0), Ibanez (0-0), Ruiz (1-0), and Oswalt (0-0)!!
5th inning- Utley (1-0), Polanco (0-0), Howard (0-0), and Werth (0-0)
6th inning- Ruiz (0-0)

People read this probably think I'm crazy that I'm citing all of these examples since the Phillies won. However, this was easily one of the most frustrating games I've ever watched. The first inning seemed like the recipe for success. Take pitches because this guy isn't throwing strikes. His pitch count was up, and it would have been ideal to wear down the bullpen by running his pitch count up. Neither Charlie nor the players acknowledged this, and many of these aforementioned counts were pitches where the players swung at balls. Chase Utley's sac fly was one of them.

Roy Oswalt nonchalantly ran through a stop sign, and was nearly thrown out at the plate. Rollins put the game out of reach by hitting a 3-run double on a straight fastball (does he like straight fastballs or something?)

Roy Oswalt was spectacular tonight despite the fact that a career .758 OPS hitter against the Phillies (Ross) hit another homer in this series against a dominant pitcher.

Game 3 is Tuesday in San Francisco at 4 o'clock when Cole Hamels battles Matt Cain.

1 comment:

Scott Graham said...

Anthony Gargano just said that the Phillies approached Sanchez correctly tonight on Fox News.

I just don’t comprehend how Gargano, a decent baseball fan can watch that entire game and say that after most people that I know and have talked to were extremely frustrated watching this team’s complete lack of discipline after the first.