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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Game 157: Struggling offense? Face a knuckleball! (98-59)

I believe the Phillies just set the all-time for a losing streak that occurs after the 98th win of the season. They lost 2-1 to the Mets this afternoon.

RA Dickey took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against a lineup that featured 6.5 of the Phillies 8 starters (Mayberry is the half, because he's not a starter even though he should be).

Why is Manuel playing 6 of his 8 starting position players against RA Dickey? There's a night game tonight, and my guess is most of those 6 players will sit. Why force those players to face a very talented knuckleballer rather than the mediocre Dillon Gee? It's absurd, really. The offense has been struggling ever since they clinched the division, and even when the offense is not struggling, they still never hit RA Dickey very well.

It defies logic. Is Manuel preparing for game 4 of the World Series against Boston? If that's the only defense of today's starting lineup, then it probably wasn't a good lineup.

The starting lineup should have been Francisco (CF), Bowker (RF), Brown (LF), Gload (1B), Kratz (C), Martinez (SS), Valdez (3B), Orr (2B), Hamels.

Instead, Rollins, Polanco, Victorino, Howard, Mayberry, Ibanez, and Ruiz were all forced to hit against an impossible knuckleball.

If Manuel were trying to prepare his offense for the postseason, he should have used these players against a traditional pitcher (Gee), because the odds of their facing a knuckleballer in the playoffs (Wakefield is the only possible one) are astronomical.

Oh, and the Phils still lost.

They try to snap their 7-game losing streak tonight when Big Joe Blanton faces RHP Dillon Gee at 7:10 pm.

1 comment:

hk said...

"If Manuel were trying to prepare his offense for the postseason, he should have used these players against a traditional pitcher (Gee)."

Truer words could not be written. And, further to the point, he also should have placed a priority on winning one of the games, just to stop the slide. Therefore, in addition to letting the back-ups face Dickey, he also should have pitched Blanton and the non-essential bullpen pitchers in Game 1. That way, he could have played his full lineup behind Hamels in Game 2.