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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Game 27: Kendrick goes 5, bullpen goes 5.2, Papelbon again fails to appear (13-14)

I was thinking about copying and pasting from former posts, but I haven't really given this topic a try yet this season.  Kyle Kendrick managed to not get the Phillies blown out last night.  He pitched 5 innings of below average baseball, but only allowed 1 run.  Despite facing Stephen Strasburg, the Phillies were somehow leading 3-2 after 6 innings.  Enter Charlie Manuel, or his minions since he was ejected in the 1st inning after arguing a Bryce Harper check swing.  The umpiring crew was short Joe West (I thought it was Big Joe West?), so there were only 3 umpires to man 4 positions.  This would haunt the Phillies in 2 other instances (both in the 7th inning) after Manuel had left the game.

Joe Savery was used in the 6th inning with 2-of-3 batters due up being left handed.  He only managed to record one out, and the brain trust left to manage this team correctly lifted Savery for Jose Contreras who was bailed out by Rick Ankiel failing to pick up the 3rd base coach on a nice play in the hole by Jimmy Rollins.

The top of the 7th inning saw the Phillies cheated out of scoring the same run twice.  Ty Wigginton hit a fair ball down the 3rd base line with Shane Victorino on 2nd base, which was incorrectly called foul by the HP umpire due to the fact that there was no base ump.  Shortly thereafter Victorino was called out when he tried to steal third.  Replays from the same angle that the umpire would have had showed the tag was clearly on the inside part of the bag while Victorino slid to the outside.  Carlos Ruiz promptly hit a line drive single to right which would have scored Victorino for the 2nd time.

However, I don't want to give the Phillies coaches this excuse, as they continue to fail to understand simple logic.

Bastardo pitched a scoreless 7th.

Qualls was used to start the 8th, which was fine.  However, he gave up a single, sacrifice, intentional walk, and a double to quickly lose the lead.  With Papelbon not having pitched since Tuesday, he clearly could have been brought in before the double was allowed, but I feel like expecting this would be asking way too much.  After the lead had evaporated, the bases were loaded intentionally.  This screams for using your best reliever as a tie game in the 8th inning with the bases loaded and 1 out is an extremely high-leverage situation.  Qualls did manage to squeak out of the inning, however.

Michael Schwimer was used in the 9th inning because this game was played in another city despite the Nationals sending the heart of their lineup up to the plate.  He retired them in order.  Surprisingly, the Phillies didn't score against the talented Nationals bullpen in the 10th, and Schwimer was used again in the 10th.  The Phillies went 1,2,3 in the 11th just like they did in the 10th, and keeping with this pattern, Schwimer was brought out again.  What else were the coaches supposed to do?  If Papelbon stops the Nationals, and the Phillies score, who could they bring into the game with the responsibility of giving up 0 or 1 runs??  Certainly not a pitcher that was used in a game where there is ZERO margin for error.

Nationals won in the 11th, and Papelbon continues to watch worse pitchers get more playing time than him.


5 comments:

hk said...

"I'm not supposed to use him," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I don't get a chance to use him. We're not supposed to use him. We're not going to burn him out early in the season when we can't get to him."

Burn him out? The guy hadn't pitched since Tuesday. Early in the season? At this pace, a strong Papelbon will be saving meaningless September games. This manager has done what I would have said was impossible for most of my 46 years...made watching my favorite team play baseball an experience that is not fun.

Robby Bonfire said...

Early May, and it really is June 1st before serious projections can be made, but if this were the First of June the Phillies would project to be huffing and puffing around .500 baseball, at season's end.

Won't be long before 16 teams are in the playoffs and a .500 record will be considered a good season. Mark my words, they are at 10 going to 16 playoff teams and eight, 4-team divisions just like that other made for tv professional sports league travesty, within a decade. The utterly indefensible expansion to 10 playoff teams forebodes that.

Scott Graham said...

Hk-

Was that from the pregame manager's show with Wheeler? I heard Manuel talking about burning him out if they used him in ties or deficits. How about they use him in tie games and not 3 run games. I strongly believe that teams shouldn't (and do not, despite what dumb managers might think) have relievers that they can't trust to go one inning without giving up 3 runs. I think it's pretty difficult for a ML pitcher to give up 3 runs in an inning. Let Pap throw in tie games!

hk said...

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillies_zone/Papelbon-by-the-book.html

hk said...

By the way, the most interesting part of the article was the comments afterwards. Before reading them, I would have expected at least 1/2 of the comments following a mainstream media column to defend Charlie. Much to my surprise, they are almost all anti-Charlie, ripping him for all of the things for which you have ripped him on this subject, not using Papelbon in the 8th, not using him in tie games in extra innings on the road, using him to protect three run leads in the 9th and not wanting to overuse him in April and May (as if those games are less important than games in September).