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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Game 63: Kendrick, bullpen both demolished (29-34)

The Phils continue to struggle in interleague play, losing their opener tonight to Minnesota by a score of 11-7. Twice the Phillies turned 4-run deficits into 1-run deficits, but the pitching never gave them a real chance to win the game.

I don't really have an issue with anything Manuel did today. With LHP Nate Duensing on the mound and the bases loaded, Juan Pierre came to the plate with the score 8-4. Manuel opted to use RHB John Mayberry, even though a RHP was warming in the bullpen. Pierre has even splits for his career, meaning he's not a liability against LHPs. However, many of his hits against lefties are undoubtedly bunt singles; his XBH% is significantly higher against RHPs than lefties. When you include Duensing's career numbers against LHBs (.501 OPS allowed), I don't think it is an egregious error to use Mayberry as a pinch-hitter. With Hunter Pence on deck, Duensing would have been removed from the game one batter later, anyway. My instinct tells me that pinch-hitting for Pierre was a mistake (Pierre may be a minor league player, but so is Mayberry), but the evidence isn't overwhelming enough for me to blast Manuel. We'll have a chance soon enough, of course.

This team is only 5.5 games out of the wild card, which seems ridiculous to me.

Tomorrow the Phils try to avoid losing their third straight series when Cole Hamels faces RHP PJ Walters at 8:10 pm.


Robby Bonfire said...

Why don't we just call the "Wild Card" the "TV Card," because it is strictly a commercially-instigated joke on the integrity of MLB and the fans, most of all.

Too many organizations in all of professional sports, just build for "making the playoffs" instead of for championship-level excellence, as was necessary to succeed before this glut of too many playoff and wild card teams contaminated all of sports.

Congratulations to the Los Angeles Kings, on their Stanley Cup championship success, but the ~real~ Stanley Cup Final should have been a direct match-up between the two best teams in each conference, the New York Rangers andthe Vancouver Canucks, with the hockey season ending six-eight weeks ago.

Ahh, the joy of television running, controlling, and virtually ruining every aspect of our lives in this plastic society they have given us.

Scott Graham said...

I agree with your stance completely. However, for me, the NHL playoffs is the most exciting thing in sports.

Robby Bonfire said...

Yes, raising The Cup is a special moment in sports, every year.

While I don't like the diminishing of regular season results, I have to admit that the post-season spoils usually go to a team that held something in reserve, over the regular season "dress rehearsal."

Rarely have I witnessed a talented team as burned out by its coach over 82 games as were the Rangers by John Tortorella, this year. Plus, the team was black and blue from his blocking shots mania. One of most short-sighted and imbecilic coaching performances in NHL history. You are going to be seeing some Ranger players with 30 year old bodies playing like they are 35, before long.