A Total Team Loss

Athletes like to say that “you win as a team and you lose as a team.”  Rarely does that statement ever hold true.  However, last night for the Phillies, that is exactly what happened.  The Phillies missed opportunities at the plate, their pitching failed to compensate, and the manager certainly didn’t help things.

Let’s start with the hitting.  While the Phils were finally able to put up the ever-elusive “crooked number” on the Giants in the fifth inning, the powerful team that we have grown accustomed to has not shown up in the playoffs.  The most glaring, and horrifying, batting fail came in the top of the 8th.  Jayson Werth doubled to score Ryan Howard, and was on second with no outs.  How Jimmy Rollins doesn’t lay down a bunt there is beyond comprehension.  Charlie Manuel’s loyalty, that is usually viewed as his strength, is becoming the Phillies’ weakest link. He had confidence that Rollins would do the right thing without giving him the bunt sign- get the runner over- instead, Rollins popped out lazily to third. Ben Francisco, even though he had been hitting the ball well, should have been replaced by Raul Ibanez, forcing Bruce Bochy to make a pitching decision.  Instead, he struck out.  Carlos Ruiz?  He struck out too.  Inning over.

There’s your ballgame.  A runner on second with no outs in the 8th inning and he fails to so much as sniff third base.

But perhaps we aren’t there if the pitching had held up their end of the bargain.

Joe Blanton didn’t pitch horribly, but he wasn’t great either.  He failed to make it through five innings (what happened to innings eater we all knew- a fat contract, that’s what happened).  However, he still left the game with a 4-3 lead.  A lead that Chad Durbing promptly blew in the sixth.  When Durbin pitches, he is either really good, or really awful.  His 91 MPH fastball looked oh-so-hittable, as evidenced by the double that 900 pound Pablo Sandoval hit above his neck.  Lead gone, 5-4 Giants.

Even the fielding was suspect.  Cody Ross (that bastard) doubled on a ball that could have been caught by Francisco in left, just prior to Sandoval’s at-bat,

In the 7th, Rollins booted a dead double play ball (there I got with the Wheels-isms again), forcing Ryan Madson (god bless the playoff version of Mad Dog) to get two additional outs.

Then there’s Charlie.

Oh, Charlie.  Hindsight is a clear-perfect 20/20, so I’m not going to harp on the decision to not start Roy Halladay.  But why, WHY did they bring him to this city if they weren’t going to use him on short rest?  Afterall, that is one of the reasons the Phillies thought more highly of him than Lee.  He has pitched on short rest before.  Last night was the PERFECT time to use someone on short rest.  If he started that game, the Phillies win.  It’s that simple.  Of course, we don’t know where that would leave us tonight, with Roy Oswalt pitching on short rest.

Oh hey, speaking of Owalt…

I had no problem with the decision to bring him in to pitch the ninth.  That is until I found out that he threw a side session just three hours earlier.  Why in the world, if he had any possibility of pitching, would Oswalt throw a bullpen session prior to the game?  Charlie, in continuing with this whole “team” thing, placed that one squarely on Dubee’s shoulders during his post-game press conference.  He said Oswalt told Dubee he could go, and that Dubee relayed that info to Manuel.  I’m sorry, if you’re a manager, you have to know be more in control of that situation.  Jonathan Sanchez didn’t throw a side session on Wednesday for exactly that reason.  He knew, in a Game 4, that all hands are on deck.  I’m not sure whether to blame  Charlie, Dubee, or Oswalt on for this one.  Or all three.  Either way, Oswalt clearly didn’t have his normal “pop” in the 9th and the Phillies lost the game.

Give credit where credit is due.  The Giants have pitched well and benefited timely hitting.  They’ve had the Phillies on their heels this entire series.  Usually the Phils are the ones who have the other team reeling, and as fans, we’re always waiting for the inevitable big hit.  That hit hasn’t come during this series.  If it doesn't come tonight, the season is over.

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18 Responses

  1. Also Polanco bobbled a sure DP ball from Renteria with 1 on and 0 outs in the bot 5th that allowed the Giants 3rd run to eventually score on a 2 out single by Huff.
    Management of bot 5th and bot 6th was really poor. Bastardo should have been brought in to get Huff, if you were pulling Blanton for Contreras on next batter anyway. Then why not leave Contreras in to pitch the 6th instead of wasting Dom Brown pinch hitting with 2 outs and nobody on? And if Oswalt was good for an inning, why not use him in the 6th. That was the treacherous time in the game – 4-3 lead, going through Burrell and Ross again. Then if Oswalt gets you through that inning, your bullpen is setup in normal roles to finish the game. Durbin/Romero in 7th, Madson in 8th, Lidge in 9th.
    Of course the players still have to perform and if Durbin was good, we may have won.
    Perfect title – total team loss for Phils. Total team win for Giants. Seriously….everybody in starting lineup contributed for them in some way and even Torres and Uribe came off bench and did the job. And Bochy is managing circles around Chollie in these games.

  2. Although using Oswalt in 9th wasn’t worst idea I guess. Only other options were Lidge – who doesn’t fare well in non save situations, Romero (ugh), and Kendrick. At that point you had to hope Oswalt got you through the 9th. Then you’d use either Romero or Lidge in 10th depending on if you took lead or if Giants had some lefty bats coming up. Then use the other one in the 11th and then if it went to the 12th, you had to save Kendrick to be the last pitcher in to finish the game since he might have been going for 5 innings.

  3. No offense Kyle, but all your points were discussed ad neasuem on tv and all over the internet already. I feel like I’m getting a summary of baseball tonight.

  4. No mention of Sam Perlozzo waving Chooch home? If Chooch would have stopped at third, he would have scored during the next batter when Chase hit a single! Then we would have been up another run and would have gone into extra innings hopefully.
    Doc is up tonight…there’s nobody in MLB you would want more than him on the mound tonight.

  5. chris, i’m sorry that i’m being realistic and rational. if you can’t handle it- please don’t read.
    jon- the point was, you can’t just point to one thing that cost them the game. we blew it in every facet.

  6. Chooch is not as quick as the much taller Oswalt, I really really wish Perlozzo had stopped him at 3rd, would have been a momentum shift and agreed that he could have scored from 3rd easily. Possibly not even needing the extra innings…

  7. Kyle, I agree with all but one thing – Oswalt was throwing 95 out there. He had his usual zip on the ball, the Giants just hit him.
    This series reminds me a LOT of the 2007 ALCS. Hopefully, the same thing will happen for us. I still think there is a great chance, we have our three best pitchers going. And if not, this team has done great things the last 4 years and we SHOULD NOT be unappreciative.

  8. There was a 10th inning last night? Must have went to bed early.
    On a serious note, Charlie is being horribly outmanaged. Being a College, low semi pro baseball player here are some things I picked out last night.
    1. Sending Chooch with 1 out, runners would have been first and 3rd with 1 out. Cost a run.
    2. Victorino on first with 1 out, hit and run steal? Polanco GIDP’s to end the inning.
    3. Durbin was out of gas…kept leaving him in there to get tanked.
    4. Very Evident early OSwalt had NO changeup. Any real baseball player can hit a Fast ball if they know its coming.
    Charlie needs to be on the ball. Last night was a joke.
    Good news, 3 aces to hill the next 3games.

  9. @Adrienne and @Jones – the team had hit miserably in this series with RISP. I think at that point in the game you have to try to score Chooch from 2nd base. And it was a bang-bang play at the plate. If Rowand’s throw is a few feet higher or a few feet left or right, he scores. Utley got a hit afterwards that would have scored Chooch, but how many times have we seen them come in those spots in this series and strikeout or pop up or roll into a DP?
    You can’t play for big innings in playoffs. Last night they were fortunate to get one, but that has been an exception.

  10. Re-bumped from previous entry ( https://www.crossingbroad.com/2010/10/bruce-newman-responds-and-gregg-doyel-says-charlie-manuel-isnt-trying.html ):
    Here are key failures:
    1) They took Blanton out too early, even with his shaky start. Sure, he gave up a run and allowed a walk before he got yanked, but I’m sure he could have got out of the inning before anymore damage occurred. This would have let them pitch the next inning differently…
    2) WTF! WTF! WTF! Why did they leave that killjoy Durbin in there so long hanging in the breeze? How could they be that worried about depleting their bullpen? They wound up putting Oswalt in the end anyway. They should have shit-canned that bum Durbin after he gave up that Cody Ross double. And Durbin was “gassed” from the get-go.
    3) That senile moron Perlazzhole needed to hold-up Chooch and for once that would have been the right time to be conservative. Old-fart Sam, it’s Chooch, not Shane. He’s probably that senile that he can’t tell the difference between the players. If Chooch had held, he would have scored on the next hit, and they would have likely had the 5 runs on the board at the end of their inning. That would have possibly changed the bullpen match-up when the Giants came to bat at the bottom, and Blanton and maybe the new pitcher would have been less nerved coming into the inning.
    4) Top of the 8th: With Werth on second, shouldn’t he be giving some sort of sign that Posey was hanging waaaaaaay outside for Lopez’s pitches when both Francisco and Chooch had there miserable strike-outs?
    That should have been a win, but the game was simply mismanaged (by Dubee by proxy). Man-up Chuck, and admit that you screwed the pooch on this one and let your team down!

  11. Could you imagine Halladay, Oswalt, Lee, Hamels.
    That would be crazy! I don’t see it happening though..

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