May 03, 2005

Epic battle spoiled

Like two Jedi on opposite sides of the force, Jon Lieber and Pedro Martinez engaged in an epic battle between good and evil last night at Shea. The problem is, Charlie Manuel is no George Lucas.

Instead of letting the action resolve, finding out which warrior would prevail, he handed the lightsaber to the understudy, Terry Adams, who proved to be no Mark Hamill. With the score tied 1-1, Adams gave up a three-run blast to Carlos Beltran.

It’s a good thing some excellent summer movies are on tap, because Manuel is directing a summer stink bomb.

Tom Goyne at Balls Sticks and Stuff scripted a winner this morning. Here’s Tom’s game recap:
During the top of the seventh inning, the Phillies had a little rally going, managing to score their only run due to some aggressive base-running by Chase Utley ...

However, with two outs and a runner on second, Charlie Manuel elected to pinch-hit for Jon Lieber in an attempt to break the 1-1 tie. Jose Offerman, the pinch-hitter, failed to drive the run in, and Terry Adams was brought in to face the Mets in the bottom of the inning.

Adams then proceeded to give up a single, a walk, and then a home-run to Carlos Beltran, making it 4-1, Mets. Manuel waited for Adams to give up a single to the next batter, Cliff Floyd, before pulling Adams in favor of Geoff Geary. Geary then proceeded to let several more Mets reach base and when it didn't look like they would score, he threw a wild pitch, allowing Floyd to come home. 5-1 Mets and the Phillies never sniffed a scoring opportunity again.

After 78 pitches and matching Pedro pitch for pitch, I’m sure many Phans are wondering this morning why Manual didn’t give his ace the chance to outlast him.

By pinch hitting, they basically put the game in the hands of Offerman and the B-list bullpen, and boy did it turn into an unhappy ending. I can't imagine how Manuel thought that was going to work. With two outs, why not see if Lieber can knock in the runner from second. Crazy things happen when pitchers face pitchers in tight games.

Instead, Offerman ends the inning, and it's up to Adams or Geary (the dark side of the Phorce) to hold it, not exactly an Obi-Wan / Qui-Gon combo that has the Mets shaking in their shoes.

From Tom Goyne:
Let's face it, the Phillies bullpen is quite bad right now. Handing them a tie game in the bottom of the seventh and expecting them to hold it and get nine more scoreless outs from the opposition is unrealistic. I certainly see the temptation to drive that runner in from second, because in a pitcher's duel, every run is precious. But, when you remove Lieber for Terry Adams ... well, it's not a pitcher's duel anymore is it?

Offerman off his game
In 16 PH ABs, the pinch hit specialist Offerman is batting .188, .235 OBP and .375 SLG.


At 2:48 PM, Blogger Irzan said...

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At 2:48 PM, Blogger Irzan said...

Hey ... thanks for visiting my blog .. i got your link from the referring pages ... nice job at your blog!

Keep up the good work... maybe we can link each other someday ... :)


At 7:52 PM, Blogger OleyRagtopguy said...

Manuel should have left Lieber in there, no doubt about it. But the true albatross of this team is Lieberthal. If he gets a knock with 1 out and the guy on 2b, we take the lead and Lieber definitely stays in the game. This guy is absolutely the worst, hardly ever gets a hit when it counts anymore. I'm a die-hard Phils fan for many years but I won't go to CB Park anymore until some winning changes are made.

I go to the R-Phils instead. Those kids aren't jaded yet and still play hard.

I really like your blog, by the way.

At 8:27 PM, Blogger Jason Weitzel said...

Thanks, Oley. I had it in good mind to write a little about Lieby this morning, but I've criticized the guy enough in the past. That uppercut swing certainly doesn't deliver when it counts, does it. Lieberthal is an average catcher at best, and in general, I'm OK bordering on not OK with him back there.

Thanks for the comments, and by all means, stop by and comment often!


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