Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Burrell's Bases-Clearing Double Wins It

With Pat Burrell being hitless on the night, walking Ryan Howard to get to him seemed like a reasonable idea. Apparently the Rockies forgot about his .357 batting average. 

The Phillies entered the top of the ninth trailing 5 to 6. So Taguchi singled, Chase Utley doubled, and, not wanting to have right hander Manny Corpas face Howard, they intentionally walked him to get to Burrell. Burrell doubled for his first hit of the night, scoring Taguchi, Utley, and despite a very close play at the plate, Howard too. Brad Lidge pitched a scoreless ninth and the Phillies beat the Rockies again 8-6.

Brett Myers came in with a fantastic record at Coors Field - 4-0 with a 2.63 ERA. Myers went for seven innings, but allowed six runs. Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless eighth and with the lead restored, Lidge closed out the game, striking out two of three. Utley's homer streak was broken, but Jayson Werth hit one for him. 

Thankfully, the game didn't go into extra innings due to a very interesting eighth inning from the mind of Charlie Manuel. With his 7-8-9 hitters coming to the plate, Carlos Ruiz, Eric Bruntlett, and Myers, Manuel decided to pinch hit for all of them with Geoff Jenkins, Greg Dobbs, and Chris Coste. Granted, it did look like they had a chance to come back in that inning, which they didn't, but had they only tied the game, they would have been in a really bad position. By the end of the nine innings, every position player on the roster had been used. There would surely have been at pinch hits from Cole Hamels, Adam Eaton, and even dare I say Jamie Moyer. Also, teams are usually extremely cautious about using their second catcher to pinch hit, but Coste went before Brad Harman and T.J. Bohn. Coste may be better, but he's still the second catcher. Why Manuel felt he had to take Ruiz out isn't clear. Ruiz is a perfectly fine hitter. It's hard to be too upset about it given the eventual outcome, but it does make one wonder. 

1 comment:

Brian Raab said...

To be fair, Burrell was only batting .350 when they decided to walk him.