On to Pittsburgh

August 17, 2007

Pitching came through last night for an important win.  Now, it is on to Pittsburgh where we face the Pirates’ three best pitchers.  Vacation games don’t exist, especially at this time of the season.

Had a couple of comments to yesterday’s epic. As one reader points out, two games don’t constitute a slump.  And, yes, we were further behind the last two years than our current perch in the NL East.

Another reader felt if the pitching stays strong and the lineup refinds its groove, we’ll be OK.  A good observation.  That person also pointed out that even when Chase Utley comes back, it may take him a while to get going.

We definitely have missed Chase and Shane Victorino.  But other clubs have had injuries too.  It just seems as if we’ve had more than our share.

To me, the biggest loss from an injury stand point was Brett Myers.  Had he remained healthy, we would have more wins, I’m sure.  I’m not taking anything away from Antonio Alfonseca.  He did a great job in the closer’s role but Myers’ absence thinned the pen.

Which injury was the most damaging for the Phils?


Today’s game management was disgraceful. The starter was no longer dominating (the 6th wasn’t a perfect inning), the Pirates lead the league in scoring in August, and rain is in the forecast. Yet, no one is warming up. According to the Pirate announcers, they hadn’t even removed the tarp from the bullpen mound. Why not start the 7th with Alfonseca, because more times than not he ends up in the game anyway? The manager acted as if Steve Carlton was on the mound, although few Phillies starters survive the 7th. The players and fans deserve better. In the military, this is called having “situational awareness.” Today there was none.

All teams have had serious injuries, as you’ve said, but the most damaging injury to the Phillies was the loss of Garcia. He was meant to anchor the staff with some 200 innings. That’s a lot of innings to distribute elsewhere. At any rate, the players don’t dwell on the injuries, or it so seems from a fan’s perspective. They do count on management to put them in a position to win, something at which the GM has excelled. As for today, the field manager looked like a genius for starting Branyan, who delivered a big HR, but failed Branyan, Lohse, Rollins and the rest by putting Lohse into a position to fail. I’m sure he’s a good guy, but he let them down today.

I think the Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel left Lohse in to long. When you have a four run lead going into the 7Th you should win the game. It’s getting late in the season and we need to win these type of games.

Why did Manuel leave Kyle in to pitch to the lefty instead of going with Romero then? Kyle had done his job! If they bring in a righty to pinch hit, then you waste Romero and go with Fonseca or Gordon. I believe that blunder will cost them, along with some of the many others made during the season. Did he give an explanation?


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