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Phils Waste Brilliant Effort By Lee in Frustrating Loss

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Thu, April 19, 2012 01:01 AM | Comments: 56
2012 Game Recaps, Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

The Dead-ball era returned to Major League Baseball tonight as the Giants defeated the Phillies, 1-0, in a classic 11-inning pitcher’s duel.

The Pitching
-This meeting was the first between the Matt Cain and Cliff Lee, and they made it count. It was the type of game that had fans who love pitching and defense salivating and fans who crave offense yawning.

Both Cain and Lee were as good as advertised, as they combined for nineteen scoreless innings, Cain posting nine, Lee posting ten. Even more impressive, the two of them combined for just one walk (which was also the only three-ball count either pitcher ran the entire game) and 11 strikeouts.  Five times one of them threw less than 10 pitches in an inning.

The Phillies unfortunately squandered another superb outing by their starting pitcher.

The Lineup
- This is a lineup that just can’t get anything going right now. Over their first 12 games, they’ve averaged 2.9 runs. They have yet to score three or more runs in back-to-back games, and have topped five runs just three times. Many have pointed to their lack of patience as a team — they’re last in the majors in walks — but on Wednesday Cain gave them no choice but to swing early. Unfortunately, the bats were flat-out overmatched.

- Wednesday marks the second time the Phillies have been shutout already in 2012. They were shutout just seven times the entire 2011 season.

- Leftfield continues to be a revolving door for the Phillies as Juan Pierre got the start after it went to John Mayberry Jr. on Tuesday. Both of them have each started six games in left this season, and neither one has shown any sign of taking control of the position. While Pierre has outperformed Mayberry, he hasn’t been good enough to be handed the everyday job yet. Pierre’s .300 batting average is solid, however, his OBP continues to remain the same as his average. He went 0-for-4, failing to reach base.

The Defense
- Galvis’s glove is more than enough to warrant keeping him in the lineup. He turned two of team’s four double plays, including a tough play in the tenth inning with Buster Posey bearing down on him. He made a second fantastic play in the tenth, fielding a ball to his right, and beating Nate Schierholtz in a footrace to first to end the inning after Laynce Nix was caught out of position and Lee was slow to cover the bag. When you’ve got a team that is struggling to score runs the way the Phillies are, you rely on your defense and pitching to win ballgames, and Galvis is head-and-shoulders above any other option the team currently has for 2B.

Managing Blunders
There was a peculiar managing decision in the 11th when Manuel elected to pinch hit Jim Thome for Cliff Lee with Ruiz on third and one out. The decision to hit for Lee there isn’t completely unheard of — you’re in a tight game and as a manager you have to take a shot at scoring a late run when you have the chance.

What made the move was questionable is what Manuel did when Bruce Bochy opted to go to the left-handed Javier Lopez. With Mayberry and Polanco on the bench, Manuel chose to stick with Thome, who promptly struck out. Then Manuel chose to pinch hit for Pierre, who hits .305 against lefties for his career, with Mayberry. The Giants brought in the right-handed Clay Hensley, who retired Mayberry and ended the inning. The Giants would score the winning run in the bottom half of the frame. In tight games, every move is magnified, and the Phillies can’t afford to have Manuel make questionable moves like this.

Game Notes
-This was a frustrating game to watch, mainly because it was so reminiscent of game five of the NLDS last year. Lee pitched valiantly and deserved the victory, but again his offense failed to get the job done.

-The loss drops the Phillies to last place in the NL East for the first time since April 2007.

-The Phils now set their sights on San Diego for a four game set. They’ve had a ton of success at Petco Park in recent years, and it may be just what they need to wake the bats up.

Avatar of Ryan Dinger

About Ryan Dinger

Ryan Dinger has written 125 articles on Phillies Nation.

Ryan stated writing for Phillies Nation in 2012.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    Let’s face the facts, Charlie Manuel is overmatched trying to play small ball. He is a poor in-game general. And our offense really stinks out loud. We are so bad right now. I really wish I could be optimistic.

     
    • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

      hey bart he’s not overmatched! he’s playing the smallest ball you can! he netted 0 runs last night. it don’t get any smaller than that!

       
  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    Thanks PN for calling this game correctly and putting the blame where it deserves to be. The Phils now are in sole possession of last place in the NL EAST. I wish I could be optimistic, I really do.

     
    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      Just FYI, the last time the Phils were in sole possession of last place in the NL East was April of 2007. If you recall, they won the division that season. Relax….at least for now.

       
      • Posts: 0 Nosh

        And if you recall we had to have a miracle of a come back against the Mets just in order to do it. Fat chance of that happening again, especially with this putrid offense.

         
      • Posts: 0 Nosh

        Oh and the Mets also had to completely collapse in order for us to catch up. Really, don’t bank on what happened in 2007 in order for us to get to the post-season happening again, that’s just homerism.

         
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        Nosh, step back from the ledge. It’s going to be ok.

        The offense was awful last season too, right up until the point where the injured star second baseman returned to the lineup. After that point they had the best offense in the league.

        Not only are the Phillies expecting their star second baseman to rejoin the team again, but they’re also going to expect their star slugging 1B to return as well. They’ll be fine, and with this pitching staff, they’ll be ok treading water until those guys come back. It’s not every day you have to face guys like Matt Cain. He’s kind of not bad at what he does, you know?

         
      • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

        I also recall that in 2007 the Phillies has a 27 year old Ryan Howard, a 28 year old Chase Utley, a 28 year old Jimmy Rollins, a 26 year old Shane Victorino, a 30 HR Pat Burrell, and an emerging Jayson Werth. The 2012 lineup has a collection of players who are mostly at the end of their careers. It’s a totally different situation five years later.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Jeff, I still think this team is better than the 2007 team. Certainly with Utley and Howard, but even without them.

        The 2007 team had a great offense, but they also allowed over 5 runs per game.

         
      • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

        eric my man i’m feeling silly today! i’m so relaxed watching these guys i’m almost in a coma! like their bats.

         
  • Posts: 0 Phillies Dude

    Two titans of baseball stood on that mound tonight in SF and engaged in one of the most epic pitching duels I’ve ever seen. One is one of the best righthanders in baseball, the other is the best lefthander in baseball. They were in total control, pitching so fast I thought they each had a plane to catch, and with a combined economy of pitches that I don’t know I’ve ever seen in 9 innings. Yeah this game was epic, but i wanna win the epic games I’m gonna always remember. It def hurts to lose this one.

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Taking a few days hiatus this team is frustrating to watch. Bringing Jim in to pinch hit probably wasnt the best idea. I can see Chollys gut telling him maybe Jim will hit a deep fly. Cholly is still managing based on what his gut is telling him and his luck has/is running out. Im not blaming the bullpen here but i said if it goes to the bullpen we gonna lose this one. Those wishing for Ty to get a start at 3d (rightfully so) saw the other end of the spectrum. A choice between the proverbial rock and hard place. A poor defender with a average bat or a good defender thats struggling with the bat. A beautiful pitched game for Lee with no result.

     
  • Posts: 21 barry m

    Avatar of barry m

    Lets hope that recapping the great moments and efforts before the loss is not the new version of the highlight reel..

     
    • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

      barry i tell my two boys, when you have to start counting moral victories it means you stink! the way lee pitched last night was a big moral victory! uh oh!

       
  • Posts: 0 Stuart

    How long do we wait to maybe bring up Dominic Brown and give him some starts in left? No one else can handle the job so I think at some point earlier in this season unless some one gets going, he deserves a chance.

     
  • Posts: 0 Scott in D.C.

    I don’t blame Charlie leaving in Thome in. Depending on Mayberry or Polanco at this point is equally dicey. The real blunder, imo, was leaving Bastardo in. He’s no longer a full-inning guy.

     
    • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

      bastardo wasn’t the problem. any third baseman worth his salt makes that play and we go to the 12th

       
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    The inning could of have been over if Ty wouldnt had fumbled, or at least had the 2nd out.

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    “Bastardo did his job and got a double-play ball,” Wigginton said.

    Manuel said he considered replacing Wigginton with Polanco an inning earlier because Polanco is superior defensively, but he said he stayed with Wigginton because “he’s a strong guy and he might hit a double.”

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    The Nats/Meta aren’t this good… The Phillies aren’t this bad… I’d love for them to be undefeated right now, but early in the season, without their 3-4 hitters.. It’s not even close to time to hit the panic button yet. If they lose their next 7 on this road trip, them i’ll worry

     
  • Posts: 0 Scott in D.C.

    The ball to Wiggington was hit hard. Guys are laying off Bastardo’s slider, and his fastball is very hittable…

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    STOP! Telling us that everything is going to be OK. When you look at the last four hitters in our lineup last night you will see that nary a one deserves a starting job in the major leagues. That said, I would be OK if these were a different four guys who were good but just slumping. That is not the case.

    To me, Eric, you “don’t worry” when you have quality players performing poorly. Hey, everybody slumps…….sometimes (insert REM song here). All you can do is just sit and wait for them to hit their way out of it. But these are shitty, yes shitty, players who are playing to par. And these players are not gonna change anytime soon. We are stuck with them.

    And there is very little I can think of, even in my most creative of moments, that Ruben can do.

    The Dipsy

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      “But these are shitty, yes shitty, players who are playing to par.”

      Disagree, Dipsy.

      Out of 10 players getting substantial playing time…

      2 are at or somewhat above their recent averages:
      - Pence (.880 OPS), and Ruiz (.813)

      2 are a little below but we probably shouldn’t expect any more from them:
      - Pierre (.600), and Wigginton (.710)

      6 are significantly below their recent averages:
      - Rollins (.620), Polanco (.425), Vic (.695), Mayberry (.454), Nix (.590), Thome (.237)

      MOST (probably not all) of these 6 should improve.

       
  • Posts: 0 Bill

    When they put Bastardo in my son and I both said at the same time – “there goes the game”. I’m sorry I’m sure he would make a good neighbor and is a nice guy but he is horrible!!!! Took him three batters to ruin it for Lee.

     
    • Posts: 0 Roots

      Really,

      Bastardo ruined it for Lee? Hmmm…what game were you watching?

       
    • Posts: 1190 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      You realize he got the DP ball only to be botched by our 3rd baseman, Wigginton… With Polanco there you would’ve had a rally-killing double play that would’ve kept us in the game. Whether we win it or not in the latter innings, I don’t know.. but we would’ve had a CHANCE to do it.

       
  • Posts: 2069 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    Regardless what happened last night, the Phils need to put a fresh look on for tonight and forget about the gem that was lost. That is truly incredible. Worley is on the mound tonight and we have had some pretty good success against the Pads in Petco.

    I thought the lineup last night was bound to make things happen. Our key players are not responding when it counts, leaving runners stranded has become expected for this team and its quite different when you think back to all of our success over the past 6 years – how many comebacks did we enjoy? Hey, look at the Giants too – first and third, nobody out in the first inning and they come away with nothing… how frustrating.

    We’ve seen Vic, Jimmy, Gentleman Jim, Chooch even Poly hit the ball when men are on base – not so far this year. What is missing?

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Their average with RISP is 9th, at .229. League average with RISP is .237.

      Last year their average with RISP was .269, 2nd in the NL ,and 16 points over their overall average of .253.

       
  • Posts: 1190 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    TERRIBLE MOVE by Charlie by letting Thome bat against a lefty with 1 out and a guy on 3rd. Thome is a boom or bust guy and against a lefty it’ll more likely be bust. You need someone who would put the ball in play to score that run. That was the ballgame right there… anyone could see that after 20 zeros were put up on the board. The minute he left Thome in you could tell a K was coming…

    You have Polanco and Mayberry on the bench… USE THEM. Waste Thome, whatever. It’s not like he’s hitting the ball well lately.

    Horrible move by Charlie… more likely than not, it cost us the game… and wasted a brilliant effort by Lee. 10 shutout innings and loss… smh.

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Let me speak (write) more precisely. Nix, Wigginton, Galvis have no business being starting players in the majors. I should have left out Ruiz. Ruiz, of course, is fine. Every night, you are gonna be running out a couple of players that shouldn’t be starting players in baseball. Now that may be OK when the rest of your lineup is filled with good players, but ours is not. When Pence, Vic, and Rollins are your three best offensive players – you have huge problems with your offense.

    The Dipsy

     
    • Posts: 1190 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      We had what… 4 hits.. 1 of them from Galvis. So yea, I don’t think he’s the reason our offense sucks right now. He saves runs (and lots of them) with his glove, which is just as good as creating runs with his bat.

       
    • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

      here’s a depressing stat. rollins out of the 3 hole is on a pace for about 30 + ? rbi. oh my god can you spell TROUBLE

       
    • Posts: 0 Don M

      and Dipsy, you do realize that the intended lineup has NONE of those three guys as “starting players in the majors” … they are bench players, filling-in for injured players.

      It’s two weeks into the season, we’re without our 3 and 4 hitters.. and everyone seems to ready to abondon ship !??

      Rollins was dead-on when he pegged this fan base as front runners a few years ago…. Do I think the Phillies are going to win the World Series this year? No…

      But if I was only interested in following a baseball team because of their number of championships, i’d sure as hell pick a different team than my hometown squad. I have faith that they’ll play hard and make the playoffs, and take their chances from there …it’s April 19th and people are acting like the season is over because we didn’t score runs of Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain

       
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Nicely put.

        The only thing I would say differently, and I realize we could debate this forever, is that if they make it to the playoffs, and especially if they win the division, they have as good a shot as anyone to win the WS (maybe even better with their front 3).

         
  • Posts: 1190 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    TERRIBLE MOVE by Charlie by letting Thome bat against a lefty with 1 out and a guy on 3rd. Oh and having Wigginton at 3rd cost us dearly too… a little FYI to the Polanco bashers.

     
  • Posts: 1190 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    Having Wigginton at 3rd cost us dearly too… a little FYI to the Polanco bashers.

     
    • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

      Scoring a grand total of zero runs in 11 innings cost them more.

       
      • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

        the smallest of small ball lol

         
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Front runners? Am I a “front runner” when I point out that our lineup is terrible. Don you are right that these guys are intended bench players but they have since morphed into “guys that are gonna be playing a lot all year” players. The Phils should have had more foresight on this Utley thing so they could have done something about it.

    I don’t think Utley is coming back. I don’t think Howard is going to make a meaningful contribution this year.

    “Front runner”. When I’m at the bar complaining that my wife can’t cook and the house is always dirty that doesn’t mean I don’t love my wife. I am disheartened by the state of the team and I don’t see anything changing soon. If I’m a front runner for feeling it and saying it, while I watch all the games and write all my posts, then so be it.

    The Dipsy

     
    • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

      That’s the standard retort around here Dipsy. If you don’t believe everything with the team is just fine and dandy, you’ll be accused of being a “front runner” or not being a “true fan”. You can make a totally accurate and logical statement, but if it somehow suggests all is not perfect in Phillie land you’ll be accused of not being a fan.

      For the record, I’ve been following the team since the early 70′s through good and bad. I go to games whether the team is in last place or first place and I’ll continue to do so. I’ve said all winter long that this offense would be a huge problem, so I must be a front runner also.

       
      • Posts: 0 Don M

        its also rather standard for fans to freak out and fail to realize that a team playing with “replacement level players” in their starting lineup ….is a team that’s going to struggle against Bumgarner, Cain, etc . . .

        The people bringing doom & gloom to the table right now …. have every right to be called out by the people saying to hang in there until Utley and Howard get back. Everyone is acting like the world is over and they’re ready to hand the NL East crown to someone else …….. it’s April 19th folks, lots of baseball left to be played, and WAY TOO EARLY to be complaning 24/7 like many people do on here

         
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Notice I did not say, “YOU, THE DIPSY, are a front runner” ……. it was meant to grab attention to the fact that there is something between THE PHILLIES ARE AMAZING (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) … and THE PHILLIES SUCK (the current fan-gauge readin in 2012) . .

    I agree that Nix, Wigginton, Galvis should not be starters . . . I’ve pointed out many times that I blame Chase Utley for not keeping the team and team doctors in the loop —Why hasn’t he been seeing “specialists” for two years now ? … But also, outside of having a second Starting-second basemen …. the lose of your intended starter is going to hurt. . .. Same goes with Howard – they had a lot more time to plan around that injury – and so they brought in multiple guys who could play that position (Thome, Nix, Wigginton,….plus Mayberry), and while you can’t replace Howard’s bat – the plan to attempt a platoon situation at 1b, with Mayberry/Wigginton and Nix/Thome … was a pretty good plan, I think.

    The biggest point I’m trying to make is that …. we all know that the Phillies lineup is terrible right now …..and people aren’t “front runners” for pointing that out, they are “front runners” for crying, complaining, and sulking about it … and instead of bashing the names on the back of the jerseys – just pull for the name on the front of it!

    I’m pretty sure, you, The Dispy, have been on this site at least as long as I have – which is going on like 6 years now ………clearly, i’m not peggin YOU as a front runner ………but the “new” Phillies fans … the ones that used to do the E-A-G-L-E-S chants, and don’t pay attention to the games when they’re in the stadium – are usually the ones that complain the loudest ……and I’m sick of it. Support your team Win or Lose – that’s what real fans do …..and a slow start makes them stick out like sore thumbs

     
  • Posts: 2979 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    When I saw the botched play by Wigginton I immediately thought of that thread the other day when we were debating Polanco and whether he needed a rest or whatever. Granted, Polly most likely would have made that play and the game would have advanced at least another inning. But putting Wigginton into the line up wasn’t the worst thing to do – Polanco is struggling and Charlie has to find some offense somewhere. Trouble is…..they ran into a VERY EFFECTIVE Matt Cain.

    The Thome move?? Ehhh….I get why Charlie left him in – he probably thought Thome had the best shot for a fly ball. I probably would have countered with Mayberry and left Pierre to bat against the lefty. But the move doesn’t really piss me off to the point where I want Charlie fired over it.

     
  • Posts: 5078 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    I am displeased by the offense, but not surprised by it. You just can’t remove 200 RBI and expect the same results. We’ve been down the road of the FO’s lack of information/action over the injuries too many times now. They f’d up, it’s spilt milk that can’t be put back into the carton. Now they have to try anything they can to win enough games to stay afloat in hopes the injuries resolve sooner then most think.

    But, I am very pleased to have seen some of the most amazing pitching performances ever by two pitchers last night, and really, throughout baseball this season. Last night Lee was as good as it gets, unfortunately so was Cain.

     
  • Posts: 2979 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    What really gripes me about front-runners is when you go to a game and people start leaving in the 7th inning if the Phillies are trailing by only a run or two. I just never go that at all.

    Look, we’ve got problems and, yeah, we might NOT win the division this year or even make the playoffs. But it IS way too early to throw in the towel. Anything can happen and we all just have to sit tight and hope that Howard and Utley can provide something at some point..

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    I think batting Thome was the right move. What was needed at that time was a long fly ball. Pierre can’t hit a fly ball far enough to score Ruiz. Even if he hit a single odds are Ruiz would not score because he has to wait to see if it is caught. So Pierre does not help in that situation.

    Mayberry would be a second choice. If he hits the ball he can get a long fly ball. BUT what do you think Bochy would have done? Don’t have to guess, cause he did it following Thome’s at bat. He brought in a RH pitche to face Mayberry. Or he simply could have walked him.

    So, your real choices are Thome vs a LH or Mayberry vs a RH. At this point I would go with Thome.

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    Everyone on planet earth knew Thome wasn’t hitting that Lopez slider… Charlie’s Thome-man-crush-gut-call was a terrible one. You pinch hit with the right hander and see if they go at Polly or JMJ. If they walk your pinch hitter, you’ve got two on base for Pierre, who has only struck out once this year. Cholly went with the sample size of Thome against Lopez (2 for 11 BUT he only struck out three times) rather than going with the much larger sample size of Pierre’s success against lefties (and Thome’s ineffectiveness against them).

    We had gargoyle statues at first and third last night… it’s amazing that something like that didn’t happen sooner (referring to Wigginton’s botched play in the 11th).

    Howard would have driven in a run last night and we would have won…

     
    • Posts: 2979 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      Uhhhh.. yeah….he would have driven in a run much like he did in the final game of the Division Series last year… when he swung 3-0 and made an out (when he should have taken the freaking pitch because we needed a baserunner).

       
  • Posts: 0 c schreiber

    Dipsy, I must agree with just about everything you’ve said here. The pitchers can”t do much better than they have and unfortunately with the non hitting we have we’re looking at 3rd or worse in the East. Schmenkman, you must be smoking wacky tobacky if you real think this team is better than the 2007 team. Even if or when Utley or Howard come back they still aren’t going to hit much better.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      The 2007 team won 89 games and scored 9% more runs than they allowed.

      The 2011 team won 102 and scored 35% more than they allowed.
      After Utley returned, they scored 40% more than they allowed

      Yes, I think the 2012 team will win at least 89 and have a better season than the 2007 team.

       
  • Posts: 0 c schreiber

    My guess is 75- 80 wins. You can’t win if you don’t score no matter how good your pitching is. I. e. two nights ago in SF.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I love how the examples are “two nights in SF”…… Without our #3 and #4 hitters… And going against two of the toughest pitchers in all of baseball in Bum and Cain.

    Aint nothing wrong with winning games 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, etc…. With great pitching and solid defense…… This isn’t the ’08 squad, but it doesn’t mean they can’t win……… If anything, these closer games magnify Charlie’s weaknesses in the Xs and Os

     
  • Posts: 0 c schreiber

    Don M, it isn’t just 2 nights in SF..How about our 2 losses to the pathetic Pirates. We’re only scoring more runs than the Pirates in ALL of baseball. What 3 & 4 hitters??? Rollins & Pence are our 3 & 4 hitters. Those guys named Utley & Howard aren’t here, not expected back until !/2 the season is lost and one or both may not be back at all. I don’t know about you but I’ve been a P’s fan since my dad took me to my first game in 1951. Traveled the world for 30 yrs in military and am now retired and this is the worst disappointment I’ve had over a P’s team. Watching their attempt at hitting, espicially with runners in scoring position is HORRID. The GM knew of Utley and Howard”s problem at the end of last season and there’s no excuse for not having better hitting replacements.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      I hate to say that “it’s early”, but you know what? It’s early.

      Most of the lineup are not hitting at the level we would expect given their recent history, and this year’s projections assuming some aging, etc. That may continue for some, but it would be extremely unusual for an entire team of hitters to suddenly go south all at once. I am convinced that they will hit better, even before Utley and Howard return. more here: http://www.thegoodphight.com/2012/4/19/2960845/phillies-stat-notes-better-offense-ahead

      And hitting with RISP fluctuates quite a bit. This is essentially the same team that was 2nd in the NL with a .269 average with runners in scoring position last year.

       
  • Posts: 0 c schreiber

    I agree its early but lets hope we’ll not be saying its early at the end of May. If we are it will be too late as that’s 1/3 of the season. Let’s go P’s.

     
  • Posts: 0 snowboard

    Hello my family member! I wish to say that this article is awesome, nice written and come with almost all important infos. I would like to peer extra posts like this .

     
 
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