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Chipper Ends Wild Game With Walk Off, Phils Lose 15-13

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, May 02, 2012 11:15 PM | Comments: 14
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Carlos Ruiz set the Phillies record for RBI in a game by a catcher with 7. Photo (AP)

The Phillies struck early and often, scoring 4 off of Tommy Hanson and 2 off of Cristhian Martinez, and looked to have a comfortable 6-0 cushion headed into the bottom of the 5th. But Doc Halladay could not hold off a series of dinks and dunks until he was done in on a breaking ball gone bad to let the Braves tie the game on a 2-out Brian McCann grand slam. Jason Heyward’s 1-out, 2-run 6th inning single put the Braves ahead 8-6 and chased Halladay out of the game.

Fans and beat-writers, myself included, joked throughout the night that they could turn their televisions off. Six runs would surely be enough for Halladay who had been a perfect 107-0 when given a lead of 4 runs or more. But a sweaty and exhausted Doc exited the field after surrendering 8 runs and 12 hits for the first time since August 24, 2009 against the Rays and 8 earned for the first time since May 5, 2007 against the Rangers. With runs at a premium this season, the Phillies looked like they were in line for an epic meltdown as they approached the Braves vaunted bullpen.

But then Ty Wigginton drew his second walk in the 7th. And John Mayberry Jr. hit a flare into right. Carlos Ruiz capitalized on an Eric O’Flaherty mistake and drilled a three run home run into the left field stands to make it 9-8. The Phils would add three more on a bases-loaded Chooch double in the 8th. It looked like the Phillies had the game in hand. But it was just one of many false finishes in a game that had hits and runs a plenty.

Shane Victorino beat out an infield single in the top of the 9th with two outs to score Juan Pierre, who lead of the 9th with a pinch hit walk and timely steal of second to hand Craig Kimbrell his first blown save of the year and tie the game up at 13. Brian Sanches made his return to the Phillies in the 9th after being called up yesterday to replace David Herndon and finished a shaky 9th by retiring Michael Bourn on a shallow fly to center. Chipper Jones would hit a 2-run HR in the 11th off of Sanches to end the game and wrap-up a 15-13 Braves win.

Bullpen Meltdowns

Doc wasn’t the only pitcher to have a bad day. Joe Savery and Antonio Bastardo worked a solid 1.2 innings before Jose Contreras and Michael Schwimer combined to allow 5 runs, 3 earned, to let the Braves claw back into the lead. Schwimer’s 1 out bases loaded walk of Michael Bourn almost proved to be the difference as Bourn scored on a Freddie Freeman sac-fly to give the Braves a 13-12 lead. The Phils ‘pen only allowed 3 ER on that run, 5 ER including the Jones HR; on the other end, O’Flaherty and his Brave bullpen cohorts allowed 9 ER. According to Jayson Stark, this was the first time any combination of Venters, O’Flaherty, and Kimbrell recorded two blown saves in a game.

Questionable Bullpen Management

The Braves sent two relievers, Johnny Venters and Kimbrel, to the All-Star Game last season and had a good case to send a third, O’Flaherty. While Venters has dominated batters of both handedness, O’Flaherty entered the game with .272/.362/.370 life time split against righties, obtaining most of his success against lefties (.210/.271/.291). With Kris Medlen and Chad Durbin, both righties, available, it is very questionable to have O’Flaherty come to the plate against two hitters who have much better success against lefties (Wigginton and Mayberry). Oddly, the third batter O’Flaherty, has almost an even split (.267 against righties, .265 against lefties), so O’Flaherty against Chooch should have been the right call, but Chooch made him pay.

Meanwhile, the Phillies left both Contreras and Schwimer in just a little too long and used Sanches for 2+ IP while Jonathan Papelbon was unavailable. Yikes.

And a bright spot:

Chooch Has a Big Day

To say Ruiz had a big day would be an understatement. Chooch went 3-5, including a HR and a 2B, and racked up 7 RBIs. He single-handedly kept the Phils in this game. According to Todd Zolecki, since RBIs became a stat, Chooch is the first Phillies catcher to get 7 in a game.

Finally…

What a Wild Game Looks Like From a Probability Standpoint

Source: FanGraphs

Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

About Ian Riccaboni

Ian Riccaboni has written 812 articles on Phillies Nation.

Ian's athletic achievements include getting stuffed by NBA center Aaron Gray in high school and hitting .179 over four years for NYU against D-III, NAIA, JuCo, and NCBA schools. Ian hopes his athletic successes will help him achieve his dream of becoming the underground Bob Uecker.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    We have a bullsh!t pen — with the exception of Papelbon. Really stinky

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Bad spot to put Schwimer in the bullpen really failed us. A offensive explosion not likely to be seen for a while. You know tomorrow the Phils wont probably be able to score a run.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Pap in the eighth when we had a two run lead. That’s the save.

     
  • Posts: 5220 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Chipper Jones 47th home run v the Phillies. He’s the #1 Phillie killer, I don’t care what anyone says.

     
  • Posts: 0 Dave P

    A loss is a loss, but I would much rather a loss where my team shows me they can swing a bat than one where they look lost at the plate.

    Doc had a bad game (did we get a Doc imposter after the 4th inning?), chalk it up to the nature baseball.

     
  • Posts: 0 DavidE

    Needed another inning out of Bastardo today. He had only pitched to 3 batters.

     
    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      Actually probably could have let Savery bat in the top of the 7th instead of PHing with Kratz, and give him another inning since he only threw six pitches.

      They’ve been trying to limit Bastardo a bit, and his inning tonight made it three straight games for him.

      It’s all moot anyway because if you bring Papelbon in instead of Schwimer in the 8th with 1 out and the bases loaded and the 3-run lead you most likely don’t have to worry about any of this.

       
  • Posts: 541 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    Looking at Halladay and seeing him sweat profusely and red-faced when his pitch count was low gave me an uneasy feeling. I remember the same look against the Chicago Cubs when he was hit hard and chased out of the game by a bombardment of hits and runs.Tonight, He just didn’t look comfortable out there in the Atlanta’s heat and humidity. Just have to call his performance an off night. No one said he was invincible, right? :-)

    If there are any positives to look at, it has to be the offense coming alive and extended the wild game into extra innings. It was the Braves’ good fortune to have Chipper Jones (a Phillies and Mets killer) to have the last at bat and the last laugh on the Phillies. A future Hall of Famer, indeed.

     
    • Posts: 0 JMills

      I was thinking the same thing about Haladay. They said it was the hottest weather they had played in yet. It seems Roy needs time to adjust, hope that is all.

       
    • Posts: 0 Don M

      I was almost relieved to hear that Halladay’s issues was a “personal reason” . . . . I know that sounds terrible, but looking at him (not even his pitches, but his facial expressions) … he looked like something was bothering him

      when he gave up the Slam to McCann- I was thinking to myself – I wonder if he’s hurt/dead arm, and just doing the macho thing of not telling anyone/tryng to work through it . .

      Hopefully he gets everything taken care of in his personal life …because he was obviously not in his usual state of mind last night … I was getting ready to start some “trade Halladay for Matt Kemp … and Kyle Kendrick -for- Ian Kinsler” posts last night

       
  • Posts: 992 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    The bull pen was pretty bad, but you had guys not yet ready for prime time in situations they are not meant to be in, the loss of Lee in the roatation taking out the one real long man in KK hurts. Bastardo threw strikes, and pitches better when he is used more and think he could have gone another inning and not pitched today. No Qualls to be seen has he pitched too much latly. Also the Error by Jimmy was a key point in the inning Contreas pitched. He would have been out of the inning even if Jimmy just got one out there.
    And I have agree Doc did not look comfortable, but he needs to get that win with a six run lead, I say the one thing that may be a positive is the he is going to pissed for his next start and if I remember correctly after that start in CHI last year he went on a tear.and granted they were not screaming line drives but JMJ has two PH in his last two attempts

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    I guess Doc is good for one of these “overheat” games per year… I remember watching the Cubs game thinking, “WTF is going on!?!” Same feeling last night…

    I don’t take a whole lot away from last night’s loss. You give Doc a 6-0 lead, you expect to win. With Qualls unavailable and because Charlie plays the late innings by the book (meaning, he’s unwilling to use Pap in a non-save situation, even if that non-save situation is higher leverage than the 9th), we had to trot out guys that you can’t really count on. They aren’t ready to unleash Bastardo (he probably could have went two innings last night if they felt comfortable with his progress) and Contreras is still working his way back (he was dialing up 94 last night) so they had to go with Sanches or use one of their upcoming starters. If Jimmy doesn’t botch the double play in the 8th, the Phillies win. But it shouldn’t have even gotten to that point – Halladay and a 6 run lead should be a win. The good thing is that everyone hit the ball well last night (every starter had a hit; even Mayberry came in a got a hit and drew a walk) – that’s two games in a row with double digit hits.

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    Halladay leaves team to attend a family matter after the game…

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    I’m not saying it’s the root cause of last night’s pooper but he could have been distracted by something.

     
 
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