Phils: Phightin' or Phlailin'?
Wow. Hope most of you are just logging on. When I originally filed this late-night entry, I screwed up the times teams had been down 0-2 in a five-game series and came back. Because this isn't the $.35 edition, I'll erase all memory of that, and just give you the instances that it's happened:
* 1981, Dodgers over Astros
* 1982, Brewers come back to beat Angels
* 1984, Padres stun Cubs
* 1995, Mariners over Yankees (in that weird two-in-one-city, three-in-another format (if I remember correctly))
* 1999, Red Sox over Indians (and Charlie Manuel was a coach for the Tribe)
* 2001, Yankees over Athletics
* 2003, Red Sox over Athletics
So the Cubs and Phillies have hope this morning. Kind of.
And, for the second straight day, we have a controversy about when to remove a pitcher.
Wednesday, as Sheinin wrote about here, we had Lou Piniella's decision to yank Zambrano in favor of Marmol in the Cubs' 3-1 loss to the Diamondbacks. Sheinin defended it, and I think that makes sense. I saw Marmol a few times over the last couple years, and he looks pretty sick.
But as soon as Charlie Manuel walked out of the dugout to get Kyle Kendrick in the fourth inning of what became a 10-5 Phillies loss, I turned to whoever was near me -- happened to be ESPN's Jayson Stark -- and said, basically, "Huh?"
The difference? Piniella was turning to Marmol, one of the better late-inning relievers in the NL this year. Manuel was turning to -- Kyle Lohse. Nothing against Lohse, who might have gotten the job done against Kaz Matsui. (He didn't.) But even then, the Phillies' bullpen is a suspect lot, and even if Lohse had gone three innings -- which would have required him hitting at least once. The fact that Jose Mesa had to enter this game says much about the Phillies' pitching staff.
You weighed in on whether or not Piniella should have pulled Zambrano? What about Manuel with Kendrick -- who had given up more than four runs in just one of 20 starts (and even then, it was five)?
I'm off to Cleveland in the morning, replacing Sheinin, who will fly back to Boston. We'll both have Game 2 coverage on Friday. Because of travel, it's possible you won't get any posts till later in the day.
Oh, one more note, Nats-style: I have confirmed that both Scott Little, the manager of Class AA Harrisburg, and Tommy Herr, the manager at low-Class A Hagerstown, are leaving the organization. I'll try to get more details about that in the next few days. I need to do a Nats notebook at some point soon, and that'll be part of it.
Have a good Friday.
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