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Let's Simulate These Three Innings

Remember RBI Baseball? They had a game mode where you could enter a contest at any point and create your own scenario. Say you wanted to be down three, load the bases and have Ryne Sandberg at the plate. Done.

Suddenly, that moment has come for real baseball.

I’m entering a game at the bottom of the sixth inning. The Phillies and Rays are tied 2-2. The Rays will have Grant Balfour on the hill, while the Phils will send up Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth.

I have 3.5 innings to score more than the Rays.

My question to you is: how do I do it?

Who do you want pinch hitting? Who do you want pitching in the seventh? Do you want to expand Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge over three innings? Do you want to play matchups? Do you want to use Joe Blanton for an out or two? Anything goes.

By the way, if I win, I win the World Series.

So how do I do it? How can the Phillies come through with 3=W?

69 Comments

69 Comments

  1. Dennis

    October 29, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Score a run and get 9 outs…. As simple as that and WE WIN! WE WIN! WE WIN!

  2. Phil

    October 29, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Bottom of the 6th: I’d lead off the inning with Jenkins pinch hitting for Hamels. Maddon will then bring in a lefty, probably not Price. Pinch hit So Taguchi for Jenkins.

    Top of the 7th: I’d have Eyre and Durbin warming up in the pen and I’d have Condrey start off the inning. It is their 7-8-9 hole hitters coming up. They haven’t seen Condrey yet so they don’t know what he has exactly. Condrey also has been coming up huge in big situations. If they pinch hit a left handed hitter for the pitcher like Aybar or something then bring in Eyre. He’ll be ready to go against the 1-2 hitters as well who are left handed.

    Top of the 8th: Assuming the Phillies don’t get to the pitchers spot leave Eyre in to face the 2 lefties. Have Madson ready to go when you get to Upton.

    Top of the 9th: Hopefully the bullpen held up their end of the bargain and the Phillies offense scored a run or 2. Lidge can come out and do what he does best.

    Game over, Phillies are World Series champions.

  3. RK

    October 29, 2008 at 10:24 am

    I would say keep Hamels listed as the batter then once the pitcher warms up substitute Jenkins for Hamels, and dont get caught up in the game Maddon may play by bringing in a lefty, if Jenkins is leading off, just leave him in.

    Pitch Eyre for the 7th, and use others if needed. Madson 8, Lidge 9.

    Not like my scenario took any thinking but there you go.

  4. Brian

    October 29, 2008 at 10:29 am

    If you announce Dobbs to lead off he’s going to bring in Price, then do you bat Taguchi or Bruntlett there. I might have Bruntlett against Price.

    As far as pitching goes I think Durbin/Roemro in 7th, Madson in 8th, Lidge in 9th

    1 run 9 outs and a World Championship!!!!!

  5. Chuck

    October 29, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Why burn Jenkins…..like RK says, leave him in if there is a lefty…….OR…….just start off with Taguchi as the pinch hitter and keep Jenkins if needed. Something tells me Taguchi does something tonight…..just a hunch.

  6. Manny

    October 29, 2008 at 10:34 am

    “dont get caught up in the game Maddon may play by bringing in a lefty, if Jenkins is leading off, just leave him in.”

    I agree with that. We’ll need Bruntlett for innings 8, 9 (and maybe extra innings) defensively so we shouldn’t send him in to replace Jenkins, who would be pinch-hitting for Hamels. Coste, no way…he’s the backup catcher and it’d be too “early” in the game. The only other option is So Taguchi… and I think Jenkins could do better than Taguchi in this specific situation, even against a LHP. It would also be good to save a player [Taguchi] and not just waste Jenkin’s AB in case this thing goes to 13, 14 innings… unlikely, but who knows?

  7. Ben

    October 29, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Burning Jenkins is probably the best move. You don’t want to burn any other lefties on the bench and Jenkins is horrible against lefty’s. Then I’d bring in Taguchi. It just seems like the most logical choice.

  8. CHRIS

    October 29, 2008 at 10:39 am

    IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO WE TAKE UP TO THE PLATE FIRST TODAY.

    JOE MADDEN IS GOING TO TAKE GRANT B. OUT OF THE GAME AND BRING IN A LEFTY OUT OF THE PEN EVEN BEOFRE 1 PITCH IS THROWN.

    THAT GIVES FOX MORE COMMERCIAL TIME ON TV TOO.

    PHILS DONT’ HAVE THE ADVANTAGE ON THIS CHESS MATCH.

    I WILL BE THERE AND I HOPE THE PHILS DIG IN THEIR ASSES. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE WIN!!! MAKE MY DAY THE HAPPIEST DAY OF MY LIFE.

  9. Brian

    October 29, 2008 at 10:40 am

    The way Maddon’s been talking I think he tries to get at least 2 innings from Price

  10. Dave

    October 29, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Leadoff? You send out Hamels until their pitcher starts warming up and then you send out Taguchi. Why Taguchi? Because he can draw a walk. Taguchi goes up there to draw a walk.

    J-Roll does what he does, moves the runners so we have runner on 2nd w/ 1 out or 1st & 2nd with no outs.

    Let Werth swing away. Go through the inning and somehow scrap together a run.

    The offense will come through somehow.

    Top 7 – Some varient of the Durbin/Eyre/Coundrey mix. Possibly with Eyre facing the pinch hitter for the 9 spot.

    Rest of the game: 8 is Madson and Romero. 9 is Lidge.

  11. NJ (Phuck Bud Selig!)

    October 29, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Good idea forcing Howell or Price into the game to face 3 righties by putting Jenkins at the plate to start the game. If Balfour were to be left in the Phils have the match-up and if Maddon goes to one of his lefties then Taguchi was likely to lead-off anyway and we still have Stairs and Dobbs available with 3 righties against their lefties as it’s unlikely Maddon will use his best for just a couple of batters.

    We have play to win in 3 considering the Rays are already a little depleted and we know Price is coming in so lets force him in and beat him, he may be a prodigy but he’s not there yet.

  12. Paul

    October 29, 2008 at 10:48 am

    I like the idea of ph with Taguchi to start the game. However, I hope he takes the first pitch!

  13. NJ (Phuck Bud Selig!)

    October 29, 2008 at 10:51 am

    I would expect Charlie to be aggressive and force Navarro to hit from the right side by starting with Eyre and then bring Durbin in for the next two right handed outs with Romero warming up in case the Rays get on and go to a RH pinch hitter.

  14. Jeffrey

    October 29, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Everybody hits! Woo hoo!

  15. Chuck

    October 29, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Exactly Dave and Paul……just leadoff w/Taguchi. Why burn Jenkins now? We may need him later and we still have Bruntlett and Coste as righty PH’s for later as well as well as Stairs as a lefty. While we need to go for the W right away, we also need to be aware that this thing could go extras.

  16. Bob

    October 29, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Remember the Rays have 6-7-8 coming up also, so I can not foresee them using David Price, barring a double switch. I also agree that you have Hamels waiting to hit as long as possible, id even consider letting him swing the stick. Maybe Manuel pulls the shocker of a lifetime and allows Hamels to pitch the 7th, you never know.
    But most likely we are looking at:

    7th-Durbin/Romero/possibly Eyre
    8th-Madson
    9th-Lidge

  17. Bonezy

    October 29, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Did we forget about 1 Pitch one Swing Matt Stairs or is he not with the team for the series?

  18. Mike T.

    October 29, 2008 at 11:04 am

    you hope you can win game 7 because the momentum has shifted.

  19. Mike T.

    October 29, 2008 at 11:07 am

    but honestly…

    i think price is going to pitch bottom 6 and bottom 7. you let bruntlett lead off tonight, if he gets on, you DO NOT pinch run taguchi, leave bruntlett in for “defensive purposes”. you still have 3 lefties off the bench, use them when the match up is right, in this order: dobbs, stairs, jenkins.

    even if the phillies do not score, you go with this pitching combo.

    7: Durbin/Eyre
    8: Madson/Romero
    9: Lidge

    it’s kinda simple actually. whether it’s 2-2 or 25-2, you stick with what worked all series.

  20. Chuck

    October 29, 2008 at 11:08 am

    I think you need Stairs for later in the game. I still say just leadoff w’/Taguchi

  21. NJ (Phuck Bud Selig!)

    October 29, 2008 at 11:08 am

    The thing is knowing Maddon he’ll warm Balfour up and will sure as hell use him unless he’s forced into a match-up he doesn’t like and that’ll probably talk burning a bench bat and better Jenkins than Dobbs or Stairs right now.

    Forcing Balfour out the game will probably be more important than the 1 bench bat in the game. We know Price and Howell will be in the game and would rather see the Phils face those guys off the bat than have to contend with Balfour who’s probably the best pitcher out of that lot right now.

  22. Phil

    October 29, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Oh look, Mike T. is back to talk about how the Phillies aren’t a good team.

    Bonezy we’re not talking about Stairs because we want to burn our worst lefty 1st. We don’t want to burn Stairs in the bottom of the 6th when there’s still 3 more innings of baseball to play.

  23. Griffin

    October 29, 2008 at 11:09 am

    The Rays will NOT pitch David Price in the 6th. The pitcher’s spot is up 4th for Tampa and they will not double switch any of the top 5 hitters in their lineup (Longoria made the last out), so Maddon will go with Balfour and either Howell or Trevor Miller in the 6th inning and pinch hit for them in the top of the 7th. Price will come in for the bottom of the 7th.

  24. NJ (Phuck Bud Selig!)

    October 29, 2008 at 11:10 am

    ^Remember if we lead-off with Taguchi, It’s Balfour for the bottom half of the 6th guaranteed.

  25. Mike T.

    October 29, 2008 at 11:11 am

    using balfour would be almost as laughable as us leading tonight off with SO TAGUCHI. neither of those will happen. you’ll see price vs. bruntlett to start the game tonight.

    and phil, i finally solved some communication error between my ip address and this website. i finally had everything reset, so i’m back.

  26. Chuck

    October 29, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Fair point NJ……I just hate the idea of burning a player to start off, especially if this thing goes extras……which is very possible. Plus….we can hit Balfour.

  27. NJ (Phuck Bud Selig!)

    October 29, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Yeah your probaby on the money Griffin which is why it’s essential to get Balfour out of the game before he’s even thrown or get the match-up we like with a lefty if he’s left in. As I said I’d rather Maddon throw his best out and burn Howell or a couple of bit pieces before Price.

  28. Greg

    October 29, 2008 at 11:14 am

    this is IT! believe

  29. Gavin

    October 29, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Who do we go to if it goes to extras? Lets say Eyre, Durbin, Madson, Romero, and Lidge have been burned.

    Happ? Condrey? Myers?

  30. Chuck

    October 29, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Bruntlett is not in the game this early Mike T. You need to get Burrell at least one AB

  31. Chutley

    October 29, 2008 at 11:16 am

    I dont think they’ll bring in Price if we bring in Jenkins cause Werth crushes left handed pitching they’ll wait til Utley comes up

  32. Chuck

    October 29, 2008 at 11:16 am

    All of those Gavin

  33. NJ (Phuck Bud Selig!)

    October 29, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Mike if we put Bruntlett in the batters box then Maddon will pitch a rested Balfour confident he can beat Bruntlett, Jimmy and Werth.

    We have to play to make those final 4 hitting innings count, and burning a guy to get the match-ups what we might very well need to do to tilt things back in our favour.

  34. NJ (Phuck Bud Selig!)

    October 29, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Maddon will bring in Howell or go with Miller and then Probably Bradford if we announce a lefty.

  35. Gavin

    October 29, 2008 at 11:19 am

    In which order? I guess I’d let Condrey go first, but how long do you go with him? two innings?

  36. Paul

    October 29, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Griffin,

    I agree, and don’t think Price starts the 6th, but I could see him coming in later in the inning if the Phils get a rally going.

  37. NJ (Phuck Bud Selig!)

    October 29, 2008 at 11:23 am

    The double switch with Price after the 6th move makes a hell of a lot of sense, would be preferable to make Maddon burn his best or a couple of match-up guys and leave him with just Wheeler at the back.

  38. NJ (Phuck Bud Selig!)

    October 29, 2008 at 11:23 am

    ^best being Howell.

  39. Dave

    October 29, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Since the Phils have this awful penchant for the dramatic, it will be:

    Bottom 6
    Bases Loaded.
    Two Outs.
    Pat Burrell at the plate.

    And that Price kid hangs a fastball….

  40. Mike T.

    October 29, 2008 at 11:24 am

    anyone think the suspension makes tonight less dramatic?

  41. Chuck

    October 29, 2008 at 11:25 am

    I would think Condrey would come in first if it went extras and pitch for at least 2 innings….unless he’s completely ineffective. I think Myers is only a last resort. He may be a good closer if we have the lead in the 13th inning. Let’s just hope it doesn’t get to this point and we win this in regulation. I don’t think my nerves can take any more heavy drama.

  42. Manny

    October 29, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Nothing would knock the Rays off their feet more than Hamels going out there to pinch-hit. Just imagine… they are totally convinced that Hamels will not pitch tonight… and then BOOM: surprised by Cholly and Hamels! Hamels pitches the rest of the game, earning the win after 9 innings!

    Ok, time to return from dreamland…

    No, but seriously, how great would THAT be!!

  43. Brian

    October 29, 2008 at 11:27 am

    A little bit less dramatic I think Mike T

  44. Chuck

    October 29, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Manny……get real. Just kidding, dude. it would be cool……but it won’t happen.

  45. Brian Michael

    October 29, 2008 at 11:27 am

    I don’t think the Rays had a team in RBI baseball, hence they should just forfeit.

  46. U Gotta Believe

    October 29, 2008 at 11:28 am

    I know like every Philly Phan, we want to get a run (better yet multiple runs) in the bottom of sixth and hand it over to Lidge to slam the door shut. That would be great for our hearts that have suffered relentlessly since joe carter…But how great of a feeling would it be to hear Harry Kalas in the bottom of the 9th say, “Here’s the 1-2 pitch….a swing and a long drive deep to leftfield, Crawford goes back, looks up..it’s outttta here, homerun Pat Burrell. The Phillies are World Series Champs! What an ending to a great year…..and no one better than Pat the Bat to do it!

  47. Brian

    October 29, 2008 at 11:28 am

    We get a run in the bottom of the 6th and Hamels is the winning pitcher.

    We will win this game tonight I have never been so confident that I have no control over in my entire life.

  48. NJ (Phuck Bud Selig!)

    October 29, 2008 at 11:28 am

    The Rays must be so damn over the moon they prett ymuch avoided Hamels. PArt of me hope tonights a rain out so that if this series does go 7 Hamels is on full rest for game 7.

  49. Chuck

    October 29, 2008 at 11:31 am

    NJ……what are you smokin’? This thing needs to end TONIGHT!!

  50. Brian

    October 29, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Yeah no more f ing around we end this TONIGHT

  51. NJ (Phuck Bud Selig!)

    October 29, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Smoking nothing Chuck, I’m pumped for this to end tonight but have to say the constant Rays talk from the baseball pundits has worn me down a little.

    What I meant is if were going to get screwed by the weather then I hope to god that somehow we get a little bit of justice in a rested Cole if things really do go against us.

  52. Chuck

    October 29, 2008 at 11:40 am

    I hear you NJ….that would be the silver lining. I have stopped listening those those so-called experts. Only this site, Comcast w/Mitch Williams & Co, WIP (although Eskin is a jerk). I can’t take the national media with this thing anymore. They are clueless.

  53. Tim Malcolm

    October 29, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Actually Bri, the Phils weren’t in the original RBI either. So, eh, uh …

  54. Griffin

    October 29, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Paul, I agree that Price would come in to face Howard or something if the Phils get a rally going in the 6th. They would just let him hit for himself in the top of hte 7th then.

    I honestly believe we’ll see Balfour face the pinch hitter, Rollins, Werth and then they’ll bring in Howell to face Utley if the inning gets that far.

  55. NJ (Ya Gotta Believe!)

    October 29, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Wonder if there’s going to be a 7th inning stretch…

  56. Bill H.

    October 29, 2008 at 11:43 am

    I wouldn’t burn Jenkins. I think we should send up Dobbs to start. Period. Force Maddon to use Price from jump street (6th inning) and let Dobbs stay in to face Price.

    Price pitched well against the Red Sox, but remember that was at HOME. This kid is a rookie and although I’m sure he’ll be ready and willing, but he’s going to have more pressure on him in this spot – with our screaming fans – than the Phils will.

    Dobbs has been the league’s BEST pinch hitter in 2008 and I’m sure he’ll be ready and eager to produce – especially since he hasn’t done anything this series.

    I know it would be ideal to “save” Dobbs for a situation where you need a key hit to produce a run. But I think you send up your BEST pinch hitter to start the 6th no matter who Maddon brings in to face him. Also, we’re not guarranteed to have the situation where we can bring in Dobbs to pinch hit with the tying, winning or go-ahead run in scoring position, against a right hander no matter what. That’s a pipe dream.

    You have to remember, if we score in the 6th then we are in fat city. And it makes perfect sense to use your BEST hitter on the bench – no matter who the opposing pitcher is – to increase our chances of scoring first, especially with Rollins, Werth and Utley behind him.

    Besides, we’ve shown that Price is not unhittable; and the pressure will be on him. Personally, I like my chances with Dobbs batting against anybody in their pen, versus Taguchi/Bruntlett against Howell, Miller or Price.

    The old saying is….Dance with the one that brung ya. Dobbs has 22 pinch hits this year. I bet he’s been studying film these last 2 days in preparation of facing any of their 3 lefthanders.

    Let Dobbs get on, Let Jimmy move him over (or drive him in), and let the middle of our batting order pile on.

    Use the best (Dobbs) to start the 6th. IMHO, it’s the best opportunity to get something started. The key to the rest of this game is scoring first.

  57. NJ (Ya Gotta Believe!)

    October 29, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Would love that to be true but Maddon’s going to Howell before Price in that inning if he’s forced to bring in the lefty.

  58. Griffin

    October 29, 2008 at 11:52 am

    i agree, Howell and Balfour will handle the 6th. Price will start the 7th (after their pitching spot gets pinch hit for) and then Price can pitch multiple innings.

  59. Mazinman

    October 29, 2008 at 11:53 am

    A walk off home run would certain make things right in the world. I might even be able to hear the name of that certain Blue Jays player again without twitching nervously if that happens.

    Starting off with Jenkins is the smart, clear move at the moment. I think the key to the game is if we can cause enough problems in the 6th to force the Rays into bringing in Price. Even if we don’t score I consider it a victory if we force them to bring him in. Then they either need to sacrifice some offence to keep him around or burn him out quickly.

    Pitching wise, why not throw Myers out there? Moyer seems to be back on track so he can handle a possible game 6 and Hamels can do a possible game 7. With the crowd going crazy behind him I think Myers shuts them down until its Lidge time.

    I do agree with the others that I feel something special coming from Burrell tonight. Everything is scripted perfectably for him to hit the game winner. Struggle all world series, possible last game in Philly, one home run swing makes him immortal.

  60. Bill H.

    October 29, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    You guys are right, Maddon will probably hold Price back until the 7th, especially since they will have to go to a pinch hitter in the 7th with the 7th, 8th and pitcher’s slot due to bat.

    But let’s remember, Maddon cannot afford to fall behind, There’s no tomorrow for them. He may have no choice but to start the 6th with Price. Remember, he’s also been a starting pitcher most of his baseball life.

    This is a pretty neat chess match though.

  61. Bill H.

    October 29, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    One more point….Grant Balfour has been the Rays’ best relief pitcher this post season, and the most experienced too. Maddon may just leave him in to start the 6th – no matter who pinch hits – until Utley bats.

  62. Douggie Fresh

    October 29, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    don’t forget that Balfour has to start tonight or they lose him. Perhaps hit leadoff with stairs as Balfour is a fastball pitcher. Maddon my bring in Howell who then will be gone due to PH in top of 7th. Would be nice a burn a left reliever early

  63. Evrybuddy Hits woohoo

    October 29, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Jenkins up, Balfour will be replaced by a lefty. Let’s hope it is Price because he is not nearly as good as Howell. Bruntlett, Ruiz and Werth, from what I recall, crushed him in Tampa. I like pinch hitting with Bruntlett against the lefty. It is a risk that if it is a 1-2-3 inning, we need to put Bruntlett in left and the pitcher in the 5 hole the next inning. But consider how many 1-2-3 innings there has been in this series against the Phils. Also consider that the Phils pitcher in the top of the 7th will not pitch more than one inning so we can pinch hit the 5 hols the next inning.

  64. Phils2611

    October 29, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    I think the suspension initially got us all very disappointed, and for good reason. I’d say even now, we’re all still feeling that the win won’t be as sweet if we take it tonight.

    Think of it this way though. The game is starting in the 6th — Although it’ll feel like a brand new game starting. Phillies like to score early, and we get a PH to start off the game. The fans have 3 innings to make it all count. I’d expect the place to be crazier than usual.

    I’m excited to see what tonight brings. And as the time gets closer, I’m just as excited as I was Monday night.

  65. Chuck

    October 29, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    What kind of website is THAT, Super??

    And why are you advertising on this blog?

  66. Tim Malcolm

    October 29, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    I took that down. People shouldn’t be advertising here.

  67. Durbinator

    October 29, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Taguchi can’t even bunt, how the hell is he going to draw a walk?

  68. Bonezy

    October 29, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    Phil, I was actually thinking that if we put Stairs in early and he can hit that bomb that we are waiting for, we WILL hold them down with the lead for the last innings. But I can also see your point.

  69. Baseball Fan

    October 30, 2008 at 6:01 am

    RBI baseball, Techmo baseball, is it just me or were they 50 Nintendo Baseball games that looked the same and must have used the same code.

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