Questionable Decisions Have Phils Facing Elimination – Phillies Nation
2010 Gameday

Questionable Decisions Have Phils Facing Elimination

Devastating. Excruciating. Mind-blowing. Baffling.

Those are just some of the words that come to mind after the Giants put a stranglehold on the 2010 National League Championship.

With the swing of the bat, Juan Uribe’s sacrifice fly put the Phillies back against the wall, giving San Francisco a 6-5 win in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Let the second guessing of Charlie Manuel begin. Joe Blanton was pulled from Wednesday’s night game after going 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and throwing just 63 pitches. While Blanton didn’t have his best stuff, he did what he normally does: kept the Phillies in the game. However, Manuel’s decision to pull the rotund righty opened Pandora’s Box.

If the leash was so short on Blanton, then why not just pitch Roy Halladay on short rest? A decision that became even more perplexing when it was Roy Oswalt who came out of the bullpen to pitch the bottom of the ninth. While many will answer that it won’t affect his potential Game Six start, what would have happened if Oswalt would have gotten out of the inning? How many innings could he have gone? I guess we’ll never know.

The Halladay/Oswalt/Blanton decision wasn’t the only head-scratcher. Some had big influences on the game, others not so much…but some food for thought:

-Why was it Domonic Brown who was called on to pinch hit in the fifth inning? Brown faced one pitch and ended the inning on a soft ground ball. With a lack of speed on the bench, Brown was really put on this lineup for pinch running opportunities.  Brown faced one pitch and ended the inning on a soft ground ball. Twice now, he was used as the first bat off the bench.

-When Chad Durbin obviously didn’t have it tonight, why was he not pulled when facing Sandoval with men on 2nd and 3rd and no outs? Sandoval couldn’t hit lefties all season and Antonio Bastardo was warming. First base was even open…a two-RBI double later and the Phillies found themselves down 5-4.

-Why was Bastardo left in the game to face Buster Posey who killed the Phillies all game long when Ryan Madson came in one batter later? Wouldn’t you rather have one of the most dominating RH relievers in baseball face the rookie? Didn’t come back to burn you, but still makes you think.

-After Jayson Werth doubled home Ryan Howard, the Phillies once again failed to move a runner from second base with no outs. Bunting isn’t exactly my favorite move in baseball, but the way the Phillies lineup has been going it’s tough to argue with the fact that it might have given the Phils their best chance to retake the lead. Once again, probably wouldn’t have changed anything as Romo blew away Francisco and Ruiz on back-to-back at bats to end the inning.

For the past few years, fans have had a “Charlie Can Do No Wrong” mantra. The questionable decisions aren’t new, but they haven’t stuck out in the past like they are now. In a city where the fans second-guess every move the chubby red-headed coach across the street makes on Sundays, it makes you wonder just how long until the fan base really starts to question the moves of Manuel.

After all that, the Phillies now lean on their ace, Halladay to bring the series back to Philadelphia. Opposing Doc is Tim Lincecum. Nobody said this series was going to be easy, but coming back from 3-1 has been done before. Let’s hope it happens again.



  1. Nunzio Scholeri

    October 21, 2010 at 12:39 am

    Chad Durbin absolutely deserves the Jeltz for this atrocity.

  2. Andrew from waldorf

    October 21, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Manuel gets the jeltz for overall handing of the pitching staff

    I am using handling loosely here

  3. Andrew from waldorf

    October 21, 2010 at 12:44 am

    It was andy reid like in the incompeteance

    i am the old mans #1 fan here too

    after durbin walks burrell to lead off inning he doesnt have it

    and takes out joe there. not one time all year would he do that why now?

  4. Brian Michael

    October 21, 2010 at 12:46 am

    There were a lot of Jeltzie contenders tonight. It could have went to anyone.

  5. jt

    October 21, 2010 at 12:48 am

    really j-roll for jeltz?should be durbin or cholly.

  6. Andrew from waldorf

    October 21, 2010 at 12:48 am

    Im devastated

    I thought they were going to win the WS this year
    I did in 08 and didnt in 09
    i did this year.
    I really wanted it for big roy

  7. Andrew from waldorf

    October 21, 2010 at 12:48 am

    Durbin and charlie should have to walk back to philly

  8. Andrew from waldorf

    October 21, 2010 at 12:49 am

    it aint over there is a 20% chance they can take 3 in a row

  9. Nunzio Scholeri

    October 21, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Also, what was up with having Ibanez in the on deck circle in the top of one inning, and then the next inning having Gload pinch-hit instead? What would possibly make anyone thing that Gload gives you a better shot there than Ibanez?

    I was ready to bow down to Oswalt if he actually made it out of that inning, but really all he had going was his fastball and it just wasn’t enough against the heart of the Giants’ order. Of course, he was still probably a better choice than Kendrick and definitely better than using Lidge in a non-save situation. Ugh. So many failures all around. But yes, Manuel or Durbin for the Jeltz. We could have had this one, guys. We SHOULD have had this one.

  10. MikeB.

    October 21, 2010 at 12:54 am

    Could not get off the floor against Cain last night and that looms big now.

  11. jt

    October 21, 2010 at 12:55 am

    the giants were going to be a tough team to get by i knew that before the playoffs even started,but i expected more from this team it feels like this series has been completly one sided…many shoula coulda woulda about this game but it’s done and over with just gotta hope doc and bring it back to cbp and take it from there.

  12. Andrew from waldorf

    October 21, 2010 at 12:57 am

    Be good guys and enjoy the game tomorrow night
    it could be the last one of the season

  13. MikeB.

    October 21, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Cholly definitely for the Jeltz Award for poor relief pitching management among other blunders but the players play and win or lose the games and the manger is not considered for the Jeltz or Ashburn on here so Durbin is the logical choice with Rollins and Utley a close second for their failures at the plate. The Phillies competed very well but kept “shooting themselves in the foot”.

  14. Chuck

    October 21, 2010 at 1:05 am

    Tomorrow’s game is EXACTLY why we went out and got Roy Halladay.

    I am not going to make a prediction. I am not good at it and especially in this series I’m not.



    This game tomorrow is why that man came to Philadelphia in the first place.

    Win or lose…dude’s a hero.

    And this team FAR exceeded my expectations based on where we were on July 21st.

    Go Phillies!!

    Go Doc!!

  15. brooks

    October 21, 2010 at 1:46 am

    So, does Doc have to close the door completely in order for the Phils to win this next game?? The Phils should be able to give up 3 runs, even 4 and win a game, this is awful.
    2 out base hits – the Phils only do this once in a great while and SF has been deadly with them this year. The Phils get 2 outs and regardless if anyone is on base or not, you figure the inning is over. The Giants get 2 outs, they seem to be just starting.. what is that all about?!

  16. bacardipr05

    October 21, 2010 at 1:58 am

    The Giants are making it happen they have the Magic we failed to steal it or create much magic ourselves. The Bats looked better the pitching let us down today. I didnt feel comfortable with Durbin coming in. They should of just kept Jose in then bought in Madson.

  17. Ryk

    October 21, 2010 at 2:04 am

    Chollie better give Lou Brown a call and get him to make JRoll do some push-ups.

  18. Ryan H.

    October 21, 2010 at 3:17 am

    durbin has been a solid reliable middle relief guy for a few years now. you can’t crucify charlie for using him.

  19. George

    October 21, 2010 at 4:42 am

    I’m not a fan of second guessing. As badly as the Phils have played lately, one can hardly blame the manager. Manuel could make great moves and this sorry bunch would still find a way to blow the game.

    Blanton was on a “short leash” because he wasn’t pitching a great game. Durbin is usually a good option in the earlier innings. And the way Ibanez has been hitting, Gload was definitely a better choice to pinch hit. It’s quite possible that Bastardo and Madson weren’t quite loose and Manuel needed to wait one more batter. And teams usually use their most inexperienced pinch hitter (Brown, in this case) first, thus saving the more experienced guys for more critical situations.

    Just as we’ll never know how many innings Oswalt could have gone had he gotten through the ninth, we’ll also never know how bad the score might have been had different moves been made. It’s time to stop whining about what might have been (and probably wouldn’t have been given the team’s lousy play) and start hoping for better execution in the next game.

  20. MikeB.

    October 21, 2010 at 5:02 am

    Well put, George, need to press on and apply attention and energy to the next game now.

  21. BrewTown PhilsPhan

    October 21, 2010 at 5:36 am

    After all the talk yesterday pro and con about starting Doc, consider this: the Phils put up five runs in the game Baumgartner started. If that were Doc’s start, this series would be even at 2-2, already guaranteeing a return to Philly on Saturday no matter what Lincecum did tonight. Joe could have started tonight and taken his best shot, and in the worst case scenario we would have had Oswalt and Hammels lined up to pitch two at home.

    Now we’re statistically done. Lincecum is pitching at home tonight with a three to one lead. Someone said we have a 20% chance of winning three straight – how do we have more than a 3% chance of winning tonight? Tonight’s game is the one where it truly didn’t matter who pitched for us.

    That was my argument yesterday. The only counter-argument that seemed to make sense was that Charlie couldn’t act panicked too early. After he spent the night repeatedly mashing the panic button and having every decision backfire, I think it’s hard to continue to make that argument stick. Nick’s post is exactly right; if Charlie was going to pull Blanton at 4 and 2/3 and toss in our game six starter in the ninth, there’s no reason left for him not to have started Doc and simply guaranteed a win.

  22. MikeB.

    October 21, 2010 at 6:02 am

    Someone posted in the last Phillies Nation post I think it was that there were too many peaks and valleys this season; too many ups and downs. That could be. The struggles of the season, overcoming injuries and prolonged team offensive slumps might be catching up them in this series making it hard for them to reach back and find that little extra that they need to overcome this Giants team and the way they have been playing against the Phils in this series.

  23. bfo_33

    October 21, 2010 at 7:10 am

    He’s had a ton more good ones than bad, but a bad game by Charlie. I thought the whole purpose of bringing in Contreras was that he can go 2 innings. I can’t blame Durbin, he hasn’t pitched in forever, but when they aren’t biting on the slider, and hammering the fastball, don’t keep the guy in. His stuff wasn’t really that bad, slider breaking just a little early. I think Durbin tips his pitches, and the someone in the Giants org broke the code, because there were a couple of pitches, especially in Renteria at bat, were I couldn’t believe they didn’t chase.

    It’s not over yet, but I admit to underestimating the Giants.

  24. The Dipsy

    October 21, 2010 at 7:29 am


    The Dipsy

  25. Chuck

    October 21, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Wasn’t Contreras used the day before? Not sure where Dubee and Charlie were with the pitch count with him, but I would imagine that had something to do with it.

    Durbin was rusty. Plain and simple. BUT…I think leaving him in for the whole inning could be questioned. George makes a good point….we don’t really know who down there in the pen was ready or not at that given moment.

    J-Roll in the 8th inning: In the post game interview he did say that he considered bunting. That swing to pop up, though, did not look at all like he was trying to go to the right side.

    Also…the decision to pitch Blanton was the right one. Some people are saying that if Halladay would have pitched we would definitely won. Really?? How do we know that?? Tonight….and hopefully for the rest of the series, we now have our best 3 lined up on full rest…If having this 3 headed monster is such an issue…such an advantage…then knowing that they are properly lined up feels good.

    One game at a time. Let’s focus on tonight and throw Doc ALL our support. He will need it. I said this earlier in this thread…and I will repeat it:

    “This game tomorrow” (now today) “is why this man came to Philadelphia in the first place.”

    “Win or lose…dude’s a hero.”

    Just keep saying ….over and over….all day, “Phils in 7”

    PHILS IN 7!!!!!!!

  26. Kate

    October 21, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Phils in seven and here’s why.

    Roy Halladay will not allow the Giants to beat him twice in a row.

    Tonight is why Roy Halladay did not start last night.

    If I were the offense, I’d be pretty angry that we managed to string something together and yet because of those home plate shenanigans (as much as I hate blaming the umps, Wally Bell was simply BLIND and inconsistent), it went for naught.

    That’s not to say that last night doesn’t fall completely on the offense’s shoulder, but this is the best offensive game they had in the playoffs, which was lost in, well, the actual loss. They can build upon that tonight.

    If Halladay and the offense get us home, Roy Oswalt will not allow his season to end on a loss in RELIEF. We all saw what he did in Game 2 with a chip on his shoulder. Oswalt would have been throwing in the bullpen last night anyway, so I think he’s fine and ready to go.

    Meanwhile, again, if Halladay gets us home, I believe that swings the momentum back over to the good guys. Momentum + Citizens Bank Park = a better home field advantage.

    Finally, this team has been beating the long odds all season long. I’m not counting them out until I’m forced to. I’m proud of Charlie and this team and that won’t change if the season ends tonight.

    High hopes, everyone. High hopes. Don’t stop beliePHing in this team.

  27. Paul

    October 21, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Ok Halladay, bring the Phils back home.

    Do you think the Phils consider pitching Hamels if this is a game 6? I guess it’s still Oswalt since he only pitched 2/3rds…

  28. Philly Texan

    October 21, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Just read this in the Inquirer:

    “The Giants batted just .212 with runners in scoring position and two outs this season. In the National League, only the Mets were worse. In the last two games at AT & T Park, their first six runs scored with two outs.”

    That kind of says it all. The Giants’ waiver-wire offense is playing over their heads right now. They’re getting the big hits, the good bounces and calls, and making the big plays.

    It happens that way in the postseason sometimes. The Phils sure had it in 08. The more talented team doesn’t always win.

    Maybe the Phils can turn it around. It’s not impossible, if Halladay can get it back home. But right now the Giants just have the look of a team on a blessed run.

  29. Manny

    October 21, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Charlie destroyed this game and gave away a win. Simple as that.

    And it all started by leaving Joe Blanton in and letting him face Aubrey Huff –a lefty. Bastardo was warming up, and rightly so. But why didn’t they bring him in baffles me. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is EXACTLY the type of situation Bastardo is on the roster… Come in, get a dangerous lefty out, and go back to the dugout. That’s it. You use Bastardo there and that inning is over. However, Charlie decided to stay with Blanton to face a lefty with 2 outs, then when Huff gets a hit, he has to use Contreras… for 1 out…. just 1 freaking out. I know Contreras pitched a couple innings the day before, but you can’t burn a key bullpen piece just like that.

    Anyway, then comes the Durbin fiasco. And again, he has no outs, gives up 2 hits, and Charlie leaves him in to face PANDA –who hits like .320 off righties and .210 off lefties… yup. Had you used Bastardo in the previous inning like they should’ve, they could still use Romero for that at-bat, and perhaps even more. But nope, you let Panda burn you by leaving Durbin in. So so so freaking predictable.

    And then there’s using Oswalt when you still have Lidge, Romero, and Kendrick in the pen… I’m sorry, but that’s just nuts. Was it really necessary to use Roy2? No. Use Lidge. If the game goes to extra innings, use KK –that’s why he’s on the roster. Simple as that. If you feel like you need a shutdown inning from someone else to get a SAVE –not to just keep it tied– then you can do something like putting Oswalt in.


    And then there’s the no-bunting play with Werth on 2nd and no outs. And J-roll on the mound. Seriously.

  30. Bob in Bucks

    October 21, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Everyone seems to know what should have been done after it is over. If you blame the manager for the loss last night then you have to give him credit for the 101 wins before that. Both are absurd.

    As George said, you never really know what would have happened if you had kept in pitcher A or used pitcher B or C. Managers have more data than we do and they play the odds and sometime hunches.

    Fact is Giants are outplaying the Phillies right now who may have peaked too early.

    For me, I view the season as a success – the most wins in MLB is a success. Playoffs are a crapshoot. You get in and luck and specific plays decide who gets the ring. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Live with it, it is baseball.

    If you look for someone to blame you ignore that there is another team on the field. Ignoring the other team is stupid and childish.

    We have at least one more game to go and I will enjoy it. With luck maybe a few more.

    Go Phils!

  31. Manny

    October 21, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Nope, I actually questioned EACH move I mentioned in my post BEFORE $hit actually happened. Every, single move.

  32. Chuck

    October 21, 2010 at 11:55 am

    I questioned it too, Manny. Very frustrating.

    Pitching to Huff: Was Bastardo just not ready at that moment?

    Durbin not coming out sooner: I’ll give him, the pitcher, a pass for being rusty. But, again, was someone not ready to come in.

    J-Roll not bunting: In the post-game interview he said he thought about it. But, the ball he hit he didn’t even ATTEMPT to hit to the right side.

    Oswalt: It was his bullpen session. But NOT his role. I agree, that’s why you have Lidge and Kendrick and Romero. If the game goes deep into extras then fine, use Oswalt.

    I love Charlie. I RARELY question him. But there are some real head-scratchers here.

  33. Phan in the outfield

    October 21, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    I love Uncle Charlie too. I did say yesterday that broken down the Giants players are not that good, however, they are well coached.

  34. Joe MAC

    October 21, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    there are so many different ways to evaulate last nights game and the series for that matter.. Doc gets a start no matter what prior to the start of last nights game. if Doc starts last night, then he is available to possibly GO in game 7 again. Les’ not forget that Our Phils are not getting the crucial hits when they are needed. Les’ not forget I banez’s fielding in game 2 when he leaped against the wall to catch a fly ball that was closer to his feet than over his head. And Raul is also Slumping right now. They all are not hitting when needed. I dont even think we are hitting .200 with RISP. My Conclusion is—–Philly in 7….Doc shuts the Giants down and Phils win Game 5——4-1

  35. Manny

    October 21, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    I usually support Charlie but, unfortunately, I think last night’s game was a dealbreaker. I don’t think I’ve ever soured on anybody as quickly as I did during that game.

  36. Chuck

    October 21, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Dealbreaker might be a bit harsh. I just think Charlie made some wrong moves. I was questioning some of Bochy’s, too, but he gets to look like a genius.

    It’s like rolling the dice sometimes. Sometimes moves work….and sometimes they don’t..

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