2018 Recaps

Kapler’s decisions lead to nerve-wracking first win

phils-logo1-300x279.pngGet used to this.

Nick Pivetta started Friday’s game against the Braves. He pitched four innings, then was lifted for the bullpen. Nearly all of the bullpen.

Jake Thompson was the last pitcher left as Drew Hutchison closed out the Braves, 5-4, in 11 innings. The Phillies nearly lost the lead completely in the eighth inning, but thankfully J.P. Crawford threw a strike relay throw to stop Peter Bourjos from scoring on a Dansby Swanson double. A few innings later, Carlos Santana lifted a sacrifice fly that scored Crawford, putting the Phils up for good.

Santana added his first Phillies’ home run, driving in three on the night, while Rhys Hoskins belted his first home run of 2018 in the second inning. Scott Kingery added his first two major league hits, both singles, in the win.

Gabe Kapler used eight of his nine relievers Friday, which is just incredible. But multiple pitchers threw less than one inning, so chances are they’ll be available Saturday in the final game of the three-game set in Atlanta. That’s good, because they will certainly be used.



  1. Jeff

    March 31, 2018 at 1:47 am

    I’d perfer our starting pitching over our bullpen. But what do i know. We should be 2-0

  2. Betasigmadeltashag

    March 31, 2018 at 2:02 am

    Again this game showed why you can not manage and match up pitchers 162. At least Pivetta was up there in pitches. And if Kapler would have managed correctly yesterday tonight’s game would not be an issue. I’m also worried that the young players will not get consistent ABs.
    But it was nice to see Santana be clutch and Kingery getting 2 hits. Also nice to see Nick get a clutch hit with 2 strikes.

  3. Mitchell Nathanson

    March 31, 2018 at 8:26 am

    This is not managing by analytics, this is chaos theory in practice. It’s not analytics if you run through all of your options by the 7th inning and are left to manage by the seat of your pants for the rest of the game. An analytical approach to the game would account for the fact that each game lasts (at least) nine innings so you can’t play match-up with every batter from the 5th inning on. Kapler’s a crap manager who doesn’t understand half of what he thinks he does.

    • Terry Mangan

      March 31, 2018 at 9:03 am

      Couldn’t agree more. Also, I think I know you through your friend from law school.

  4. Keg

    March 31, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Normally I would say this is a product of never really being around the game, and just looking at spreadsheets of players all day. Unfortunately we can’t say that here. It’s almost like he believes in the analytics too much, and forgets the basics of a game he’s played his whole life. Oh well, we’re 1-1. Go Phillies!

  5. Vernon Dozier

    March 31, 2018 at 8:42 am

    I’d say give a guy more than two games to form an opinion. We all knew that the bullpen would be heavily used this season – that’s the way the game in general is trending. The Phillies set a club record for bullpen innings last season, and I’m sure they’ll break that record this year. The only starters who I expect to see pitching late in games are Arrieta and Nola. Beyond that, it’s five and dive.

    • czontixhldr

      March 31, 2018 at 2:51 pm

      Vernon, this is an entirely reasonable POV, it’s a long season, but the thing that I find disconcerting is the fact that Kapler wouldn’t acknowledge that it “might” have been a mistake to pull Nola early.

      Then, IMHO (I’ve posted about this on past threads here) he compounds the problem by walking Freeman later on to have Neris face Markakis.

      Now, I know the small sample size POV – some here have countered with that, and I know the “you don’t let their best player beat you” POV – but isn’t the whole point of using stats/analytics to put your players in situations where they are more likely to succeed?

      I’ll cut Kapler a eentsie weentsie teeny weeny bit of slack because he had never seen Neris face Freeman before (Neris has flat our embarrassed Freeman), but the simple fact is that the stats are supposed to guide matchups, and the the stats available prior to that inning said that Kapler put Neris in a situation where he was LESS LIKELY to succeed. So why use stats at all if you’re going to do that?

      It really isn’t any more complicated than that.

  6. barry sucktero

    March 31, 2018 at 9:12 am

    2 games in and 2 poor jobs of managing by Kaplan……no “RELIEF” in sight!!!!

  7. Louis

    March 31, 2018 at 10:36 am

    2 games down and I’m not liking kapler’s managing of this ball team. You can tell he has no managing experience at all so why is he managing the phillies? This is going to be a long season so I hope these young players hang in there. I see kapler lasting until the mutiny

  8. Vernon Dozier

    March 31, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    “The Phillies set a major-league record by using 15 pitchers in their first two games. The previous mark, 14, was accomplished by the 2014 Cubs and 2004 Twins. Each of those teams began the season with 26 innings over their first two games. The Phillies played 20 innings and still discovered a way to summon 15 pitchers.

    It is a pace that cannot continue. Right?”

    A good read, subscription required: https://theathletic.com/295435/2018/03/31/with-15-pitchers-in-20-innings-phillies-begin-season-with-extreme-bullpen-methods-can-it-sustain/

  9. Ken Books

    March 31, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    It’s pretty obvious that Kapler has no clue how to manage a game with an eye to the entire season. Whether his completely idiotic yanking of Nola long before necessary, or his apparent determination to use every reliever every day, or his arrogant inability to consider that someone else may actually have a good idea, he’s in over his head. He seems to be like Bobby Valentine, convinced he’s the smartest person in every room.
    I particularly worry that he’ll burn out the bullpen by May 1. Using eight pitchers Friday after seven Thursday should have earned him a trip to the minors to learn how to do his job.

  10. Ken Bland

    March 31, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Saturday that he has fined the Philadelphia Phillies 10 million dollars for exercises against the best interests of the game.

    Manfred released a statement Saturday morning saying, “We, in conjunction with the Players Association spent a great deal of time this winter exploring options to cut the times of ball games as a result of fan sentiment. Philadelphia’s made more pitching changes than sabermetrics, analytics, and gut feels combined allow for, which is an openly defiant action against what we continue to work to achieve.”

    Manfred was asked how he arrived at the 10 million dollar penalty, the largest imposed against an MLB team ever.

    “It was simple arithmetic,” explained the commissioner. “We tracked the sales at concession stands during the pitching changes, and the pre-tax amount came out to 9.8 million dollars gross sales, and we rounded up to 10 million.”

    Asked if potential penalties remain possible with continued action this way, Manfred said, “They could, but we’re putting a deadline on it. Potential penalties are a possibility until the Philadelphia club is mathematically eliminated from the NL Wild Card race.”

    Although baseball history offers no prior example of Kapler’s bullpen management to project when such elimination might take place, Nate Silver’s 538.com speculated this morning that at that pace, Philadelphia might set a difficult to break record by being pennant eliminated by May 31 and at the same time set a mark of more of their bullpen staff on the DL than they have pitchers in the organization.

    Philadelphia’s next game is Saturday night at Atlanta. Vince Vasquez starts for the Phillies. Many Phillie fans have expressed that he’d be better suited for the bullpen. Perhaps Kapler will try both. In one game, no less.

    And a Happy April Fool’s Day to you a day in advance.

  11. Jeffrey Orbach

    March 31, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    We may you also set a record for arm injuries in a season. I hope this craziness doesn’t blow out anyone’s arm and ruin some promising young pitchers career.

  12. Vernon Dozier

    March 31, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    I tend to believe that this craziness will subside once Hunter, Neshak, and Leiter return from the DL. I still expect a lot of reliance on the bullpen, but I think roles will be more defined.

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