Oct 21, 2010, 10:36 AM EDT
“I feel like we didn’t really lose. We just ran out of innings.”
— Joe Blanton, always looking on the bright side of life.
That came from Jeff Passan’s postgame article over at Yahoo! More interesting than Blanton’s take was Passan’s. After calling the use of Oswalt in relief desperate — and I kinda agree — he says this:
And that’s what the Phillies, an on-paper juggernaut, have turned into: a group clawing for any sign of life against a Giants team that against great odds is making Philadelphia look not just mortal but frightened . . . The Phillies look beat up and beat down. The Giants sterilized their bluster, thieved their momentum, made mortal the pitching deities who were supposed to slay them. After four games, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and now Oswalt all have losses. H20 looks more like H2No.
I’ll go with Jeff on the tone here — there is definitely a sense that the big Russian has been cut and doesn’t quite know what to do — but I think the take on the pitching is a bit off. I don’t view Oswalt’s volunteering to pitch yesterday and subsequent failure to be his problem nearly as much as it was Charlie Manuel’s. If I were a manager I’d want any of my pitchers to want to go out in any game. It’d be up to me to tell them no, and Manuel didn’t do that.
More broadly speaking, the big three haven’t really failed here. Halladay didn’t have his best game in Game 1, but he pitched well enough. He made a couple of key mistakes and his offense didn’t help him out facing a pitcher just about as good as he is. Oswalt certainly did his job in Game 2. A team with Philly’s offensive tools shouldn’t be resigned to defeat simply because Cole Hamels gives up three runs. Matt Cain just whupped them.
I think Charlie’s moves were regrettable in Game 4, but ultimately, I view this as less as the Phillies choking or being frightened or running out of innings or however else it’s being described than them simply gettin’ beat. I’m not alone in this, by the way:
“They’re beating us. It’s plain and simple. They are beating us right now.”
That’s Shane Victorino, saying pretty much all that needs to be said.
- Bryce Harper is naked in ESPN’s “Body Issue” 33
- Today is the day: Marlins ace Jose Fernandez returns from Tommy John surgery 4
- A-Rod, the Yankees and the union in talks to direct his $6 million home run bonus to charity 21
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights 48
- Video: Joey Butler breaks up Carlos Carrasco’s no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning 12
- Bill Stoneman taking over as Angels’ interim GM 15
- Jerry Dipoto loses power struggle with Mike Scioscia, steps down as Angels general manager 39
- Bobby Bonilla’s isn’t the only deferred money deal in the game. And isn’t even the worst. 50
- With the same-sex marriage decision, the San Francisco Giants get another big win (276)
- Joe Maddon is the latest manager to rip instant replay. He’s got a point. (110)
- Settling the Scores: Sunday’s results (99)
- Report: Jerry Dipoto “definitely out” as Angels GM (77)
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights (75)