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HBT Extra: Who’s the more surprising hero: A.J. Burnett or Ben Francisco?

Oct 5, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

Tiffany and I wax analytic on the ALDS and NLDS
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  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 5, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    Unrelated, but I asked Matt this on his D-backs post and he seems to be MIA. Last night Marcum almost threw a wild pitch on an IBB, Sabathia did the same a couple nights ago, and it’s not uncommon to see pitchers struggling to lob 4 balls to the catcher. Is there anything stopping the catcher from going into the crouch behind the opposite batter’s box and having the pitcher throw 4 real pitches for balls?

  2. halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    I can answer this question easily. The most stunning hero was Ben Francisco. Coming off the bench cold after having a terrible season to hit a 3-run homer wasn’t anything short of miraculous. A.J. Burnett at least has a prior pedigree of being able to pitch a good game. Not nearly as surprising as Francisco.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 2:39 PM

      Agreed completely.

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Craig, I couldn’t disagree with you more about Garcia. He had thrown 60-something pitches and was dominant. You can’t pinch hit for him with 2 outs in the bottom of the 6th inning in that spot. You are really going crazy with the hindsight if you thought Garcia was due to give up a 3-run bomb to Ben Francisco. Also, with 2 outs, how do you know it’s automatically a run when they pinch hit? I don’t like TLR anymore than anybody else, but he made the absolute right move leaving in Garcia there, and I think 90% of the people will agree with that.

    • Jonny 5 - Oct 5, 2011 at 2:58 PM

      Garcia, wait there are numbers… Hold on…….

      MMMkay, Jason Stark

      “The man who hit the game-winning three-run pinch homer, Ben Francisco, hadn’t made a home run trot in 4 1/2 months and had spent the season pretty much fading from everyday player into the Phillies’ witness protection program.

      The man who gave up that homer, Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia, had spent his career — and his afternoon — dominating the Phillies so relentlessly that he allowed as many earned runs on that one swing of the bat as he had allowed the Phillies in his previous 34 innings, covering five starts, combined.”

      Plus his pitch count was low and it was a guarantee that this would get Hamels out of the game who also was holding the cards to 0 runs. If I were TLR, I would have done the same. Even though I can’t stand him, I cannot tell a lie.

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:03 PM

        Obviously the last part was speaking of the Walk to Ruiz, which goes hand in hand here i think.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:21 PM

        Yeah, I am really shocked that Craig, who I consider pretty knowledgeable, is on the side of taking Garcia out of that game. I could see if it were bases loaded and 1 out in the 6th. Then, you have to try to steal a run. But with 2 outs and 1st and 2nd, there is zero guarantee that you are going to get a run home anyway. Garcia was too dominant. I was watching the game with some buddies at Barnaby’s(we made the foxphilly website LOL) and we all we hoping he would pull a TLR and take out Garcia but he disappointed us and did not. I had no faith they were going to score off Garcia at all and with his pitch count, we were thinking he would make it through the 8th.

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:36 PM

        Garcia should have started game 1. Carp wouldn’t have been on short rest. Phills woulda been in trouble.

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:37 PM

        Unless Garcia would have been on short rest too if he started game 1? I didn’t think about that.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 4:04 PM

        Garcia last pitched in the Regular Season on MOnday, the 26th so he would have been on regular rest. He should have started garcia game 1 or 2 and waited until game 3 for Carpenter. But all of St Louis was adamant about garcia’s splits when he dominated the Phillies anywhere he went. He could pitch against them at the park on Broad and Oregon and he would probably shut them down for 6 innings.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 5, 2011 at 4:09 PM

        Well, the sample size from his road splits was larger than the sample size against the Phillies. Who knows. His previous start against the Phillies was Sept 16 at Philly a day AFTER they clinched the Division…

  4. dailyrev - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    Obviously Francisco. I think most would agree that AJ would be sharing the “hero” medal with that other fellow in CF. Silly question to ask, really: it’s a team game. Ben needed two guys to get OB in front of him to hit a 3 run HR. AJ needed help from his offense and his CF. At best, “Hero” is a pretty goofy concept for sports in general and a team game in particular.

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