FanDuel - WFBC

November 03, 2009

Phillies Force Game 6 with 8-6 Squeaker: Philadelphia Phillies starter Cliff Lee won his second game of the World Series in an 8-6 game 5 win over the New York Yankees, narrowing the series gap to 3-2. More late inning Yankees heroics were not enough to overcome the Phillies' six-run lead. "All season, the Phillies have talked of their mental fortitude, of the way they shed defeat like a waterproof deck," writes David Murphy of the Philadelphia Inquirer, mixing metaphors like a Blendtec Total Blender. The defeat-shedding waterproof Phillies will throw Pedro Martinez against either Andy Pettitte on three days' rest or seldom-used Chad Gaudin.

posted by rcade to baseball at 09:01 AM - 32 comments

Surely there's no chance at all that Joe Girardi will throw Chad Gaudin out there.

posted by rcade at 11:02 AM on November 03

If Chad Gaudin starts a World Series game, the Yankees should be disqualified. There are basic standards at play here!

posted by dfleming at 11:21 AM on November 03

I would just like to point out that Chad Gaudin was once traded straight-up for Kevin Cash. Thank you.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:26 AM on November 03

If Chad Gaudin starts a World Series game, the Yankees should be disqualified. There are basic standards at play here!

Shouldn't the Yankees be disqualified for trying to get through an entire post-season with only three starters?

Or maybe MLB and FOX should be disqualified for the ludicrous number of off-days that have allowed the Yankees to do so.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:31 AM on November 03

wooooooohhooooooo

posted by MNJ1193 at 11:32 AM on November 03

Sending out Ryan Madson in the 9th instead of Brad Lidge, and not really having him fare much better, is reason #1 the Phils don't have a prayer.

posted by MKUltra at 11:51 AM on November 03

Madson got the save and gave up only one earned run, MK. He came on with runners on the corners and shed two outs like a waterproof deck. The Series ain't over at all.

posted by rcade at 12:06 PM on November 03

I think the Phillies can pull it out. It won't be easy, but they definitely have a chance.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 12:17 PM on November 03

Shouldn't the Yankees be disqualified for trying to get through an entire post-season with only three starters

If the Yanks win it looks like a reasonable decision - throw the 2 guys out there that you've dumped a pile of money into to get the job done, throw Petite into the mix as he's been there before.

If it goes 7 and CC has a bad outing because he's worn out again ....

posted by cixelsyd at 12:23 PM on November 03

How exciting! And still, the Phillies almost blew it; those late inning runs from the Yankees are a killer. Still, we could very well see a game 7- not unthinkable with Pedro going tomorrow, provided Grady Little protege Charlie Manuel remembers to pull him at 100 pitches/leave him in for one baserunner only. And once you get to game 7, anything can happen...

I agree with rcade that the Series isn't over, but you have to admit that the inability to have a lights-out guy come in at the end of the game is a big weakness for the Phillies.

Speaking of lights-out guys... can someone please explain why Mariano Rivera is still so wildly successful? The guy basically throws one pitch; why have hitters not adapted to the mindset of "If I *try* to pop it up, I'll hit a line drive base hit!"? Hours of high def, high speed footage must be available to analyze the exact break of his cutter and come up with the strategy of how to intentionally swing to ground out/pop up and get a clean hit out of it. I think the only team that appears to have done that is the Sox, who haven't been intimidated by the Rivera mystique. But you'd think these Phillies hitters were surprised to see him enter a game in the World Series, the way they flail away and get themselves out of innings in under 10 pitches!

It also raises the question as to why Lidge moved to fastballs against the heart of the Yankees order in game 4; so what if the ball in the dirt potentially lets in one run? The fastballs hanging around the heart of the plate let in 3, and you only need one out. Let the catcher do his job, and you might get out of it 4-4 going to the bottom of the 9th.

posted by hincandenza at 12:29 PM on November 03

Brett Myers and Cole Hamels had an ugly exchange after game 5, according to Yahoo Sports.

posted by rcade at 01:21 PM on November 03

So has Hamels thrown in the towel mentally? Given the fact that he has been performing so poorly and now appears to have given up, I would find it hard to put him into a WS game. Manuel now has to decide where Hamel's head is - in the game or not? On one hand he may have mentally quit, on the other, he may now have something to prove and pitch better than he has.

Has anyone else notice that not only are the Phillies being outplayed, but they are being outmanaged as well? Manuel has made some questionable decisions this WS.

posted by lab at 01:52 PM on November 03

That infighting report is being debunked by Myers and witnesses.

posted by cl at 02:01 PM on November 03

I once tried to force a sqeaker.

It wasn't all it's cracked up to be.

posted by THX-1138 at 04:38 PM on November 03

When it comes to Burnett I'm reminded of the Dennis Green line: He is who we thought he was.

As I said in the previous WS thread, the fact that the Yankees are forced to go with a 3 man rotation is what gives the Phillies a chance. That's not Girardi's fault. He's playing the hand he was given. But it's one of the only short comings of this Yankee team. If they have a decent/average 4th starter that gives them 6 innings and 4 runs the Yankees are probably celebrating today.

Now they go to a 37 year old Pettitte, who supposedly told teammates he had 'nothing' his last start, on short rest. Maybe he's got it in him, but again, a 4 man staff and he's rested.

I still think the Yankees will win the series. They've got too much hitting, and the Phillies don't have enough pitching, but I'd love to see Pedro take it to game 7. I think all the pressure would be on NY.

It's pretty amazing, if Lidge holds the Yankees in game 4 maybe the Phillies pull it out and the Yankees are going to NY down 3 games to 2.

but they are being outmanaged as well? Manuel has made some questionable decisions this WS.

Care to give examples? Taking out Victorino? Bringing Lidge in when he's struggled? It's pretty easy to be Girardi when you have Rivera to bring in. Not a whole lot of managing there.

Girardi has been criticized for over managing from game 1 of the playoffs. The problem is not that he's out managing Manuel (though his 8 trips to the mound a game is impressive).

Given the fact that he has been performing so poorly and now appears to have given up, I would find it hard to put him into a WS game.

I don't think it's a tough decision at all. It's a no-brainer. You pitch Cole with a short leash as you would any pitcher when you're in a 7th game. Unless the Phillies know something more (he's breaking down) you take the comment for what it is, a dumb comment made out of frustration.

If you had told the Phillies a game ago that they would be in a game 7 with last years WS MVP on the mound, sure, the odds are in Sabathia's favor, but they would have taken it in a heart beat.

Speaking of lights-out guys... can someone please explain why Mariano Rivera is still so wildly successful?

1. He's lost velocity, but still has great location. Nothing is over the middle of the plate.

2. His reputation. I have no doubt teams get nervous when it's they see him trot in.

3. Generous strike zone. All star pitchers get it. Rivera does more than most. You can see it almost every game he pitches.

(I'm not saying a generous strike zone is why he's still so good, but it doesn't hurt, and it helps more now than when he was pitching 95.)

posted by justgary at 05:03 PM on November 03

Just remember: It ain't over until Ronan Tynan the fat lady sings.

posted by Howard_T at 05:36 PM on November 03

As I said in the previous WS thread, the fact that the Yankees are forced to go with a 3 man rotation is what gives the Phillies a chance.

Not sure I agree on that point. IMO, 4 and 5 day rests are the norm for longevity reasons and not for short term pitching effectiveness. In fact, Manuel might have gone to a 3 day rotation for the WS.

but they are being outmanaged as well? Manuel has made some questionable decisions this WS. Care to give examples?

Manuel has also left too many pitchers in too long this series. The list is long. If he could hear me screamin at the TV he wouldn't have lol. His long leash has not been rewarded with performance against the Yanks. Yes, Victorino being pulled last night was a mistake. The shift and giving away the double stolen base was a stupid mistake. I am a manager at the the 13-14 yr level. My players know that every base MUST be covered on EVERY play. No exceptions and we don't wonder about it after the play. Did you hear Manual stumble all over himself when he was asked about that in the postgame interview? Looked to me like he never thought about it until it was too late. He mumbled something about the catcher TRYING to get there! What, the catcher makes the throw to second and then beats the runner to third? I dont think so. Allowing Lidge to throw fastballs at the end of game 4. If the pitcher and catcher can't handle sliders withouth passed balls, then they shouldn't be in there. Show some confidence in your best pitch and quit worrying about making a mistake while doing what you do best. Almost no visits to the mound to settle things down, refocus players and review strategy during the difficult innings where the Yanks have made big comebacks. Let's see...anything else?

I don't think it's a tough decision at all. It's a no-brainer. You pitch Cole with a short leash as you would any pitcher when you're in a 7th game.

Start a pitcher in the 7th game of the WS with a short leash? What does that mean? Manuel obviously doesn't know what a short leash is. Why don't the Phillies just spot the Yanks 4 or 5 runs and see if they can win with whoever is going to have to replace Hamels? I would much rather have Lee on a short leash than Hamels, if I had to have a short leash.

If you had told the Phillies a game ago that they would be in a game 7 with last years WS MVP on the mound, sure, the odds are in Sabathia's favor, but they would have taken it in a heart beat.

That scenario has no meaning today. Lee can go on short rest and Hamels has proven he has nothing. What is to be gained by starting Hamels instead of Lee in game 7? I know what is to be lost. Put your ace on the mound in game 7 and live with result.

posted by lab at 05:38 PM on November 03

Howard_T, that was really good.

posted by smithnyiu at 05:54 PM on November 03

Madson got the save and gave up only one earned run, MK. He came on with runners on the corners and shed two outs like a waterproof deck. The Series ain't over at all.

Wait, what? Madson pitched the entire 9th, by my memory (and the play-by-play). If Jeter doesn't hit into a DP, we may have been having an entirely different discussion.

The Phillies just don't have an automatic late inning guy, and the Yanks are a team known for late-inning heroics. Rivera, on the other hand, looks just as much the machine he's looked for years while both teams' pitching staffs are clearly breaking down.

Also, is anyone with more insider credibility than the opposing team's hometown paper saying anything about Gaudin starting? There's no way.

posted by MKUltra at 07:18 PM on November 03

Speaking of lights-out guys... can someone please explain why Mariano Rivera is still so wildly successful?

It's the same thing as a Nolan Ryan fastball; you know it's coming, but you still can't hit it.

The ball has so much movement that the batters just can't adjust properly.
It's one thing to say "I'm going to swing lower than I normally do", but it's another thing entirely to convince your brain/body to do it.
If you've trained yourself for 20 years to swing a bat by reacting to how the ball looks .5 seconds after it leaves the pitcher's hand, it's probably impossible to override that instinct just for this one pitcher.

3. Generous strike zone. All star pitchers get it. Rivera does more than most. You can see it almost every game he pitches.

One way to examine that is to determine if he gets a higher number of called strikes in his career compared to the league average over the same time period:

Strikes (Looking) as a % of Total Strikes (career):
Rivera: 24%
League: 28%

Less than the league average.

Doing some quick calculations from that table:

Percentage of strikes (looking) of all pitches thrown (career):

Rivera: 16.32%
League: 17.36%

Again, less than the league average.

If he's getting help from the umpires, it's not showing up in any statistical fashion.

posted by grum@work at 07:46 PM on November 03

If Jeter doesn't hit into a DP, we may have been having an entirely different discussion.

You're right about Madson pitching the entire ninth -- my mistake -- but what is the above statement supposed to mean? Jeter did hit into a double play, which is why Madson gave up only one earned run, which is why he got the save. Of course we'd be having a different discussion if he did badly. But he didn't. So exactly how does Madson's successful ninth inning in a must-win game mean the Phillies don't have a prayer? What could he have done in the ninth to show you otherwise?

posted by rcade at 09:21 PM on November 03

So exactly how does Madson's successful ninth inning in a must-win game mean the Phillies don't have a prayer? What could he have done in the ninth to show you otherwise?

Not give up 3 hits, for starters. His ball/strike ratio was something like 2:3. Those are not indicators of reliability. If Jeter (who is not one to GIDP in the 9th inning of a playoff game) had simply grounded out, there would have been a much bigger threat. The Phils just don't have a guy they can turn to in the late innings and know it's locked down.

posted by MKUltra at 12:41 AM on November 04

If Jeter (who is not one to GIDP in the 9th inning of a playoff game) had simply grounded out, there would have been a much bigger threat.

Jeter ranked 15th in the AL this year in GDP this year, so it should not be surprising that he grounded into a double play there -- here is DP-prone. And he is just as likely to ground into a DP in the 9th inning of a playoff game as he is to ground into a double play in the third inning of the 20th game of the season.

posted by holden at 08:11 AM on November 04

The Phils just don't have a guy they can turn to

The Phils are the defending champions. They got it done last year with roughly the same lineup. They need contributions from everyone to succeed.

Yes, Jeter and Rivera are lock HOF'ers. There's probably 3 or 4 other Yanks that would also be if not for steroid abuse. Can you name 2 current Phils that could be mentioned in that category?

the Yanks are a team known for late-inning heroics

Remember this is the same group of superstars that have squandered opportunities for the past 10 years.

Enough of the dynasty like praise to the undeserving already.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:57 AM on November 04

I am a manager at the the 13-14 yr level.

Yes, and these are players at the highest level. There shouldn't be an open base. This shouldn't happen regardless of the manager.

Allowing Lidge to throw fastballs at the end of game 4.

Lidge has 2 pitches. One is a fastball. It wasn't that it was a fastball, it was that it was poorly located. I haven't read where manuel ordered a fastball. But since that's the only way your point has validity, I'll assume I missed that. But you seem to let Girardi off the hook for pitching to Utley when he's killed them. At what point does Girardi make someone else beat them? At what point do you hold Girardi to the same standard you hold Manuel?

Almost no visits to the mound to settle things down, refocus players and review strategy during the difficult innings where the Yanks have made big comebacks.

You're really reaching now. These are not rookies. Lee, Pedro are veterans. Hamels was the WS mvp last year. They're use to pressure. The managers know their pitchers. They should be able to tell when they're rattled. These are not your 14 year old kids.

Let's see...anything else?

Yes, something that makes sense. If the yankees win tonight it will be because they're the better team. This has not been a series decided by the managers.

Put your ace on the mound in game 7 and live with result.

Brilliant. Let's take the guy that just gave up 5 runs in 7 innings on full rest, and put him on the mound with 2 days rest, when he hasn't even tried to pitch on 3 days rest. That's absolutely ridiculous.

Unless there's an emergency (cole is found sobbing in his locker and no one else is available) you pitch cole and hope for the best. That's your team. Good or bad. I'm sure they'd like to have Lee on the mound every game. That's not reality.

The far bigger problem is scoring runs. If they continue to score 2 runs in 7/8 innings off Sabathia it won't make a difference who they start.

If Jeter doesn't hit into a DP, we may have been having an entirely different discussion.

And if the ball hit off rivera the ended in the mistaken double play would have been a line drive off the wall he would have been in trouble. And if, if, if...

You need to take that line and shoot it with a 45.

Despite what you believe about Jeter he's always a prime chance for a double play ball. Madson did exactly what he was suppose to do. Made a perfect pitch and jammed jeter to get a week ground ball.

and the Yanks are a team known for late-inning heroics

The yankee lineup is devastating pretty much from top to bottom. They score a lot of runs, more than any team in MLB. Those runs don't stop in the later innings. They score runs early, middle, and late. I'm not sure why doing so is heroic, but it seems to be a popular word.

posted by justgary at 02:08 PM on November 04

If he's getting help from the umpires, it's not showing up in any statistical fashion.

Damn statistics.

On left handers Rivera does one of two things. He either throws the cutter down the middle, it breaks in, and hitters either miss the pitch, or hit it somewhere weakly. They're jammed. He also throws it outside, and it breaks over the corner.

A good example was the strikeout of Howard earlier in the series on a pitch well off the outside corner. I'm not trying to ignore your statistics, and I've fully aware that my opinion is biased and probably a victim of a couple of other words you can find on wikipedia. Still, if I were a hitter I would let any borderline pitches go against Rivera in the World Series.

That said, I should have kept that to myself. And again, I don't think that's why he's great. I think it has much more to do with control and the fact that very few hitters connect with the fat part of the bat.

It's the same thing as a Nolan Ryan fastball; you know it's coming, but you still can't hit it.

I will say that I don't think this comparison holds much water. Rivera is a true one pitch pitcher who survives and inning at a time (two at the most). I don't think you'd see the same success over 7 innings.

Ryan had a devastating curveball. Take that way, and his fastball, and success, wouldn't have been as great. The curveball made the fastball that much more unhittable. Rivera's cutter is unhittable all on it's own (for a limited time at least).

posted by justgary at 02:09 PM on November 04

Yes, and these are players at the highest level. There shouldn't be an open base. This shouldn't happen regardless of the manager.

Glad to see you agree with me. That's exactly what I said. I'm assuming you read it since you responded to it. So where did the lack of understanding come from?

You're really reaching now. These are not rookies. Lee, Pedro are veterans. Hamels was the WS mvp last year. They're use to pressure. The managers know their pitchers. They should be able to tell when they're rattled. These are not your 14 year old kids.

Reaching? That would be funny if it wasn't ridiculous. Every team uses this strategy, even in regular season games, nontheless the playoffs. And not just for 14 year olds. Armchair coaches are equipped with that knowledge.

I'll stand by my statement about your short leash in game 7 of the WS. Why don't the Phillies just spot the Yanks 4 or 5 runs and see if they can win with whoever is going to have to replace Hamels? I would much rather have Lee on a short leash than Hamels, if I had to have a short leash.

posted by lab at 02:59 PM on November 04

Put your ace on the mound in game 7 and live with result.

Cliff Lee has never been started on three days' rest in his entire career. He has thrown 265 innings this year, which is only surpassed by four other pitchers this entire decade. Cole Hamels is a much stronger choice for the final game.

posted by rcade at 03:39 PM on November 04

Cliff Lee has never been started on three days' rest in his entire career. He has thrown 265 innings this year, which is only surpassed by four other pitchers this entire decade. Cole Hamels is a much stronger choice for the final game.

The stats are not arguable. Hamels being the stronger choice is highly debatable. Stronger choice in what way - physically, mentally? My original comment was with regard to starting Hamels on a short leash in game 7. That would not be my choice. At this moment in time, my feeling is that Hamels is mentally beat before he steps on the field. Lee's mentality is so tough, he could gut out game 7 for the Phils.

"From a starting pitcher's standpoint, three days' rest in October was never an issue, because from the time you're 5 years old, doing that 'World Series' replay in your back yard, it's the game, the innings, the at-bats you've always dreamed about having the ball in your hand for," Schilling wrote on his blog, 38 Pitches.

Gibson and Koufax pitched on 2 days rest in the WS, if memory serves. I should check that though. I found this:

Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson won clinching World Series games on 2 days rest. Gibson scoffs at all this talk of rest, especially with how much money these pitchers make. In the 1964 World Series Gibson won game 5 against the Yankees by pitching 10 innings on 3 days rest. And then he won game 7, a 9 inning complete game, on two days rest.


I don't imagine you'd want to do that all year," Gibson said. "But for playoffs and World Series . . . if you can't do it then, when the hell can you do it? I don't quite get it."

I'm happy to be on the side of Gibson, Schilling and Koufax. I'd pitch Lee.

posted by lab at 05:26 PM on November 04

Cliff Lee has never been started on three days' rest in his entire career. He has thrown 265 innings this year, which is only surpassed by four other pitchers this entire decade. Cole Hamels is a much stronger choice for the final game.

Good point. Not to mention the fact that if Lee pitched Game 7, he would be doing so on 2 days rest. Based on normal pitcher routines, Thursday (the day of Game 7) would be Lee's "throw day," so he could get some work. But to throw him out there expecting anything more than a couple innings is a highly suspect approach.

On edit -- the point about Gibson and Koufax is well-taken, but pitchers back then regularly pitched complete games, pitched in 4-man rotations, etc. In other words, their bodies were used to more stress. Today's pitchers just are not suited to that. To suggest that this is purely a mind-over-matter, mental type of thing ignores the fact that there are physical limitations based on players' routines, repetitions, etc. Gibson and Koufax each had multiple years of over 300 innings pitched and 20+ complete games. Today's pitchers don't even come close.

posted by holden at 05:57 PM on November 04

If this goes 7 games, I think there is a VERY good chance Lee will be available for 2 innings of work (say, 7th/8th) if needed.

It was only 8 years ago that we had a chance to witness something even more impressive.

posted by grum@work at 08:54 PM on November 04

Glad to see you agree with me. That's exactly what I said. I'm assuming you read it since you responded to it. So where did the lack of understanding come from?

No, you blamed Manual for a play that should be automatic to a major league infield.

Every team uses this strategy, even in regular season games, nontheless the playoffs. And not just for 14 year olds. Armchair coaches are equipped with that knowledge.

Armchair coaches usually have no idea what they're talking about. Look, if you want to put 'not taking trips to the mound' in the why phillies lost column, be my guest. It's not even worth arguing for me.

I don't imagine you'd want to do that all year," Gibson said. "But for playoffs and World Series . . . if you can't do it then, when the hell can you do it? I don't quite get it."

I'm happy to be on the side of Gibson, Schilling and Koufax. I'd pitch Lee.

If you're going to appeal to authority go ahead and ask Gibson if he wanted the manager coming out to talk to him.

Lee was never going to pitch game 7. He couldn't do it. You can dig up walter johnson and I'm sure he'd say that he would have pitched all 7 games if necessary. That's not the reality in todays game.

And again, here's what you conveniently ignore. Lee gave up 5 runs in 7 innings on full rest. And now you're going to give him the ball after 2 days, something even Sabathia didn't do.

Hamels was the right choice for game 7, but the way the Phillies hit, it wouldn't have mattered.

posted by justgary at 11:21 PM on November 05

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