Game one between the Phillies and Cubs had a little bit of everything, although not all of it was good. Here are just a few of the key events:
- Jimmy Rollins was back in the line-up and hit a 3-run homer.
- Kyle Kendrick pitched 3 scoreless innings & his outing was cut short because of….
- A 1 hour 17 minute rain delay
- In his 15th attempt, Ryan Madson finally blew a save.
- Instant replay was used as the Cubs appeared to hit back-to-back homers. It was ruled a double as a fan interfered.
- Extra innings due to a 3-3 tie
- With the bases loaded and two outs in the 10th, Charlie Manuel allowed a pitcher to hit…more on that soon.
- Placido Polanco allowed the Cubs go-ahead run to score in the 11th on a rare throwing error.
As for the bases loaded decision, Wilson Valdez was available to hit instead of pitcher David Herndon but the Phillies would have been out of pitchers. Manuel let Herndon hit and he left the bases loaded.
However, Valdez is the team’s lead hitter with runners in scoring position. And while that statistic says a lot about this anemic offense, it also begs for a different decision in this spot.
If Valdez gets a hit, the Phils win. If not, he winds up having to pitch for the second time this year. The first time, Valdez, an infielder, got the job done. Could it have happened twice? Probably not, but I think this is a chance you have to take with the bases loaded in this situation. If he does not get a hit, no one can blame Valdez for giving up a run in the 11th as the pitcher.
The Phillies have had so few offensive chances due to a lack of hitting, I think you have to hit Valdez here, despite the possible consequences. Most managers would have done the same as Charlie, but thinking outside the box can be a good thing.
So the Phillies lost 4-3, and that stinks. But Roy Halladay will pitch tonight and hopefully, turn that frown upside-down ;o)
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography