I was going to write a post detailing some poor in-game strategy from Charlie Manuel, but Corey Seidman did a great job over at Brotherly Glove.
Down 5-1 in the seventh inning, the Phillies loaded the bases with one out. Blanton’s spot in the order came up, so the decision to pinch-hit was a no-brainer. But with only righty Tyler Clippard loosening in the bullpen, Ross Gload should have been called on. I tweeted this at the time, noting that even if Mayberry were to hit a grand slam, it’s the wrong decision.
Why? Several reasons.
- Gload is an opposite-handed hitter to the righty Hernandez, Mayberry is not
- The “hot-hand” argument does not work, because Gload is 2-for-6 and three of those outs were hard-hit balls
- Most importantly, Mayberry is an extremely inexperienced major league hitter – the type that Livan Hernandez regularly feasts on
Sure enough, Mayberry chased two mid-60s breaking balls and struck out swinging. Livan came out, Clippard came in, Victorino struck out. Fire extinguished.
For #3, I’d also add that John Mayberry struggles with anything that isn’t a straight fastball.
And to quote myself on Twitter:
Anyone who defends Charlie Manuel’s in-game tactics should watch that John Mayberry at-bat on loop for ten years.
Harsh, but fair.