NLCS Game 4: San Francisco Giants Push Philadelphia Phillies to the Brink

October 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies have nobody to blame for their Game 4 loss to the San Francisco Giants but themselves.

The Phillies made a series of coaching mistakes and mental mistakes and lost to the Giants 6-5 in Game 4 and now face a 3-1 series hole as they head into Game 4 and a rematch of Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay.

Let’s take a look at the Phillies’ mistakes in this game.It started for the Phillies in the fifth inning. With runners on second and third and one out, Shane Victorino singled up the middle. Ben Francisco scored and Carlos Ruiz was thrown at home.


There is absolutely no way Sam Perlozzo can send Ruiz in that spot. The ball that Victorino hit was a sharp groundball up the middle. It wasn’t a 30-hopper that just barely made it through.

Perlozzo has to be 100 percent sure that Ruiz is going to score. Runs have been too precious in this series to be careless in that situation. Instead of having runners on first and third with one out, the Phillies had just a runner on first with two outs.

Something that was overlooked on that play—how is Victorino not on second? There was no chance of the throw from Aaron Rowand being cut off. Victorino had to be on second.

It didn’t end up hurting the Phillies that Victorino wasn’t on second because of Placido Polanco‘s double, but it’s plays or lack thereof that have made me scratch my head in this series.

Then in the eighth, how does Manuel not bunt with Jimmy Rollins at the plate and Jayson Werth on second with nobody out? I thought Charlie Manuel said before the game his team was going to play “small ball?”

That was a must-bunt situation for Manuel. Rollins hasn’t done much and Manuel had to believe that Francisco and Ruiz could have gotten the run home with less than two outs.

Now, people will say it didn’t matter because Francisco and Ruiz struck out after Rollins popped up. Having a runner on third completely changes the dynamic of the inning and perhaps the pitch selection to both batters.

The biggest decision by Manuel in this game was his decision to bring in Roy Oswalt to start the ninth. At the time, I didn’t have a problem with it. Then I found out he threw a bullpen session earlier in the day and I almost fell off my chair.

Manuel was going to make a guy throw a bullpen session in the afternoon and then come out in the ninth in a tie game later that night on two days’ rest? No thanks.

Oswalt wasn’t sharp and gave up the game-winning run when Juan Uribe hit a deep flyball to left that scored Aubrey Huff. Speaking of that Uribe at-bat, it was another mental mistake by the Phillies.

Uribe has a bad wrist and couldn’t catch up to Oswalt’s fastball in the AB. Why on Earth would Ruiz call a change-up and Oswalt agree to throw it? The only thing they are doing is helping Uribe out. Terrible.

Here are some other observations from Game 4…

Joe Blanton threw two wild pitches in 175.2 regular season innings and threw two wild pitches in the first inning of Game 4.

Despite his less than stellar performance (three runs in 4.2 IP), I still believe it was the right decision to start Blanton over Halladay.

The Tampa Bay Rays took SS Tim Beckham with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 Draft when they needed a catcher. Fail.

Home plate umpire Wally Bell was all over the place.

Can the Phillies come back from this 3-1 deficit? Absolutely. With Halladay, Oswalt, and Cole Hamels in the next three games, they have a very good chance of coming back.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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