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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Win-Eating Tree: Phillies 7, Dodgers 5

The Dodgers had a great opportunity to win this game, but Joe Torre elected to blow things up by handing the ball over to two relievers who have seen perhaps too much work of late, Cory Wade and Jonathan Broxton, each of whom gave up a two-run jack to reverse the Dodgers' fortunes in a handful of heartbeats. I was going to spend some time reviewing that assessment, looking up their pitches from the prior game and seeing whether that was a good gamble, but no; such are my suspicions, anyway.

At this point, I have a soft bed to crawl into, the Times Sunday crossword puzzle to finish, and the knowledge that the Dodgers got farther in one year than they had in the twenty since 1988. That is worth something; the price for that progress has yet to be paid. Their season has been all undone now, dismantled by an extravagantly paid manager who had a tin ear in one game.

Yahoo boxDodgers recap

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I just don't know. We can clearly say now that Joe should have left Kuo in the game, but all of the decisions he made in game 4 has some logic behind them. Lowe had to come out due to being on 3 days rest. Kershaw was the right choice in the 6th, even though he walked two. Park got a huge out and limited the damage, Beimel kept the game tied. Kuo was lights out in the 7th, but the hit plus the fact that he just came back from the DL meant the game was at risk. Wade did throw 2 on Sunday, but he seemed the best choice to get us through the 8th. Broxton is our best reliever. It did not work out and maybe we should have kept one of them out, up big in game 3. The Phillies can hit though and a 4 run rally on Sunday would have put that game in jeopardy too. I don't think we can be too hard on Joe in this instance.
I tend to agree -- Broxton should be able to get that out. Wade is the only really questionable decision, but to me it boils down to not having enough starters, requiring you to use more pitchers, requiring you to, as Bill James once said, find out who doesn't have their stuff today.

Why did Ned get Greg Maddux again?
There's been a lot of talk about this subject in today's DT thread; if you want to go full-force analysis on this, the questionable decision-making reached back to Lowe's early exit, the choice of Kershaw in relief (he had only seen a grand total of four games in relief in his professional career), Chan Ho Park ... there's a lot of second-guessing that could be done, but Torre's decisions just didn't pan out, and given that he came with a reputation for relief pitching mismanagement, it's no surprise the pile-on started yesterday.

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