The Baseball Desert

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Manuelly operated

Now I'm no big league manager, so maybe there's something I'm missing here, but if someone has a reasonable explanation as to why Phillies manager Charlie Manuel - with a one-run lead in the eighth inning and the bases loaded with Cardinals - opted to bring in Aaron Fulz and leave Billy Wagner on the bench, then I'm all ears.

I know about the possible advantages of a lefty-lefty matchup with Larry Walker, but still - Aaron Fulz?? No disrespect to Fulz, but I really don't see why he was on the mound at that point in the game. Wagner pitched in 45 games last year and gave up just six walks; Fulz came in and proceeded to walk in the tying run (Walker) and then the go-ahead run (Pujols).

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(photo AP)
It was as simple as that. Walk, walk, ballgame.

I'm assuming that Manuel was using the old 'don't bring your closer in before the ninth inning' technique. Well, Charlie - check the box score in the paper today. There was no ninth inning!

Oh well, at least Wagner will be rested for tonight's game. Assuming, of course, that he's brought in in time.