The Rockies defeated the Phillies 5-4 to even up their NL Division series at one apiece. The game itself was pretty eventful, but there is more to this series than the games. There are things to be learned.
Cole Hamels gave instruction on why you probably shouldn’t pitch when you’re wife is due to go in labor at any moment. And followed it up on how to be removed from that game as soon as possible.
But the greatest teaching of all comes from Phillies’ manager, Charlie Manuel. You see, Manuel’s teaching goes beyond the game of baseball. It’s simply about having balls. And big ones. It’s about going all in. Whenever, however.
Follow me now.
As the Phillies, Rockies series heads to Denver, only two games have been played. But mysteriously, the Phillies have already used 4 starting pitchers (Cliff Lee on Wednesday, Cole Hamels on Thursday, Joe Blanton for an inning on Thursday, and JA Happ threw 4 pitchers before being hit on the shin). And he’s even used arguably his best pitcher as a pinch runner.
Gamble? Stupid? Suspect managing? Not when you’re all in. And in a short series, can you be anything other than all in?
It’s true, this could all blow up in his face. But does Manuel care? No! It’s all about getting the W today and worrying about tomorrow, tomorrow.
“I felt like we were still in the game, and I felt like they weren’t going to pitch very long, and I felt like we needed to hold them,” Manuel said. “I was trying to win the game. I definitely felt like we had a run in us.”
When asked if and why he believed that Joe Blanton could come back and start tomorrow night, Manuel got testy. Remember, Blanton threw just 19 pitches and he probably would have thrown a bullpen session yesterday if he hadn’t been an available reliever.
“Yes, I do [think Blanton can start tomorrow night],” Manuel said. “I played 20 years. I’ve been around the game 47 years. I’ve seen guys come back and pitch three or four days in a row who are starters. How about that?
“You can write whatever you want and you can voice your opinion. It can be done. Sometimes those are the chances you have to take. That’s how you play it sometimes. I was making moves out there that if I could have picked some other things to do, I would have probably did it.”
That’s indeed how you play it sometimes, with balls. All in! So while some question, I don’t. Because if he pull this off, the ones who are questioning with be all over Manuel’s balls. Just like last October.
Manuel gambles with Phillies starters (Philly Inquirer)