Tag: Charlie Manuel


And a rookie shall lead them: Buster Posey carries Giants to brink of World Series


Juan Uribe surprisingly didn’t put up much of a fight in the bottom of the ninth inning when home plate umpire Wally Bell ruled that the 1-1 pitch from Roy Oswalt hit his bat handle and not his hand.

Instead of taking his base Uribe just waited a couple pitches and hit the game-winning sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Aubrey Huff from third base and putting the Giants one win away from the World Series.

Uribe delivered the walk-off blow and also made an excellent defensive play despite being in the game for all of one inning after coming in as part of a double-switch, but it was 23-year-old rookie catcher Buster Posey who carried the Giants all night.

Posey put the Giants up 1-0 with an RBI single in the first inning, made it a 2-0 lead with an RBI double in the third, doubled again in the seventh, and advanced Huff to third base with an opposite-field single off Oswalt in front of Uribe’s game-winning fly ball. Oh, and he also made a great defensive play to cut down Carlos Ruiz at the plate in the fifth inning, picking up a short-hop throw from center fielder Aaron Rowand and hanging on in a catcher-on-catcher collision.

Not a bad night for a kid who was at Triple-A until May 29.

Posey went 4-for-5 overall, becoming just the 13th player in baseball history to have a four-hit game in the playoffs at age 23 or younger. And it’s a helluva list: Miguel Cabrera, Derek Jeter, Manny Ramirez, Lenny Dykstra, Joe Garagiola, Hank Greenberg, Joe Medwick, Freddie Lindstrom, Goose Goslin, Frankie Frisch, Donie Bush, Ty Cobb.

Lost in Posey’s historic heroics is that Phillies manager Charlie Manuel made several questionable bullpen moves, including using Game 2 starter Roy Oswalt to pitch the ninth inning in relief on two days’ rest rather than turn to closer Brad Lidge. No doubt Manuel was holding Lidge back for a so-called save situation, but as so often happens when managers make tactical decisions based on the accumulation of that statistic there was ultimately never a lead for Lidge to close out.

If the Phillies are going to turn the NLCS around and get to a third straight World Series they’ll need Oswalt to come up big Saturday in Game 6, but first we’re in for an epic Game 1 rematch between reigning back-to-back Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum and his likely successor Roy Halladay. San Francisco is one victory from the World Series, but if any team can stave off elimination for three straight games it’s the back-to-back National League champs with The Big Three of Halladay, Oswalt, and Cole Hamels.

Duchscherer hopes to be ready by Opening Day

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duchscherer.jpgJustin Duchscherer didn’t throw a pitch last season and is making his way back from a complex procedure that burned the nerve endings around his
sacroiliac joint.  And yet, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea, the right-hander is still optimistic about being fully healthy for baseball’s opening week.

“The Duke of Hurl” will throw off a mound for the first time this week.  He’s hoping to lift his pitch count to 75 by the end of spring.

“The way I feel about my ability to compete, if I can throw 75 pitches
in a game here, when it’s time to turn the lights on for the season to
start, I can go 100,” said the righty.

Duchscherer, 32, was 10-8 with a 2.54 ERA and 1.00 WHIP back in 2008, his first full season as a starter.  If he can get back to what worked two years ago, it could be an interesting summer in Oakland.  Same goes for veteran right-hander Ben Sheets.

Quote of the day: Charlie Manuel

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Thumbnail image for charlie manuel nutrisystem.jpgHere’s Phillies manager Charlie Manuel (yes, that slim fella on the right) on the status of Shane Victorino, who has been sidelined in the early part of the Grapefruit League schedule due to some shoulder tightness:

“He’s all right,” Manuel said this morning. “I didn’t even ask him
today. He’s going to be well when we put him back out there. He’s coming
along good. … He’s got soreness. He developed that this winter. He
might have slept on his shoulder all winter. He might have stretched it
or pulled it or sprained it or whatever, messing with the cat or the dog
or something. I don’t know.”

“Somewhere along the line you will see him, dude,” Manuel said.

This quote is great on its own, it really is, but I feel robbed by not getting the opportunity to actually hear Manuel say it.