NLCS Coverage: Phillies Stuck in Park

The National League Championship Series (NLCS) Game Two starters put on a show on Friday night. Los Angeles’ Vicente Padilla allowed just one run on four hits and a walk in 7.1 innings (.258 WPA). Philadelphia’s Pedro Martinez (.500 WPA), who hadn’t pitched in a game since Sept. 30, pitched 7.0 innings and allowed just two hits (and no walks).

The most questionable move came when Martinez was pulled from the game with Philadelphia up 1-0 in the eighth. Manager Charlie Manuel chose to bring in reliever Chan Ho Park (-.296 WPA). Park had dominated his former team the night before, so it’s easy to understand the line of thinking.

However, the veteran had just been activated from the disabled list before Game One of the series. Park had not pitched since Sept. 16 due to the injury problem. Why would you sit a guy for a month and then ask him to pitch on back-to-back days? It was well publicized that Park was not at 100% at the start of the series.

On offense for the Phillies, only first baseman Ryan Howard and catcher Carlos Ruiz had positive WPAs at .141 and .058, respectively.

The rest of the offense will look to get rolling tonight against LA’s Hiroki Kuroda, who has historically had good success against Philadelphia. Kuroda was activated prior to the NLCS after missing time due to a neck injury. He has not pitched since Sept. 28. As a result, the bullpen will be on its toes.

Cliff Lee will head to the hill for Philly. The club has won both of Lee’s 2009 playoff starts. The game will begin in Philadephia shortly after 8 p.m. Eastern.




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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospect analysis. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.


4 Responses to “NLCS Coverage: Phillies Stuck in Park”

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  1. Red says:

    He at least knew to pull Martinez after seven, unlike a certain G. Little.

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  2. Definitely Immoral says:

    The most questionable move came when Martinez was pulled from the game with Philadelphia up 1-0 in the eighth. Manager Charlie Manuel chose to bring in reliever Chan Ho Park (-.296 WPA). Park had dominated his former team the night before, so it’s easy to understand the line of thinking.

    Uh, no. He choose to pinch hit for his starter with a runner on base in a one-run game in the eighth inning. That’s a very different ball of wax. Having done that (and failed), he then brought in Park, who induced a ground ball off an infielder’s glove, a bunt, and a double play ball, and was then removed from the game. Real ineffective pitching there. Obviously he was suffering from overwork to be giving up all those grounders and stuff.

    (By the way, how is asking someone who’d hardly pitched in a month to go eight innings a better solution than asking someone who hasn’t pitched in a month to enter back-to-back games?)

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  3. Nick says:

    Well maybe his injury made it difficult for him to field the bunt, but I also fail to see how he pitched poorly. Marginally better fielding on any of those plays and the inning is much different.

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  4. Bob R. says:

    I love this site but wish you would not fall into the trap of saying meaningless things. Listening to mainstream reporters comment about players RBI totals from the 7th inning on or a batters BA in 11 ABs against a certain pitcher as if it matters is painful enough. I don’t think it worthwhile to read that Kuroda “…has historically had good success against Philadelphia.”

    Yes, it is a true statement. His career ERA against them is under 1, his K/BB ratio is excellent, he has never allowed them a home run and he has never lost to them. But, in his entire career, he has pitched against the Phillies 3 times!!! His record is 1-0. Repeating that he has had success against them suggests that such a fact is worth mentioning, especially if unaccompanied by some context.

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