Oct 182010
 
Phillies RHP Roy Oswalt

Phillies P Roy Oswalt slides home safely

October 18:

Phillies news and stories from around the web…

Oswalt delivers with arm and bat as Phils tie series

October 18 Philadelphia Inquirer:

“The first time Roy Oswalt hit Sunday night, he used a Chase Utley bat. He weakly grounded out to second. After that, he went to Jimmy Rollins and asked him to go get some of his bats from the clubhouse. A few days ago in batting practice, Oswalt swung some Rollins bats and he liked the feel.

When Oswalt singled in the seventh inning of the Phillies’ 6-1 victory over San Francisco in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, Rollins was down the dugout tunnel in the underground batting cage.

He was 1 for 15 in the postseason before Sunday, mired in a slump during a season defined by slumps and injuries for the shortstop. But word traveled inside that Oswalt had singled with the Rollins bat and he had to smile.

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This time Phillies will let Oswalt’s decision slide

October 18 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Paul Hagen:

“GIANTS MANAGER Bruce Bochy didn’t think there was a chance that Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt was going to be able to score from second. Then again, he didn’t think Oswalt was even going to try after Placido Polanco singled to center in the bottom of the seventh.

With just one out and a potential to have runners on first and third, leading by a single run, third-base coach Sam Perlozzo put up the stop sign.

Except that Oswalt ran through it. And Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff, who had seen Perlozzo throw his hands up, cut off the throw from center.

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Manuel shifts gears in Phillies batting order

October 18 Philadelphia Daily News:

“In his last 10 postseason at-bats against a lefthanded reliever, Ryan Howard is 0-for-10 with eight strikeouts. Chase Utley, his longtime partner in the middle of the Phillies order, has one hit and three strikeouts in his last 11 postseason at-bats against a lefty reliever.

So last night, Charlie Manuel made a logical move, separating his two lefthanded sluggers with a subtle change to his lineup. Instead of hitting Utley third and Howard fourth, Manuel slid Utley up to No. 2 and Placido Polanco back to No. 3. The move, which came with tough lefty Jonathan Sanchez on the mound and lefty specialist Javier Lopez lurking in the bullpen, was made to prevent the type of situations that have plagued the Phillies over the past few postseasons, when opposing managers were free to call on their lefty relief specialists to face Utley and Howard without having to worry about them facing a righthanded hitter.

Such was the case in the eighth inning of Game 1, when Lopez induced a groundout from Utley and then struck out Howard before giving way to righthanded closer Brian Wilson.

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Nice to see Rollins join the Phillies’ party

October 18 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Sam Donnellon:

“AT SOME POINT he had to join the party. It was implausible, the thought that the Phillies could win the last game of the 2010 season without the help of Jimmy Rollins.

And yet he looked so awful on the right side of the plate, so feeble on the left side of the plate this postseason, that Giants manager Bruce Bochy’s solution to escape a seventh-inning jam last night was to somehow get to Rollins’ place in the order.

Rollins had mustered just two hits in the playoffs, one a little gift that dropped between three Giants infielders to begin the fourth inning last night. In the press box, probably in the stands, in the living rooms and bars across the Delaware Valley, too, there was an uneasy argument even that pinch-hitting for the Phillies’ franchise shortstop was the sharpest course of action. Especially when Bochy intentionally walked hitless Jayson Werth to load the bases, then replaced lefthander Jeremy Affeldt with righthanded Santiago Casilla, forcing Rollins to bat lefthanded.

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‘Not a cowboy’ but Manuel holds the reins

October 18 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Bill Conlin:

“CHARLIE MANUEL does it his way. Regrets, he’s had a few, but then again, as the song suggests, too few to mention. There was little to regret in last night’s 6-1, Game 2 bustout. Oh, maybe a few regrets they haven’t thrown Cody Ross more breaking balls.

And he’s not the one who kept serving fastballs to Ross, who, in two NLCS games, has pounded three home runs and broken up a pair of fledgling no-hitters.

What’s a manager to do? Do you tell a Roy Halladay or a Roy Oswalt, “I don’t care if this guy is at the bottom of their lineup, don’t give him anything to hit. At the same time, be aggressive.”

Giants manager Bruce Bochy was asked after the former Marlins outfielder immolated the great Halladay in Game 1 with a pair of pivotal bombs if he might consider moving his no-longer-a-secret weapon to a more productive spot in a batting order that is not exactly Murderers’ Row and includes double-castoff Pat Burrell batting fourth or fifth.

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Good luck comes in 3-hole for Polanco, Phils

October 18 Philadelphia Daily News:

“AGAINST THE EVIL lefthandedness that was Jonathan Sanchez, the Phillies, logically, needed a righthanded hitter to come through.

Charlie Manuel bet it would be Placido Polanco. He bet it so hard that he dropped Polanco to the No. 3 slot and moved regular No. 3 hitter Chase Utley into Polanco’s No. 2 hole.

Manuel was right.

“Charlie’s a genius,” said Phillies leadoff hitter Shane Victorino.

Polanco made Manuel look like it.

In the first inning, with Utley on second, Polanco made contact – important against Sanchez, a strikeout artist – and grounded to third base. Mike Fontenot’s throw was low and wide, moving Utley to third. He later scored on a bases-loaded walk.

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