Friday, July 25, 2008

Playing The Percentages: Why the Mets didn't sweep the Phillies

It's a 5-2 ballgame, the Mets were ahead of the Phillies in the first game of an intense 3 game series between the two cross-state rivals. The top of the 9th inning began when Jerry Manuel called on Duaner Sanchez to close out the game because the Mets trustworthy closer Billy Wagner was inactive due to left shoulder spasms. Sanchez had been pitching excellently before that game but still hasn't regained his best stuff from before the taxi cab accident so the chances of him faltering are higher because he's not a shutdown pitcher now but he's pitched like one recently. He came out of the game with bases loaded and no out. Again the odds of losing the game increase. Joe Smith entered the game and induced a double play ball, Jose Reyes tries to rush it and gets no one out, 5-3. Pedro Feliciano comes in to face So Taguchi who hadn't gotten a hit in his last 16 at-bats, again leaving him with a higher chance of getting a hit in this specific situation because he isn't a .000 hitter he's a .230's hitter. He doubles, and ties the game. At that point you should make another bullpen switch but instead Randoph, I mean Manuel left Feliciano in and he let up 3 more runs. In the bottom of the 9th the Mets scored one more run to close the game out at an 8-6 Phillies victory. The two run run differential is actually the same amount of runs squandered by the Mets rookie 3rd base coach Luis Aguayo, who twice sent Endy Chavez home from second on David Wright base hits with no one out in the 3rd and 7th innings both with Carlos Beltran and Delgado due up and Endy twice got thrown out.

A smart, tactical manager would've gone with his top setup man from the beginning, Aaron Heilman. Also, seeing that Sanchez has excelled recently a smart manager would've given him a break knowing he could soon implode. He should've also left Joe Smith in because him and Heilman are the only relievers that did anything right that inning. But he opted to keep Feliciano in for the longest amount of time even though he caused the most damage. These are just some mistakes managers that don't manage from a percentage standpoint will make over the course of the season.