Who's On Third?
Brad Lidge and Pedro Feliz said they did not know who should have covered third base.
Johnny Damon said he expected Lidge there.
Jimmy Rollins said he forgot to tell Lidge it was him.
Charlie Manuel discussed the play that set in motion the killer 7-4 loss last night to the Yankees in Game 4 of the World Series. Damon stole second base with two outs in the top of the ninth inning and wisely ran to third with nobody covering the base as the Phillies had deployed a defensive shift toward right field for Mark Teixeira.
“Every year we go to Spring Training and when we go over our fundamentals and bunt plays and things like that, we might spend five minutes on that at the most,” Manuel said. “We might talk about it two times. That’s the first time I’ve seen that play happen against us since I’ve been here. That plays comes up sometimes. Damon was heads up. I said there was a miscommunication. If you’re going to play the game the right way … that’s kind of an instinct play. That’s where you’ve got to be heads up in the game.
“You’ve got to know where you’ve got your defense set and who’s going to cover third. Most of the time that’s the pitcher. But I’ll be very honest with you, if we’re going to go over it, if we’re going to discuss it every day, for me, (Carlos) Ruiz is going to cover third because he’s faster than Lidge and he’s a better fielder and things like that. He would be the guy that I would say, ‘Go cover third base.’”
Some have wondered if Rollins could have taken the throw from Ruiz at second, but he was positioned too far away from the bag. Feliz made the correct play by fielding the throw at second.
“But the big thing in the inning was A-Rod’s hit,” Manuel said.
Manuel pointed that Damon already was in scoring position because he stole second. He would have scored anyway on A-Rod’s double to left field.