The Six Comeback Teams in the LCS

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It looks bad for the Phillies because it is bad. The Giants have a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series. One loss and it’s over. But there is hope for the Phillies: Six teams since 1985 have overcome 3-1 deficits to win the LCS:

Ben Francisco played for the 2007 Indians, who blew a 3-1 lead to the Red Sox.

“We’re still confident,” Francisco said after last night’s 6-5 loss to the Giants in Game 4. “We’ve just got to win one and get it back to Philly. That’s what the ’07 Red Sox did to us. They came out, beat our ace and they went back to their home park. That’s what we’ve got to do.”

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22 Comments

explain to me why Lidge didn’t pitch the 9th? Okay, it’s not a “save” situation, but for CHrist’s sake, keeping it tied, isn’t important? Let Lidge pitch, try to score in the 10th, and then, if needed, bring in Oswalt. I don’t believe in changing the things that got you to the playoffs in the playoffs. THe pitching out of the Pen needs to be the same as normal. Mid inning guy, set up guy, closer and then role the dice if needed. No point in saving Lidge.

BTW, our pitching has not done it this series either. Look at the ERA’s of our H2O rotation. Halladay-5.14, Hamels-4.50. Only Oswalt with a 2.08 is pitching like we expect. Can’t win with no hitting and no starting pitching.

Charlie is going to be the first recipient of the “Bobby Cox Award” given to the MLB manager who manages to do the least with the most. I just loved his statements over the last several days to the effect that the Phillies have been in a hitting slump since the middle of 2009. Doh! But it really makes sense in Charlie’s universe, and by extension Junior’s, ignore the hitting and concentrate on the pitching. I wish someone would tell me the one marginal hitter on the Phillies who this “Hitting Guru” has turned into an above average, productive hitter? Okay, maybe Carlos if in fact Charlie had anything to do with his improvement. Anyone else? Charlie and Andy Reid have to be twins separated at birth in their uncanny ability to do so little with so much although unlike Andy, Charlie has gotten at least one brass ring and in half the time.

The only time they could have used Oswalt was when they did because he had just done his normal bullpen work and had to pitch right away or not at all. I wouldn’t have used him, but I can kind of understand when the option is Kendrick or Oswalt. Even the Yankees would not have put in Rivera in that situation because you have save your closer for the right situation. This is where their worst signing of the last off-season (Baez) came back to bite them. He sucked all year and they never replaced him.
Halladay is a lock for the NL Cy Young award, but we will find out tonight who is really the best pitcher in the NL.

So many oddities about last night: Rollins not bunting, Victorino not taking the extra base on Rowand’s throw, sending Ruiz, the non-balk on Rollins’ CS, Polanco’s botched DP grounder, not using Lidge…

Over his career, Oswalt has given up more first inning earned runs (109) than any inning except the 5th (116). Like a lot of starters, he needs to settle in. There is a long history of starters being unsuccessful in relief appearances – for good reasons.

Probably the bigger mistake was having 11 pitchers and 2 extra starters. Have either Blanton or Kendrick, but what do you need with both of them? That’s hindsight, but you need somebody like Worley who is accustomed to coming in relief. When were they going to use Kendrick if not last night? It’s a wasted roster spot. In a 7-game series with 2 off-days, you shouldn’t need 5 starters.

Now you’re dealing with a supremely confident Giants team that has their Ace going.
The ’07 Sox, after beating Sabathia, went on to beat Fausto Carmona and Jake Westbrook. I’d like to think that Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels are a tad bit better than that group.
The ’04 Sox won 2 extra-innings games in games 6 & 7, so they beat their bullpen. There are different circumstances.

THe issue isn’t who’s stating for us, but who’s starting for the Giants. We have to win 3 in a row against Lincecum, Sanchez and Cain. An Ave of around the MEndosa line won’t get that done, even if H2O throw 3 straight no hitters. TIme to shake things up. GO back to the original batting order of Rollins, Polly, Utley, Howard, Werth, Ibanez, Victorino, Ruiz and Pitcher. If this team can’t score at least 4 runs and if Halladay can’t hold the Giants to 3 or under, we don’t deserve to win, its’ that simple

f-i-j, Oswalt would not have been available later. Starting pitchers have a day between starts when they have a hard bullpen session. Yesterday was Oswalt’s day and he had just finished his work. They had to use him right then or not at all, if they wanted him to be right for his next potential start.
I wouldn’t have used him. Somebody here (muleman?) already made a point about how starters give up a high percentage of their runs in the early innings before they settle it. That goes against the idea of using them in relief in a tight spot. Lidge? Conventional wisdom says no, but That’s Charlie’s call and he made it. I certainly didn’t want to see Kendrick and apparently, neither did Charlie.

When are they oddities and when are they lack of fundamentals? For months now the Phillies have been making the wrong moves, if any moves, on the base paths. But what can you say when leadership (?) sends Ruiz home. Without that boneheaded move, different game.

THe issue isn’t who’s stating for us, but who’s starting for the Giants. We have to win 3 in a row against Lincecum, Sanchez and Cain. An Ave of around the MEndosa line won’t get that done, even if H2O throw 3 straight no hitters. TIme to shake things up. GO back to the original batting order of Rollins, Polly, Utley, Howard, Werth, Ibanez, Victorino, Ruiz and Pitcher. If this team can’t score at least 4 runs and if Halladay can’t hold the Giants to 3 or under, we don’t deserve to win, its’ that simple

Pherris, can’t fault that judgement. The throw was right on, despite the short hop, and the tag brilliant. If the throw is 6 inches more towards 1st, or a bit higher, he’s safe. THe balk not being called was just another pathetic job by the umps, including the fair ball called foul, some questionable stikes called (or not called).

pherris: Call them what you will, be it misatkes, fundamental errors or just lapses in judgement. Not sending Ruiz wouldn’t guarantee that the run would score, so that’s a non-factor. It took a near-perfect throw, and a reminder that in spite of his offensive woes, Rowand is still an outstanding centerfielder.
Every game has “questionable” ball and strike calls. I don’t pay attention to that aspect.

f.i.j.: Just heard Wheeler on the radio saying it’s ridiculous to use your closer (Lidge) on the road in a tie game. Is that more ridiculous than using a starter? Supposedly, it’s “all hands on deck” in games like these, and the idea is to do whatever it takes. I would have brought him in because he is my best option in that situation, and I’m out of relievers. The phrase “conventional baseball wisdom” is an oxymoron.

I don’t quite olow if you are agreeing with me that they should have used Lidge or not. He was definately available. As were any other pitcher, except those already used in the game. I dont mind using Oswalt, if needed, but would have saved him for the next inning, assuming Lidge is incapable of pitching more then 1 inning (notice the Giants closer goes 4 outs regularly)

muleman: If I am not mistaken, after Ruiz was thrown out there was a hit that would have driven him in so it was a lost run in fact if not in theory. But really I do not get your point. To send cement footed Ruiz home or to not send him home was a no-brainer in the situation in which it arose. True, not sending Ruiz home did not guarantee a run would score but sending him home guaranteed one less run would score. Let’s see, what did the Phillies lose by? Ah, yes, one run.

pherris: Third base coaches gamble all the time on outfielders making perfect throws in order to get a runner. Granted, Rowand is one of the better ones, so the gamble carries more risk.
However, perhaps Sam told himself before the game that, given the anemic hitting, he would take a chance to try to make something happen rather than sit on his hands? I never criticize aggression.
There is no crystal ball, and only in hindsight can you justify your argument.

I can’t stand baserunning mistakes, but I agree with muleman that sending Ruiz was a necessary aggressive move because of the anemic offense. They needed a jumpstart and they took a risk. There are a lot of other things to point to in that game…like, WTF WAS VICTORINO DOING ON FIRST BASE AFTER THE THROW TO HOME SAILED THE CUTOFF MAN?
That’s a baserunning mistake. In the end Vic scored, but he is a real knucklehead sometimes.

What has been most surprising is the poor defense – Ben’s poor play in left led to a run or more, Victorino double-clutching that throw, and Rollins botching that double play. Like the Phils, the Giants took full advantage of their poor play in the field.

It is time to revisit the decision to not start Halladay last night as 5 runs would’ve been enough for him. Cholly knew Lincecum was waiting in game 5 in S.F. so why not sacrifice that game with KY Joe instead of last night’s game???

Basically, the Phils need to make history (by beating the Giants three games in a row) to make history (by being the first NL team to make it to 3 WS in a row). If the Phils find it within themselves to overcome these odds, they will have to be considered one of the best teams in MLB history. Let’s hope for the miracle.

The Long and Winding Road………. I can see the dead end sign from here. You guys really look like dog mess out there. I am much happier seeing the Giants going through because they have played a great series and will be a much more civil representative of the NL for the WS. Lincecum is gonna wreck your lineup tonite. All this nonsense about comebacks and making history is funny and kinda sad too. Delusional people are always a bit pathetic, huh? And you guys are still whining about a baserunning decision from last night???? You guys have gotten all the breaks this season and your still whining. I mean DonkeyBoy and PhallusPain are getting kind of sad at this point. Too bad the frillies are in SF. You guys can’t throw batteries from Filly to there. It’s gonna be a long winter boys.

Obviously DonkeyBoy you didn’t read the article above. The Braves are 1 of only 6 teams who HAVE accomplished what you hope to. I guess that would qualify as a “comeback”.

Being a Braves fan, billreef should know all about “dog mess.” Nice of you to put down your TV Guide and join the party. What’s that about “civil representatives?” I didn’t know it was a legal proceeding.
And what would you know about comebacks? All the Braves do is fade down the stretch.
Good luck with Fredi Gonzalez. Your winter will assuredly be longer than ours. Check in next season when you finish behind the Nationals.

billybobreefer: How are those banjo lesson going, Boy? Of course we expect you to revel in what the Braves did in 1995 since that is the only year they did anything. Don’t worry though, Charlie is a rapt student of the Bobby Cox career of non-accomplishment or how to do so little with so much. Tell us, doesn’t Charlie remind you of Bobby Cox in this regard? But, don’t worry Charlie is 65, he doesn’t have the time to fall to the level of Bobby Cox non-accomplishment.

It’s been awhile…and I see reefer is still here talking dog poop. I’m with erichh1 looking for that miracle and believing that Charlie knows exactly what he’s doing. A lot of the season, the Phils didn’t look like a team that should have finished with the best record — BUT THEY DID. They are giving us just what we want — baseball for one more day. Here’s to doing exactly that AGAIN tomorrow! This team flat out doesn’t quit and shows remarkable true Philly grit.

May I just say what a relief to uncover somebody who truly understands what they are talking about online.

You actually know how to bring an issue to light and make
it important. More and more people should read this and understand this side of your story.
It’s surprising you are not more popular given that you certainly possess the gift.

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