Friday, October 9, 2009

From Start To Finish

Charlie Manuel's decision yesterday to use starting pitchers Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ as relievers, while controversial, was hardly unprecedented in Phillies postseason history. And, except for one spectacular exception, the past results matched yesterday's loss.

Yesterday was the ninth time in Phillies history that a manager resorted to using a starting pitcher as a reliever in the playoffs. The team's record when it happens is now 1-8.

Here are the eight occasions when the Phillies lost:

Game 2 2009 NLDS: Joe Blanton, J.A. Happ
Game 2 2007 NLDS: Kyle Lohse
Game 3 1993 NLCS: Ben Rivera
Game 5 1983 NLCS: Marty Bystrom
Game 1 1950 World Series: Russ Meyer
Game 3 1950 World Series: Russ Meyer
Game 4 1950 World Series: Robin Roberts
Game 5 1915 World Series: Eppa Rixey

And the only time the Phillies used a starter as a reliever in the postseason and the team won was in Game 5 of the 1980 NLCS against Houston. In an electric series finale, manager Dallas Green turned to both Larry Christenson (in the seventh inning) and Dick Ruthven, who came on in the ninth and also pitched the tenth inning to get the win.

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