Not a day after posting an article praising Gabe Kapler for good managing, I must flip flop. Like a politician come election time, I must retract a previous statement on Kapler. Kapler screwed this game up. Play-by-play announcer Tom McCarthy was openly critical of his moves during the game. Apparently so were the radio announcers:
The Phillies were in a tight game with the Cincinnati Reds. A game the Phillies have to have to keep their playoff hopes alive. Well, they lost to the Reds in extra innings to fall 4 games behind the Chicago Cubs. It wasn’t just the loss that hurt, it was what Kapler was doing that had fans scratching their heads.
Let’s start with the fact that Adam Haseley has been on a bit of a tear lately. Haseley was only hitting 4 for 10 in the series with a walk and two runs scored. During the top of the ninth, why wouldn’t you let him hit? Kapler substituted in Jay Bruce, who has limited at-bats lately due to injuries. The move didn’t make sense. It wasn’t like Bruce is a right-handed hitter facing a left-handed pitcher.
Not only was that change a head-scratcher, but in the bottom of the ninth, he substituted Sean Rodriguez for Bruce. He then replaced Pitcher Ranger Suarez with Hector Neris. What was weird was that Kapler had a pinch hitter hit during the top of the tenth. Why not double switch and have Sean Rodriguez bat to lead off the tenth? The moves just didn’t make sense.
Starting the Mets Series off on the wrong foot
The Phillies are now in must-win games. To win these games, Kapler has to put forward his best line up. I ask you, is this the best lineup the Phillies have to offer.
I get that Kapler changed the lineup up to face a left-handed pitcher. However, he has a lineup that he needs to stick with. The fact he starts two minor league players in Maikel Franco and Jose Pirela is not a smart move. I know Maikel Franco is not a minor league player, but to this manager, he is. Now Franco had a couple of hits tonight, but Pirela is a journeyman who spent the majority of the season in AAA. Why is Kapler starting him over both Corey Dickerson and Haseley? Regardless the lineup didn’t work and the Phillies lost in the bottom of the ninth.
Best Catcher in Baseball Alert
J.T. Realmuto is on fire! Tonight he has again thrown out a runner trying to steal second. He is almost at 50% caught stealing rate. He also is 2 for 5 with a home run and three RBI. Realmuto has homered in three straight games. In his first year as a Phillie, he surpassed his home run and RBI total for a single season. I know I just recently wrote this but it bears repeating. Klentak needs to sign him to an extension this offseason.
Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Matt is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a degree in Journalism. After College he was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army where he was an Airborne Ranger and served with the famed 101st Airborne Division. RAKKASAN! When not at work you can find him coaching his son and daughter’s sports teams. Follow Matt, AKA the Delco Dope on twitter at https://twitter.com/delco_dope