Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Great Win

I'm hopeful that today's unconventional victory will help get the Phillies bats back on track. Taking those walks in the 7th inning was a very good sign, and with a few well hit balls sprinkled in, it turned in to quite a rally.

I'm still a bit concerned about the starting pitching, but so far it's just one bad outing from three different guys. Unfortunately, all three happened in a row, but it's much nicer to leave home 1-2 than 0-3. If nothing else, it will make Cataldi shut up for a day. Well, that's not gonna happen, but we can dream.

And I loved Charlie's press conference after the game. When asked about pinch hitting Matt Stairs for Carlos Ruiz in the 7th, Charlie said "To tell you the truth, I was worried about Chooch grounding into a double play and I wanted to make sure Stairs got to hit with the bases loaded."

Stairs, of course, took the walk. But it's fascinating that even with Chooch off to a good start (3-9 after today), Charlie still trusts Stairs off the bench more when the game is on the line. Stairs is definitely a Charlie kind of guy. I hope, though that this year will see Chooch put together better offensive numbers so Charlie does trust him in those situations.

Charlie is slow to change his opinion of guys. It took Chad Durbin a long time last year to establish himself as a reliable guy out of the 'pen, and then it took a long time for Madson to replace him as the setup man. That's part of the key to Charlie's success. He trusts his gut and his guys to produce the way they have in the past. He doesn't change those opinions lightly. And guys seem to like that.

Clearly, 9 at-bats haven't turned Chooch into an offensive star in Charlie's mind. It'll be worth watching this season to see when (or if) he can do so.

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