- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot blogger
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Ryan Sommers at Crashburn Alley has an in-depth take on Charlie Manuel's ninth-inning strategies last night that's worth checking out.
I watched the ninth inning and agree with Ryan that there was nothing wrong with letting Roy Halladay attempt to work out of the two-on jam -- he had been dominant all game and would finish with 14 strikeouts. But I also agree with Ryan that it seemed odd to leave Halladay in after he had lost the lead. Manuel left him in to throw 122 pitches, which isn't necessarily an evil unto itself -- Halladay has topped that total three other times this season -- but more a question of the big picture and keeping Halladay as strong as possible heading into October.
But the bigger issue was using John Mayberry Jr. -- Manuel's best bat on the bench -- as a pinch-runner instead of a pinch-hitter. Mayberry could be a big weapon for the Phillies in the postseason, assuming Manuel uses him properly. Something to keep an eye on.
As for Arizona, it was a huge win, their seventh in a row and their MLB-leading 35th come-from-behind victory. Combined with San Francisco's extra-inning loss in Atlanta, the D-backs' lead in the NL West is up to 3.5 games and we could be inching closer to a Halladay-Ian Kennedy Game 1 showdown in the NLDS.
Follow David Schoenfield on Twitter @dschoenfield.