Manuel shying away from bullpen
Phillies skipper sticking with starters longer in Series
NEW YORK -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has received praise for the way he's handled his pitching staff throughout the postseason. But as he continues to say that he has faith in his bullpen, he continues to make decisions that suggest he's much more comfortable sticking with his starters as long as possible.
After Martinez worked his easiest inning -- an eight-pitch fifth -- he told pitching coach Rich Dubee that he felt strong enough to continue. When he exited the sixth after the Yankees had gained a lead on Hideki Matsui's golf shot over the right-field wall, the veteran pitcher was once again questioned by Manuel."I told him, I feel good enough to still make pitches," said Martinez, who revealed he has been under the weather the past few days. "They trusted that and left me in there the last two innings." This decision was similar to the one that Manuel made in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, deciding not to pinch-hit for Joe Blanton in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Dodgers then touched Blanton for a sixth-inning run that stood to be decisive until Jimmy Rollins saved the day with this two-out, walk-off double in the ninth. Unfortunately for Manuel, his club wasn't able to pull off the same kind of finish against the Yankees, and they now head back to Philadelphia with the satisfaction that they've at least split the first two games of this World Series. In addition, they do have reason to be confident in their relievers, who have posted a 3.00 ERA and accounted for four of the eight wins the Phillies have registered in their first 11 games of this postseason. "It was a heck of a game," Manuel said. "It was a very close game, and we couldn't pull it out."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.