10/05/08 5:56 PM ET
Chess Match: Burrell foils strategy
Intentional walk to Howard precedes big homer for Phillies
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
The situation: Runner on second, two out, top of the Phillies third.
The outcome: Burrell hit a three-run homer deep to left on a 2-2 pitch, essentially breaking open the game and giving the Phillies a 4-0 lead. A moment later, Jayson Werth made it 5-0 with his back-to-back shot.
The analysis: "Well, the goal there coming into this series was not let Howard hit two-pointers against you. It's not that difficult of a decision. Burrell came into the series hitting .170 off righties the last 30 days. Unfortunately, obviously, he was our Achilles tendon today." -- Sveum
Too much Blanton
The situation: Joe Blanton had a three-hit shutout for six innings and led off the top of the seventh, but he had thrown 99 pitches already at that point.
The outcome: Blanton opened the bottom of the seventh by allowing a full-count homer to Prince Fielder and a single by J.J. Hardy. Manuel then replaced Blanton with Ryan Madson, who pitched two innings.
The analysis: "I was fine. I fell behind to Fielder and he made me pay for it. I didn't want to walk him to start off an inning. I threw him a good pitch earlier [in the fourth] and he attacked it and lined out. This time he beat me. I wasn't surprised that Charlie left me in there. I was pitching a good game and we had a comfortable lead." -- Blanton
Why pull Parra?
The situation: Left-handed reliever Manny Parra struck out Chase Utley and Howard to open the eighth.
The outcome: That didn't work, either. Burrell homered on an 0-2 pitch, making the score 6-1 and putting the game out of reach.
The analysis: "On two pitches [on Burrell] we had the count in our favor. Unfortunately, it didn't work out. You know, Manny did his job and threw the heck out of the ball. And we wanted to get a right-hander on the mound [Mota] with a slider, and unfortunately he threw a bad 0-2 pitch to him. Once again, we had him in the count we wanted him, and we just made a bad pitch. -- Sveum
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.