Charlie Manuel has been getting a boatload of passes here and elsewhere but not this morning. His decision to lift a dominating Roy Oswalt in favor of Brad Lidge last night nearly cost the Phillies a hard-earned win.
Lidge came into the game leading 2-1 and proceeded to give up a single, intentional walk, hit batter and then to cap off the adventure a balk to let in the tying run. Only Jimmy Rollins astonishing slide in the 13th inning on a base hit by Placido Polanco saved the night.
Whatever confidence Lidge had restored in his previous outings was erased last night with his poor performance. But the real issue is that he shouldn't have been in the game in the first place. Oswalt was in full control and unless he walked into the dugout after the eighth inning and told Charlie he was cooked there is no good reason for having lifted him.
The Phils win coupled with another Braves lost cut Atlanta's lead in the division to 2 games. The win also marked another fine outing from a Phillies starter not named Kendrick.