Jeff Manship was cruising. The right-hander woke up Saturday morning with a 7.53 earned run average, but that didn’t seem to matter as he was retiring 12 New York Mets batters in order, six of them on strikes. For innings 10 through 13, Manship carried the Philadelphia Phillies.
So when the pitcher’s spot came up with a runner on third and two outs, Fightins skipper Ryne Sandberg left Manship hit. At this point, the club had been playing competitive baseball for 10 of the last 25 hours, and Ben Revere legitimately might be the next man up in the bullpen. Yes, you could argue leaving Manship in with his eight Major League plate appearances is a total play-not-to-lose strategy in this situation. Yet, if by some minor miracle he puts the ball in play and reaches first base safely, or even draws a free pass at least…
And then, magic. Manship tops a weak chopper that has just enough juice to clear the mound, and now the ball is heading into the hole up the middle. Shortstop Ruben Tejada has a beat on it though—but he’s having trouble getting the thing out of his glove. Manship is going to be safe. Manship is going to be safe!
Manship is probably going to be safe IF he doesn’t start to hobble while grabbing at his right quadriceps. Instead, he does the latter, and the game is going to the 14th. Worse still, Manship is hurt, and that whole playing-not-to-lose thing? That’s down the tubes, too.
Antonio Bastardo enters and surrenders a run on cue. The Phillies threaten, but ultimately fall short. Mets win 5-4.
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