Lots of talk about managerial decisions after the Philadelphia Phillies’ 3-2 walk-off loss to the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.
Ryne Sandberg left Cody Asche and Domonic Brown out of the lineup altogether in favor of righty vs. lefty matchups. The Phils skipper then proceeded to fail to pinch hit accordingly in opposite scenarios later on, not to mention pitched lefthander Jake Diekman against a series of right-handers in the seventh—plus used Mario Hollands in the ninth inning of a tie game as his first Major League appearance ever.
But that’s okay, Ryno. I ain’t mad at cha. You’ll figure it out. At least we hope you will.
Right this moment, I’m far more concerned about the continuous undisciplined play of Ben Revere, because there is no end in sight to that travesty. And this is coming from somebody who really likes the kid.
Revere was picked off at second base by Rangers starter Martin Perez in the top half of the sixth inning. Initially ruled safe, a manager challenge determined what seemed clear in real time, that the base-runner was indeed out. The very next pitch, Marlon Byrd singled, which almost certainly would’ve scored Revere. Had it not, Ryan Howard’s double on the following at bat definitely would have.
The score should’ve been 3-0 Phillies when they exited the inning. Instead, it was 2-0. Note the final.
If this was an isolated incident, we could easily chalk it up as an innocent mistake and move on. Unfortunately, it’s become all too clear that these types of totally avoidable, bone-headed plays are just part of the Ben Revere experience.
In 88 games in 2013, Revere managed to get caught stealing eight times on 30 attempts for a disappointing 72-percent conversion rate. He was thrown out an additional six times on the base paths, four at first alone. Oh, and there was a lackadaisical effort on a routine fly ball that the centerfielder left fall out of his glove for an error rather than an out—nobody can convince me that should’ve been ruled a catch—and other general misadventures defensively.
While puns about the ridiculous numbers baseball players are on pace for are still in vogue, I’ll submit Revere is already on pace to quadruple his blooper reel from a season ago.
Despite a weak arm in the outfield and zero pop at the plate, Revere could be a dangerous weapon at the top of the Phillies’ order. After a slow start last season, the 25-year-old kept on getting better and better until a foot injury sidelined him for the rest of the year.
Revere’s on-base percentage was a lowly .234 in the months of March and April. The rest of the way, it was .388. He can slap the ball around, and his speed is devastating.
So are his mistakes.
It’s only Game 2 of a 162-game season, so I won’t belabor the point any further. Plain and simple, Revere needs to get his head in the game. The Phillies have enough to worry about without the fundamental mistakes of a kid who is not quite a kid anymore.
>> Box Score [CBS Sports]