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Annals of Idiocy: August 2008

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At this time yesterday, I was wondering if the Phillies would make a move to add some pitching to a bullpen depleted after ten innings of one-run work in Tuesday's marathon 8-7 win over the Mets. Indeed, the Phils did bring in an arm, recalling prospect Drew Carpenter in place of infielder Andy Tracy for last night's game. Carpenter pitched a scoreless 9th inning in his major-league debut, but the game was lost in the 8th when Rudy Seanez faced Carlos Delgado and allowed his third home run in seven career at-bats against the Mets slugger and then Brad Lidge--put into a non-save situation with a man on base--allowed a walk and two hits as three more runs scored. 

Charlie Manuel's best move would have been to bring in Lidge with two outs and none on to face Delgado, whom he had struck out with ease Tuesday night. Another alternative might have been to ask J.C. Romero to record one out against the lefty Delgado, though David Murphy details today just how taxed Romero has been of late. Without another lefty available, the Mets got the matchup they wanted, Delgado homered, and the comeback was on. 

Today the Phils made the move they perhaps should have made yesterday, sending Carpenter back down and summoning lefty Fabio Castro from Lehigh Valley for thefour-game series in Chicago that starts tonight. Castro has spent parts of the last two seasons with the Phillies, and as a starter for most of this minor-league campaign, he can pitch multiple innings. But as a situational option, his arrival is badly timed: the Cubs as a team are hitting a lusty .294/.374/.455 against lefties, and their only left-handed hitters of note are outfielders Jim Edmonds and Kosuke Fukudome. 

This stuff tends to matter in close races.