NLCS Game 4: Phillies 7, Dodgers 5

It’s close to being over, but it isn’t over. History is full of teams that came back from 3-1 deficits to win best-of-seven series, including last year’s Boston Red Sox, who did it in the ALCS against Cleveland. Because the one question that everyone seems to be asking about this game is why Torre lifted Lowe when he did, and Lowe himself said after the game that he felt fine and that his final inning, the fifth, was his best inning. Well, this was Torre’s postgame response, which didn’t make tomorrow’s paper because of deadline issues:

“First, he was on short rest. I think that was well-documented. He had to work hard every inning, even though he was in the 70s pitch count-wise. The only one-two-three innings he had was the fifth inning. I thought at that point, especially when we took the lead, it just looked like he was fighting his emotions the whole game. He said he felt fine. We were probably going to get only one more inning out of him anyway, pitch count-wise, and I just decided to make the move there.”

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  • max_power

    Lowe was on a roll. He at least had an inning left. Who cares if he was on short rest. He wouldn’t be going on 3 days rest for his next start. Bad excuse. Sorry Joe, you just blew it.

  • love russ

    no question lowe had at least another inning in him.. joe completely over-managed the pen.. why let kuo hit for himself if you’re going to pull him after one hitter?? yeah howard got a single, but kuo also blew away the 3 batters he faced the inning before.. i knew bringing in cory wade was a bad move.. i mean, the guy pitched two innnings YESTERDAY.. and matt stairs is fastball hitter and you bring in broxton.. you had to figure he’d catch up to at least one of them.. SIGH 🙁

  • KevinS

    “The only one-two-three innings he had was the fifth inning… He said he felt fine.”

    Joe Torre… were you watching the same game I was??? Your logic makes absolutely no sense at all! Lowe faced 6 batters in the first, then faced four batters in each of the next three innings… then had a perfect fifth inning… and it wasn’t like they were killing the ball off Lowe to that point. He gave up a leadoff double in the second inning, a clean single in the third, and a single off Furcal’s glove in the fourth… that was it except for the first inning! And even THAT was attributed to the fact the baseballs hadn’t been rubbed up correctly and Lowe didn’t like the fact the balls were too slick. He got new baseballs in the third inning and he then settled in. And we’ve proven that Howard can’t hit a breaking pitch… so what do you do? You bring in a fastball pitcher in Clayton Kershaw and expect him to get his breaking stuff over the plate… which he couldn’t do due to his lack of work of late. He was out of sync! Not the time to experiment with young Clayton…

    Face it… this one’s on you Torre. You lost faith in your own team to keep and hold the lead, and you certainly had the bullpen to get the three innings you needed for the win. Asking them to get four innings however is way too much for any bullpen in the bigs.

    But I’m glad you asked Lowe how he was feeling. It shows you have a lot of trust in his ability when he’s feeling fine… oh wait… he WAS feeling fine. Good job…

  • phillydodger

    okay, here is my take. i fell asleep at around 11 pm (EST) with the D’s ahead 5-3. My lingering question at the time – why take out Lowe and bring in Kershaw to throw to the HR champ, Howard. but it all seemed to work out as the team rallied to take a 5-3 lead.

    i did feel uneasy about how that inning ended as it began with a runner on second and third and no outs with a run in after the Howard throwing error. i felt the Dodgers shoulda/coulda blown the game open right there.

    again, a 5-3 margin did seem safe however, esp since Kuo was blowing away the Phillies. i honestly didn’t see the 7th inning on -however,why take Kuo out after one hit?

    how could this defeat not be second-guessed FOREVER…Joe was supposed to be the go-to guy – true the Phillies bats won the game, but Joe’s strategy was questionable at best – almost like Tony LaRussa’s handprints were all over this thing…

  • phillydodger

    after reading a ton of game notes and comments I now wonder why Maddux was never mentioned as a reliever? did he even warm up? wouldn’t he have been an alternative to Wade who threw 33 pitches the night before?

    who knows how game five will play out…if the Dodgers go quietly into the night, questions will no doubt linger about game 4 and Torre’s micro(mis)management. there might even be whispers about Torre’s past post-season failures with the Yankees.

    honestly, i like so many, have questions his motives, his lineups and his strategy dozens of times this year, however, some how, some way, he got this team to the finish line as division winners and upset the heavily favored Cub.

    i questioned benching Kemp when he was 2-3 on Sunday. i questioned playing Blake (and not Nomar) at 3b when Blake was like 1-21 against Blanton – and of course both Pierre and Blanton contribute to a seemingly safe lead at 5-3. (so what do I know, right?)

    true, Torre might have opened the doors, but the Phillies came barging in with two, huge homers in Dodger Stadium, esp after giving up the lead at 5-3 on a bonehead error by Howard.

    let’s take this thing back to Philly and game seven!

  • KingBB99

    This was obvious butchery by Torre. If this were a regular season game Lowe would have pitched the sixth, and some combination of the pen would have delivered the game to Broxton to finish. Why should the playoffs be any different?

    The guys still needed to make pitches, but the game was clearly over managed by Torre.

    And this guy Stairs…doesn’t he have interleague home runs against the Dodgers as a Royal and Blue Jay over the last couple of years? It would have been nice to have another lefty to use in that situation.

    Tough loss, but the squad has nothing to lose at this point.

  • karmabad

    I’m not going to say so and so should have been left in, and if only blah blah blah…

    This one STUNG BAD! The little Hawaiian and some old geezer that looked like he had ZERO athletic ability crushed. I’m PISSED, as the team should be pissed. Now we have to win 3 IN A ROW, 2 IN PHILLY…