Sandberg explains moves in bizarre game against Mets
NEW YORK -- Phillies second baseman Chase Utley came alive Tuesday at Citi Field as the Phillies homered four times, but plenty of other interesting things happened to them in their 6-5 loss.
Three things begged questions:
Why did Freddy bunt? Phillies right-hander David Buchanan started the fifth inning with a double into the right-field corner. Odubel Herrera flied out to right for the first out, which advanced Buchanan to third. Freddy Galvis then popped out to Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud on a failed bunt attempt.
"It was a safety squeeze attempt with the first baseman just moving back, a good pitch to do it on," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.
It is the Phillies' fifth failed bunt attempt since Saturday.
"We're going to continue to do what we do," Sandberg said about working on their bunting. "We do it inside the cages off fastball machines and off breaking pitches. The pitchers do it every day at home on the field. We'll continue with that routine and hopefully the results will show."
Why double-switch? Sandberg employed a double-switch with runners on first and second and two outs in the sixth inning. He had left-hander Jake Diekman replace Buchanan and Jeff Francoeur replace Grady Sizemore in right field. Diekman finished the inning and Francoeur hit to lead off the seventh, but the Phillies had right-hander Dustin McGowan pitch the seventh inning.
McGowan served up a first-pitch home run to left-handed hitter Daniel Murphy to make it 6-3. Theoretically, Diekman could have remained in the game to face the lefty before leaving the game.
"I did it just in case," Sandberg said about the double switch. "I was going to have Frenchy bat ninth anyway, so it was just a safety just in case. Diek has had some work. I just wanted a fresh inning for McGowan, with the workload Diek's been doing, that was kind of his role tonight."
Sandberg later said he also wanted Francoeur on the field for defensive purposes.
Testing Recker at third? Ben Revere said he considered starting the ninth inning with a bunt toward third baseman Anthony Recker, who is a catcher by trade and had never played third base in his career. But he decided against it when facing Mets closer Jeurys Familia.
"He's tough to bunt off," Revere said. "His ball is sinking a lot at 98 mph. It's kind of tough. If anybody else was in there I would I have thought about it, but [Recker] was playing way in, too. So I was trying to smack one by him, but I didn't want to pop up a bunt and waste an out."