CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Chess Match: Everybody available

Chess Match: Everybody available

PHILADELPHIA -- The manager calls it "all hands on deck."

From a baseball standpoint, it means just about every pitcher is available for that game, including the next game's starter. That was the case for Game 5 of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday night.

More

There were four home runs hit in the first two innings, an early indication of what kind of night it was going to be for the pitching. Both managers took advantage of "all hands being on deck."

Quick hook, early entrance
The situation:
The Phillies were up, 4-2, going into the bottom of the fourth when Jayson Werth led off with a single and scored on a double by Raul Ibanez.


Watch the play WATCH
The decision: Manager Joe Torre pulled Vicente Padilla, trying to keep it close in favor of right-hander Ramon Troncoso. He got Pedro Feliz on a grounder to third and walked Carlos Ruiz. After Cole Hamels bunted the runners to second and third, Troncoso hit Jimmy Rollins. That's when Torre brought in left-hander George Sherrill to face switch-hitter Shane Victorino.

The outcome: Sherrill, the Dodgers' left-handed setup reliever, had not been brought in before the seventh all season. This time Torre couldn't wait. Sherrill hit Victorino with a pitch to force in a run before striking out Chase Utley to end the inning.

The analysis: "Padilla, what he did in Game 2, they had one run. That's the type of thing ... that's what you need to do. He didn't do it well enough [tonight]. -- Torre

Quick Hook 2
The situation:
Hamels had a 6-2 lead going into the fifth before giving up a one-out home run to Orlando Hudson and a double to Rafael Furcal.


Watch the play WATCH
The decision: Phillies manager Charlie Manuel went to his bullpen, first with left-hander J.A. Happ and then right-hander Chad Durbin, to get out of the inning.

The outcome: Happ walked Ronnie Belliard and got Andre Ethier to fly out to left. Durbin took over and, in one of the biggest at-bats of the night, got Manny Ramirez on a check-swing roller back to the mound. Durbin ended up getting the win.

The analysis: "Cole already had like 87, 90 pitches, and I'm sitting there thinking, he didn't have real good command, and he didn't have good stuff. They were swinging good at him." -- Manuel

So much for Game 6
The situation:
The Dodgers pinch-hit for Sherrill in the top of the fifth and went into the bottom of the fifth trailing, 6-3.


Watch the play WATCH
The decision: Clayton Kershaw was supposed to be the Dodgers' starter for Game 6 but Torre wasn't going to wait for that. He brought in Kershaw as a reliever to start the fifth.

The outcome: Kershaw went two innings but couldn't keep it a three-run game. Instead he gave up a two-run home run to Victorino in the sixth.

The analysis: "Everybody that came out of that bullpen ... we really didn't have anyone that went unscathed tonight." -- Torre

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Less