Pat Burrell is not happy with manager Charlie Manuel’s decision to bench ‘the Bat’ late in close games in which the Phils have the lead.
“I’m upset, absolutely,” Burrell said. “I’m upset, and I have been for a long time. It’s not personal. I don’t want to ever come out of close games.”
Manuel routinely replaces his leftfielder with a speedier defender when the Phillies have leads late in games. Yesterday, Burrell was replaced by Eric Bruntlett in the bottom of the eighth with the Phils ahead, 2-1. Cole Hamels then gave up the game tying run, on a homerun by Cody Ross.
I understand Charlies logic here, but Burrell’s offense needs to be in the game especially one that goes into extra innings. What happens comes playoff time, the same rotation? I say ya gotta give the guy a chance to try and play in that situation. How is he ever going to get better, knowing he is not trusted late in games? It makes a player start to think too much, and we all know how Pat is capable of playing when that happens.