Charlie Manuel frequently makes poor strategic decisions. The 11-million dollar scoreboard in left field would probably do a similar job. We guarantee a post analyzing Manuel's decisions for every Phillies game. Please click on our aliases below to email us.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Game 82: Manuel uses Romero against two righties (44-38)

The Phils won a game tonight (surprising, I know) in Arlington. They were up 8-5 with 2 outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 8th with two switch hitters coming up to the plate. Manuel decided to go to Jansas City Romero, who allows righties to reach base at a .480 (!!!) clip. He promptly walked the first batter he faced, making it 8-6. The next batter swung at a couple balls out of the zone and bailed out Romero - he struck out to end the inning. Brad Lidge shut down the 9th after allowing two baserunners.

Bringing in Romero instead of Tom Gordon, who has much better numbers against lefties (.328 OBP against) than Romero does against righties, was a suspect move at best. Also, the 8th inning was another opportunity to give Lidge a 4-out save, but Manuel absolutely refuses to think outside the box. Lidge: 32 appearances, 32.0 IP. He needs to be pitching in more high-leverage situations like tonight's 8th inning and fewer 9th innings where the Phils have a 3 or 4 run lead.

Looking at Lidge's, Gordon's, and Romero's lefty/righty splits, it is obvious that Romero was the last option out of those three to face two consecutive switch hitters. Thankfully, the 3-run cushion for Romero was enough and Manuel's poor decision did not lead to a loss.
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