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.

Blog Archive

95% Phillies, 4% Eagles/Flyers/Sixers/Big Five, 1% Nonsense .... Contact us: Scott Graham ~ Andy Musser

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Game 103: Someone needs to step up (54-49)

These games are just getting harder and harder to watch. However, there isn't much to talk about regarding Charlie tonight. We're always going to feel that Burrell should split Utley and Howard, and Romero should never face good righties if it can be avoided, but nothing else really was Manuel's fault. Using Lidge was a good decision. He was the best pitcher to use in the situation where the Phils needed to keep it a one run game. It just didn't work out tonight.

The Phils also couldn't hit for the better part of the night, and when they would make good contact, weren't getting ANY breaks. The entire home half of the 8th comes to mind (Dobbs lined out to third, Ruiz smoked a liner to first, and Werth almost killed Jurrjens with a line drive). I also find it quite questionable whenever Manuel starts Dobbs when Kendrick pitches. Kendrick relies on the fielders quite heavily, and not only is Feliz one of the best defensive 3rd baseman in baseball, but Dobbs is below average defensively. He's probably overrated offensively also.

Almost every umpire in MLB has no concept of the strike zone. Tonight, the home plate umpire, Mike Reilly, fell in love with the area well beyond the outside corner of the plate. Also, if pitches had break on them, there was a good chance it would be called a strike. For the record, it is OK and quite imperative that an umpire calls a ball that breaks around the plate, a ball. It does not matter where the pitch is caught. Even the Phils announcers know this. Tonight, many of Jurrjens's and Kendrick's sinkers broke around the outside corner for righties, and were called strikes. Yesterday, Howard and another Phillies player (I can't remember whom) were called out on Perez's sliders that COMPLETELY missed the plate, and were even caught outside. Yet, when Perez/ Moyer threw a slider on the outside corner to lefties that were caught outside (but crossed the plate), the umpire called balls.

Also, as most of you know, most stadiums have the cameras set up slightly to the left field side of center field. This distorts the pitches, and all pitches are farther left than they appear. This can be explained by projection. This topic is relative to baseball, and is discussed in the book Moneyball. There is a chapter in which the author, Michael Lewis, writes about David Justice's time with the A's. He would frequently go into the video room during the game, to watch his at-bats on film from the A's camera located in dead center field. Due to these centered cameras, Justice further noticed the "Emmel effect" as I like to call it. This is when an umpire sets up off center, and often has a hard time telling the difference between balls and strikes on the other side of the plate. Emmel did this in the Sunday game vs the Rangers earlier this year. Emmel would set up literally right behind the batters (his inside foot was behind the batters box line). At least 5 times, he was nearly out of sight behind the batters.

Anyway, it's been a while since the Phils have put together a good stretch of games where hitting was present. Something SERIOUSLY needs to be done. Soon. The Phillies can't keep slipping and expect to make the playoffs. As of right now, it looks like the only way they will make the playoffs is if they win the division.