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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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Game 106: Durbin renders small mistake irrelevant (57-49)

When Brett Myers allowed the first two runners to reach in a 2-0 game in the 8th inning, I immediately yelled for Brad Lidge to come in to the high-leverage situation. However, bringing in J.C. Romero at that point turned out to be okay. He faced two lefties, so it was fine. After the two lefties, however, was Ronnie Belliard, a righty. Ryan Zimmerman, also righthanded, was on deck. The score was 2-1 with 2 outs and a runner on 3rd. Manuel decided that Chad Durbin was the best option instead of Lidge. We know Durbin has had a great year, but Lidge has been better (career-wise too). With the tying run on third, the Phils needed their best pitcher to get out of the jam. And, if Belliard reached, then Lidge would face the Nats' best hitter in Zimmerman. Lidge could have been removed in the 9th if his count were too high, or, God forbid, Manuel could have allowed him to get 4 outs to close the game. Thankfully, none of it mattered since Durbin did his job. Lidge closed the ninth easily.

Also, why did Manuel remove Burrell for Werth in the ninth defensively? Werth is more used to playing right than left, so he should have been in the game for Jenkins and played right in the ninth. Jenkins is not much better than Burrell defensively (if at all), and considering Werth's familiarity with right field and Burrell's offense compared to Jenkins', it seems like Werth for Jenkins was the better option. Water under the bridge though.