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

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Game 88: Romero faces two righties, sound familiar? (48-40)

Ok people. When we point out something that Charlie Manuel does that we feel is dumb or incorrect, we are not second guessing. We genuinely go by the stats presented in front of us as to what gives the Phillies the best chance in a situation. That said, any bad decision can work out well, and even a good decision can have a bad result. While stats aren't carved in stone to give the same outcome every time, they do provide odds as to what will happen most of the time.

When we complain about Romero being used against two righties/ switch hitters in Texas, this same logic holds true when he's used for two righties/ switch hitters in Atlanta, and in Philly against the Mets tonight. Yes, he can get these players out, but 49.4%!!!!!! of the time, they end up getting on base. This isn't a fluke, no I'm not claiming to be psychic, I'm just using the information at hand to make an informed decision in a given situation. So tonight, when Romero starts the 8th inning against Beltran (switch) and Damion Easley (right), I can't help but feel angry that this is probably not the best scenario. Then, when this fails, and I text message Andy at 9:26 (before Gordon is brought in) "Bring in Lidge now", then Gordon is brought in, and the lead is lost, this isn't me second guessing. Yes, if Lidge comes in, there is a chance he gives up the runs, but the odds are better that Brad Lidge outperforms anything Tom Gordon can do in any situation. I don't think we will ever condone the bringing in of Jansas City Romero against righties, no matter how good the outcome is. His stats say otherwise. Unbelievably, Manuel has used Romero to face 82 righties (66 lefties) and 49.4% of the righties have reached base. He has allowed 40 of these batters to get on. That is insane. Yet, Manuel continues to use him in these situations. Tom Gordon has a better OBP against lefties than he himself does against righties (vs LHB .323, vs RHB .356). Thus, in my opinion, no matter what happened, Manuel makes a more informed decision if he uses Gordon against Beltran LHB and then Easley RHB.

Lidge is having a lights out year. I can understand the traditionalist view to "save Lidge for the late innings of the game", but saves are a stupid stat, and just using Lidge in the 9th inning isn't always the best choice. When you're in situations where you're up with the other team threatening in the 8th inning (tonight), these situations are more immediately pressing. THERE ARE MEN ON BASE WITH CHANCES OF SCORING. Thus, you bring in your best pitcher because these outs and runs are just as valuable as outs and runs in the 9th inning. These outs in the 8th inning with men on are even MORE crucial because there is an obvious threat. If for some reason Lidge can't go the 9th inning also, than at least there aren't men on base for whomever Manuel has to bring in. WIN THE GAMES WHEN YOU CAN. As you can see, Lidge wasn't as necessary in the 9th tonight because we were down by 2 runs by that point, and the game was pretty much over. This isn't second guessing as both I and my associate have previously mentioned the use of Lidge in more high-leverage situations.

The game was "pretty much over" because again, Pat Burrell was removed for defensive purposes (yet he can play whole games in the AL when he can be DHed), and Ruiz made the final out in the 8th inning in his spot.

Note: Had Dale Scott (2B umpire) made the right call on Werth's attempt to advance to second in the 7th, we may not even be having this conversation.

There is a huge difference between second guessing, and re-guessing or wishing Manuel could learn from past mistakes.