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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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Game 94: Say it is So (51-43)

So Taguchi has had his problems this year, but props to Charlie for being unafraid to use him in left field to replace Jenkins tonight late in the game. Or maybe Charlie just burned his bench again (that's probably the answer). Either way, Taguchi finally managed to not screw up as a defensive replacement, and he even did something positive by getting a hit and scoring the winning run.

Unfortunately for Manuel, the game should never have gone to 12 innings. In the top of the 7th inning, Kyle Kendrick allowed two baserunners to second and third before retiring a batter, with a 3-1 lead. At this point in the game, with only 9 outs remaining for your bullpen and your starter getting hit around (8 hits at that point), you have to consider using your best pitcher with the tying run on second (especially since Kendrick only pitched to two more batters in the game). Using Lidge in this particular situation would have been a little suspect, simply because it would have been his first appearance all year with inherited runners. However, assuming he would be just as effective as he normally is, Lidge would have had a much greater chance to keep the game at 3-1 or 3-2 than the Kyle Kendrick-R.J. Swindle combination that Manuel allowed to give the Diamondbacks a 4-3 lead. These are the high-leverage situations where the Phils need to use their best pitcher instead of some kid who just made his ML debut less than a week ago. In addition, once the game was tied at 3 with a lefty coming to the plate with one out and a runner on third, why go to R.J. Swindle and not Jansas City Romero? Swindle allowed his only batter to smack an RBI single. Craziness.

On the other hand, Manuel's decision to run Ruiz in the 6th inning, allowing Victorino to score from third on the throw with Kendrick at the plate, was fantastic. Well done, Uncle Charlie.