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, July 20, 2008

Game 99: Not copy and pasted, I promise (53-46)

Where should I begin? Mid 8th. Manuel decides that it's time for Pat Burrell to hit the showers. With two Marlins at-bats to come, Manuel decides that the Phils were up by such a large margin that the Marlins wouldn't be able to come back to tie it. They can't score one run. Can they? Well they did and Burrell's spot eventually came up again without his being in the lineup. Phillies opponents have been giving this site ample material since it originated. It seems like every time Manuel takes Burrell out, it comes back to bite them in the ass, but Manuel never learns. There are very few times that Manuel actually should remove Burrell, and this was not one of them.

So it follows like this. Madson, Romero, and Durbin pitch a combined 9th and 10th. Ok. The 11th comes around, and Manuel decides to go with the anchor of the bullpen, Clay Condrey. Now, for those people who say "you shouldn't use your closer in a tie game on the road," you're right. You shouldn't use your best reliever in a game that needs to be SAVED so that your team gets another chance to score. Wait. That doesn't make any sense. So to those of you who still don't believe the Phils should have used Lidge at some point in this game, how about once Condrey starts to get in trouble. With 2 men on, and the Phils in imminent trouble, why not bring in Lidge then? Or with the bases loaded? I mean I know it wasn't a "save situation", whatever the hell that means, but the game DID need to be "saved". With the bases loaded and none out what a team needs is a pitcher who can strike a guy or two out. Lidge is that guy.

So, we can keep going through this every time it happens (which will undoubtedly happen many more times this year) since people, not exclusively Charlie, refuse to see that our best pitcher should be used in high-leverage situations and not just the textbook "save" situation.

It seems like the same things happen everyday, and it's not getting any easier to watch.