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, August 2, 2008

Game 110: Phils outhit, but not outscored (60-50)

They were outhit, but I wouldn't necessarily say the Phils were out-managed. After all, Tony LaRussa feels it's actually beneficial to have Aaron Miles, owner of a .353 OBP, bat last in the lineup. Behind the pitcher. Meanwhile, Joe Mather owns a below-average .329 OBP and bats second. Remember, this is supposed to be one of the smartest managers in the league. Jimmy Rollins owned a .344 OBP in his MVP season and led off for the team that scored the most runs in the NL. Yet, LaRussa has a .358 OBP absolutely buried in his lineup so that he routinely gets one fewer PA than the 1-2-3-4 hitters in the St. Louis lineup. Oh, and he had a right-handed pinch hitter, Cesar Izturis, try to sac-bunt against J.C. Romero (JCR = Just Crappy against Righties). Izturis failed on two attempts and struck out. Terrible job by LaRussa tonight.

Manuel probably outsmarted LaRussa tonight, but that doesn't say much. Romero came into the game to face the switch-hitting Aaron Miles in the 8th inning. Against lefties, Romero allows a terrible .456 OBP. Miles has a .357 OBP against lefties and a .351 OBP against righties. That situation absolutely screams for Ryan Madson or even Clay Condrey, both of whom have much better numbers against lefties than Romero does against righties. Once Miles' AB is done, then bring in Romero to face the lefty Schumaker. If they use a PH for Schumaker, let Romero face a bench player and hope for the best. Instead of Romero facing two righties, he'll only face one. Then bring in Chad Durbin, since the 2-3-4-5-6 batters are all true righties (and the Phils have two more lefties in the pen). Romero ended up allowing a hit to Miles (not surprising at all), but LaRussa bailed out Romero by allowing the PH Izturis to bunt himself into an out. Durbin then came in, two batters too late, but ended the inning with a double play. Bad decision, good results.

As is usually the case with close games, Manuel fucked up the defensive substitutions. In the 9th inning, Burrell was removed for Geoff Jenkins. Jayson Werth moved to left and Jenkins played right. When you take into account Werth's familiarity with right field over left (he has played ten times more innings in right than left this year), the below-average speed of Jenkins (though slightly faster than Burrell), and the fact that Burrell's arm is stronger than Jenkins', it may actually be a defensive downgrade when Jenkins goes to right and Werth goes to left for Burrell. And that line of thinking doesn't even include the possibility of the Cards tying the game, which would leave the Phils with a much softer lineup with Jenkins instead of Burrell. Bad decision, but Brad Lidge rendered it irrelevant.

In other news: third-place Mets. I like that.