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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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Game 132: Manuel uses 4 third basemen, 3 different Phils pitchers get an AB, and Eric Bruntlett is intentionally walked (73-59)

Pat Burrell was 0-7. Clay Condrey was 1-1. Jamie Moyer started, but Cole Hamels had more PAs than Moyer. Carlos Ruiz played third. Eric Bruntlett was walked intentionally. The team that was up 7-0 lost. Brett Myers was used as a pinch-hitter despite hitting .045 this season. Four different players were used at third base for the Phillies. And, only one of these was actually a poor decision.

Rudy Seanez pitched a scoreless top of the 13th. His batting spot was due up 4th in the bottom of the 13th. Therefore, when the Hawaiian led off with a leadoff triple (triples are fun!), the other Manuel (Jerry) correctly loaded the bases intentionally to get to Seanez' spot. Since there were no relievers left, I had just assumed they would allow Seanez to bat and hope for the best. Instead, Charlie inexplicably chose his worst-hitting pitcher (Myers) as a pinch-hitter. It was apparent that Myers was ordered not to swing so that, at the very least, there would be no possibility for a double play. He struck out looking on a 3-2 count, and swung the bat zero times. My question is this: if you are going to send someone up there and order them not to swing, why would you remove your only remaining pitcher in the process? Rudy Seanez is more than capable of standing in the batter's box with a bat in his hands (a la Henry Rowengartner). Had Chris Coste grounded into a double play instead of singling home the winning run, Kyle Kendrick would have had to enter the game because of Manuel's poor decision to remove Seanez. It's almost as if Manuel first decided to let Myers go up there and try to hit, and then changed his mind and ordered him not to swing without considering the Seanez possibility. I admit that I did not think of this right away either. However, I am not a professional baseball manager.

All that said, I commend Manuel for refusing to allow Myers to swing the bat. It's good to see him start to think outside the box. Also, Manuel made a good decision allowing Ruiz to play third base in the top of the ninth, so that Bruntlett would be available to pinch hit in the 4th spot in the bottom of the ninth inning. He burned his bench early, but Manuel delayed using a pitcher to hit as long as possible. Well done.


The security guard who held back the fans in the front row from interfering with David Wright's 11th inning base hit. Had a fan touched the ball, Wright would have been awarded second base. Instead, the security guard, who can be seen on the replay, is holding a couple fans back from interfering. Jayson Werth picked up the ball, and gunned down Wright at second. Security guards helping the cause? Little Big League-style.


Scott Graham said...

You may not have thought of the Myers thing immediately, but I did. It was brutal. you forgot the win tag also.

Andy Musser said...

tag it yourself if i miss it