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, August 31, 2008

Game 137: Madson bails out Manuel in huge victory (75-62)

Manuel made only one mistake today, but it was a big one. Chad Durbin began the 8th inning with a 5-2 lead, and gave up a 1-out single to Geovany Soto. Since this was Durbin's third inning of work, Manuel correctly went to J.C. Romero for the lefty-lefty matchup against Kosuke Fukudome. Romero retired the F-U-Dome for the second out of the inning. The next spot was the pitcher's spot, and Henry Blanco, a righty, was announced as the pinch-hitter. Ryan Theriot, also right-handed, was on deck, and righty Alfonso Soriano was due up after Theriot. Now, when Blanco was announced as the pinch-hitter, Manuel knew that the next eight batters in the Cubs' lineup were right-handed. And, he also knew that if Romero failed to retire Blanco, he would remove Romero from the game. You know how I know that? Because Romero failed to retire Blanco, and Manuel removed Romero from the game. What the hell is he thinking? If you're planning on bringing a righty into the game if Romero allows Blanco to reach base, why not just bring the righty into the game to face Blanco???

The only possible reason is this: Manuel figured that if he brought Madson into the game to face Blanco, then Lou Piniella would counter by sending Darryle Ward to the plate to replace Blanco. Apparently Manuel would rather have Romero face a righty than Madson face a lefty. However, righties reach base at a .426 clip against Romero, while lefties only manage a .346 OBP against Madson.

Shockingly, Romero allowed a single to Blanco. Then Manuel brought Madson into the game to face Theriot, and Piniella predictably countered with Darryle Ward, who singled off Madson. So, Madson had to face Ward as the 5th and tying run, instead of facing Ward as the 4th run had Manuel acted one batter sooner. Madson then had to face Alfonso Soriano with 2 men on and a 2-run lead. Fortunately, he struck him out to end the inning.

That's a ton of analysis of one decision, and I could go on, but I think you get the point. Manuel made a poor decision, and his players bailed him out. Thank God baseball is like 99% on the players and only 1% on the manager. Because the Phils manager sucks.

1 comment:

Scott Graham said...

I don't know man. I chalk a lot of the losses recently up to Manuel. That 99/1 just doesn't seem possible. Gotta be more like 50/50 for the phightins