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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Monday, September 8, 2008

Game 143: Manuel argues for no reason (78-65)

Charlie Manuel was ejected from tonight's game in the first inning after David Wright was awarded first base on a catcher's interference call against Chris Coste. Replays showed the call was correct. However, since Coste did not argue the call at all, it was evident the call was correct even before the replays were shown. So, as a manager, why would you argue something your own player knows is correct? After Wright went to first, there were 2 men on base and only one out. Cole Hamels had struggled with the first three batters this inning. Manuel decided this juncture of the game was a good time to stop the game, let Hamels' arm cool down, and argue something for no reason. He fired up the crowd and iced his own pitcher at the same time. Do I think this actually had any effect on Hamels' pitching performance? Probably not. But, on the very first pitch after the ejection, Hamels did leave a pitch up in the zone that Carlos Beltran smacked for run-scoring double. It is entirely conceivable that Hamels makes a better pitch to Beltran if Manuel does not create the delay. And, if Hamels makes a better pitch, maybe Beltran grounds into a double play. The Mets scored 3 runs in that first inning, which matched the final deficit. The Phillies still probably lose if Manuel stays in the dugout. But it was a ridiculous sequence of events that led to the Phillies' leader's ejection only 4 outs into the biggest game of the season. Fantastic. (Did anyone else catch Joe Morgan's comment after Manuel got ejected?: "Well, I guess he is technically arguing balls and strikes, so the umpire can toss him at any time." Yep, Joe. You're right. A catcher's interference call is the same thing as a ball or strike call.)

Jimy Williams took over after the ejection. He decided to let Clay Condrey pitch the 6th inning, which was stupid considering the importance of this game. He let Rudy Seanez pitch the 7th and 8th innings, which was even more stupid than the Condrey move. Seanez allowed a run in the 8th inning, which made the score 6-2. I'm not sure why Ryan Madson or Chad Durbin couldn't pitch in that spot, but in the end it didn't really matter. The Phils lost because the Mets' ace outpitched the Phils' ace.

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