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.

Blog Archive

95% Phillies, 4% Eagles/Flyers/Sixers/Big Five, 1% Nonsense .... Contact us: Scott Graham ~ Andy Musser

Friday, September 12, 2008

Game 147: An above-average game for Charlie (80-67)

Charlie Manuel pulled Jamie Moyer after he gave up a 2-run homer to Prince Fielder with 2 outs in the 6th inning that cut the Phils' lead to 4-3. While we love to get on Manuel for leaving starting pitchers in too long, this game is not one of those cases. First of all, it was lefty vs. lefty. Secondly, Moyer's pitch count was in the mid-80s at the time of the at-bat, but Manuel resisted the urge to let him creep towards 100 even though he's showing signs of tiring. We commend Manuel for pulling Moyer immediately after the Fielder homer instead of trying to see if Moyer could get out of the inning with a sub-90 pitch count. Perhaps Charlie's only motivation was the fact that Moyer was working on 3 days rest, but we will give him the benefit of the doubt here.

Ryan Madson was called upon for one pitch to end the 6th inning, and then he batted in the bottom of the 6th inning with the Phils holding a 5-3 lead. We also commend Manuel for allowing Madson to bat, with a runner in scoring position, to keep his arm in the game. Well done, considering Chad Durbin's and J.C. Romero's overuse.

Madson pitched a perfect seventh, then began the 8th inning by getting 2 outs and allowing a baserunner. Scott Eyre was called upon to face Fielder, who represented the tying run. A good job by Manuel to allow Madson to start the inning to face the righties, instead of pulling him after 14 pitches through his first 1 1/3 innings. Ideally, Romero would be used in this lefty-lefty situation. His aformentioned overuse unfortunately prevented this chance. (NOTE: This is why Romero should rarely pitch to righties: pitching to righties too much may render him unavailable to pitch against a lefty in a game the next day. He has thrown alot of pitches lately - many to right-handers, and this is exactly why he was unable to pitch today.)

Anyway, Eyre walked Fielder to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. In this situation, with 2 men on and 2 out, Brad Lidge should come into the game to minimize the chance of an extra-base hit. Alas, Manuel is not a fan of the 4-out save. The answer was Durbin to face righty Corey Hart. He was the second-best option after Lidge. Hart grounded out to end the inning, and Lidge finished with, what else, a perfect ninth.

Good game for Charlie, but not perfect.

P.S.: The Phils executed a successful suicide squeeze in the 8th inning. Suicide squeezes are risky. I'm not sure about the typical sabermetric stance on squeezes, but the possibility of a missed bunt seems too daunting to take such a risk with less than 2 outs and a man on third.

No comments: