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, September 21, 2008

Game 156: Manuel allows Romero to face one lefty and two righties (88-68)

And guess what??? He got the lefty out, and allowed both righties to reach base. Shocking.

While most of you were watching the Eagles absolutely demolish Ben Roethlisberger, I was watching Charlie Manuel do his best to piss away a 2-run lead. Chad Durbin started the bottom of the 7th inning for the Phillies, holding a 3-1 lead. He allowed 2 of the first 3 batters to reach base, so J.C. Romero came on to face lefty Mike Jacobs. A good move by Charlie. Romero is fantastic against lefties. Jacobs popped out to shortstop for the second out of the inning. Then, right-hander Dan Uggla came to the plate. We've been over this many, many times: Romero sucks against righties. He's awful. He has the worst numbers against right-handed batters than any other Phillies pitcher with a .444 OBP against.

Yet, Manuel continues to ignore mounds and mounds of statistical evidence by allowing Romero to pitch to righties. Romero walked Uggla to load the bases, then allowed righty Josh Willingham to line a ball down the third base line for an infield hit (Greg Dobbs saved two runs by keeping the ball in the infield, but was injured on the play so Pedro Feliz then replaced him). So, instead of bringing in Clay Condrey to pitch to a right-hander with a 2-run lead and only 2 men on base, Manuel allows Romero to pitch to the righties. Condrey then faced a much tougher situation: bases loaded with a 1-run lead. However, the batter was right-hander Cody Ross. Condrey induced an inning-ending groundout and the Phils went on to win 5-2. My question is this: if you know Romero sucks against righties, and you're willing to bring Condrey into such a difficult situation, why even allow Romero to pitch to the righties in the first place? JUST BRING CONDREY IN RIGHT AWAY.

Also, Brad Lidge threw 29 pitches in the ninth inning with a 3-run lead. He doesn't need to throw so many pitches in a 3-run game. Any of the Phillies' reliever can start the ninth and go as far as they can. Once they start to struggle, you can bring in a fresh Lidge to shut down the game. Instead, if Lidge struggles, you have nobody to go to besides stick with a 30-pitch-deep Brad Lidge. He had a long 9th inning yesterday and a longer one today. Hopefully he won't be needed tomorrow.

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