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

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Game 160: Phillies pretty much make Manuel irrelevant (90-70)

The Phillies came out early and jumped on the Nationals more or less rendering Manuel insignificant this evening. Ideally, you would like to see the Phils continue to tack on runs as the game progresses, but tonight it didn't really matter.

While the home team seemed to skate by pretty much unthreatened tonight, there were still some questionable decisions. In the 7th inning, when Blanton was removed from the game, Scott Eyre(?) was the first relief pitcher used in a very important game, following a day off, while the Phils were up by 3 runs. Eyre is not my ideal pitcher, but it was the bottom of the lineup, whatever. The next inning was a little bit better Madson and Romero. After Madson got 2 of the first three guys out, Manuel decided to bring in Romero against Willy Harris (LHB) who was promptly removed for a righty (Aaron Boone). Seriously? Do we have to do this everyday? Madson is really good comparatively as a righty against lefties. Romero is horrendous (it's almost impossible how bad he is) against righties. As the manager of a multimillion dollar, contending baseball team, how do you not realize that upon bringing in a lefty who is terrible against righties that the opposing manager will insert any respectable right-handed hitter to face said terrible pitcher? Madson has 10 pitches under his belt at this time, and could probably easily relieve the slight threat himself.

The Phillies were up by 4 in the 9th when Manuel thought it was necessary to use Brad Lidge to close the game out. Listen, I get how important it is that the Phillies win the game tonight, but it would be really hard, even for this man, to blow a 4 run lead in one inning. The Nationals had about a 1% chance to win the game at that point. If that wasn't bad enough, Lidge struck out the first batter twice (a significant amound of time, probably about 5 minutes, elapsed between the final two pitches of the AB). Manuel came out to argue the call after Lidge struck him out the first time, and after being ejected proceeded to let his closer stand around for a significant amount of time before leaving the field. In his defense he definitely seemed to have an argument, but after being booted, why make Lidge stand there for so long and risk his getting cold.

All in all, everything worked out even though I would have liked to have no seen Lidge tonight.

The first instance of instant replay also occurred tonight in the 6th inning. Casto homered to right field, possibly due to the help of a fan in the first row. The replays from the angles shown were not really conclusive. However, I would argue that had he not touched the ball, it possibly would have hit the top of the fence. Listen people, when you're sitting in the first row almost anywhere around the stadium, Mr. Musser and I feel that you must know when it is advantageous/ disadvantageous for the Phillies if you touch the ball. For example:

There is a runner on 1st, and the opposing team hits a ball down the line (either side), and it's heading for the seats near the cutout in right/left field. If the runner on first is going to score, touch the ball, stop him at third, and get cheered (hopefully) as you leave the stadium.
However, if you're in the first row anywhere beyond the outfield fence, do not touch any ball hit by the opposing team that causes any part of your body to cross over the fence. Even if you catch the ball, you'll probably throw it back anyway, so don't touch it.

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