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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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

You have GOT to be kidding me

When I made the game post last night, I did not discuss Carlos Ruiz' AB in the top of the 6th inning. He came to the plate following three consecutive walks and a hit batsman. The score was 6-3 and the bases were loaded. Incredibly, he swung at the first pitch from Marco Estrada (who had faced two batters: he walked Pat Burrell and hit Chris Coste with a pitch, both forcing in runs). The pitch appeared to be a strike, and he fouled it off, so it wasn't a game-changing play. Ruiz ended up grounding out to end the inning. Since I figured Charlie Manuel had nothing to do with Ruiz' swing and the pitch appeared to be a strike, I did not go into detail about this decision last night.

However, this morning on 610 WIP, they played a sound clip from Manuel. Unbelievably, he instructed Ruiz to swing at the first pitch. He said, "I thought he had been seeing too many pitches lately." Ladies and gentleman, this quote is the equivalent of a used-car manager explaining the firing of an employee by stating "I thought he had been selling too many cars lately." There have been studies upon studies upon studies that have linked a high pitches-seen-per-plate-appearance rate with high OBP. Also, Ruiz sees 3.82 P/PA. The ML average is 3.81. So, he hasn't seen too many pitches lately. In fact, you can make the argument that he should take more pitches. ESPECIALLY IN A SITUATION WHERE THE RELIEF PITCHER JUST FORCED IN 2 RUNS WITH A WALK AND A HIT BATTER.

Jimmy Rollins is on deck, Ruiz is hitting about .087 this year, and Manuel is telling Ruiz to go up there and look for a fastball to attack. Estrada's fastball has tons of movement, so who knows whether the first pitch would have been called a strike. Also, Ruiz worked the count to 3-1, so who knows what happens if he takes that first pitch. Phillies fans, this is about as bad as it gets.

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