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, October 14, 2008

NLCS Game 4: HUGE (3-1)

Wow. Unbelievable. This team is beyond words. Manuel's lineup was solid. Again no huge deal in switching Werth and Victorino. Good results though. Dobbs started over Feliz. Good, great, grand wonderful. Manuel was also pretty flawless when it came to the pitching changes again. Obviously as we've stated SOO many times, Romero should never face a righty (Furcal), but realistically, the bullpen was running short. Furcal reached. Again obviously, Romero retires the lefty Ethier with a groundball double play. Great by Manuel to bring in Lidge early (Note: Lidge was just as good, if not better in his second inning of work, as expected).

Huge qualms.

Top 6th, Howard on 2nd, Burrell on 1st with Victorino up batting righty. Clayton Kershaw has consistently stuggled this year (and tonight) to throw strikes. Victorino is much better batting right handed vs. Kershaw than Dobbs is against lefties, and than Feliz is against righties. You know even IF Vic lays down a successful sacrifice bunt, Dobbs will face a lefty or Feliz will face a righty. Victorino should obviously be allowed to hit in that situation. Playing for one run down 3-2 in the 6th inning is a pretty ridiculous strategy. Sac was successful, now 2nd and 3rd. Now, I would rather have Dobbs face a struggling lefty than Feliz face a fresh righty. Another mistake. 2 outs now with Blanton's spot coming up. Phils burn Jenkins (okay). Then the Dodgers make a move to lefty Joe Beimel. He's pretty good. You have men on 1st and 3rd, and desperately need to score again (run scored on wild pitch). Obviously it is time for a pinch hitter. The options are Coste, Bruntlett, Taguchi. Here are season/ career splits (AVG/OBP/SLG) for the three vs lefties:

Coste- 2008: .296/.363/.519 Career: .316/.361/.503
Bruntlett- 2008: .254/.361/.380 Career: .269/.358/.396
Taguchi- 2008: .184/.231/.224 Career: .281/.330/.385

Since this is probably not the first time you've been on this site, you obviously know who Manuel chose to hit (yes I know you know because you watched the game). Not only does Taguchi have the least power vs lefties in 2008 and career, but he has the worst chance at NOT MAKING AN OUT (OBP). This is simply inexcusable to not use Coste or Bruntlett. I would have been fine with either regardless of result.

I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but I lose hope when things like this happen. I was so dejected, that Victorino's home run didn't even draw a usual reaction out of me. It wasn't until Stairs bombed one (which I kind of called) that I lost my mind.

One request. If the Phillies can clinch on Wednesday, here's hoping they celebrate in the middle of the field chanting "This is our house!" reminiscent of the Dodgers last night during Manuel's press conference.

Go for the kill.

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