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

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Game 11: Ibanez saves Manuel with walk-off homer (5-6)

The Phillies faced a 25-year-old righty in Josh Geer today, and Charlie Manuel decided it was a good time to put Eric Bruntlett into the lineup because Jimmy Rollins was struggling. Yes, I know Rollins hit a pinch-hit homer, but Bruntlett has a .284 OBP vs RHP for his career. Also, even if it were NECESSARY to start Bruntlett, why on earth is he deserving of batting second in the lineup??? Bruntlett was 0-3 on the day, and he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth: what was the point? And don't say Rollins was motivated to hit a home run, because by that logic, the Phillies should bench every starter who has a bad 10-game stretch.

Other than that, I was okay with the rest of the game. Chan Ho Park did not pitch well, because he is not a good pitcher. J.A. Happ pitched well in relief, because he is a good pitcher. It's too early to say that Happ should be the fifth starter instead of Park, but since Mr. Graham and I have been saying it since February: Happ should be the fifth starter instead of Park.

Raul Ibanez won the game today with his walk-off homer, number 5 for Rah-wool on the season. CharliesManuel was not a proponent of signing Ibanez over Burrell (mainly because of the age difference and the money difference), but Ibanez certainly may out-perform Burrell in 2009. Ibanez has averaged 25 homers per year over the past three years in Seattle, and, although his age may catch up to him at the end of his 3-year deal, he has the potential to put up huge power numbers in CBP this season. I would be surprised if he doesn't reach 30 homers.

4-7 is a lot uglier than 5-6, and the Phils face righty Kevin Correia tomorrow, owner of a gross 1.49 career WHIP. The Phillies should win, but with Jamie Moyer on the mound, anything can happen. Phils can salvage a split tomorrow at 7:05.

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