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

Friday, April 17, 2009

Game 9: Down by one? Let's give the other team a free out (4-5)

The San Diego Padres were trailing the Phillies 7-1, with Cole Hamels as the opposing pitcher. They charged back to take an 8-7 lead, largely due to a 3-run eighth inning against "set-up man" Ryan Madson. I had no problem with Madson pitching the eighth; however, in the top of the 9th (where Brad Lidge allowed the first three batters to reach, the first two of whom were lefthanded), Manuel probably should have allowed J.A. Happ to start the inning.

Lidge is significantly better against righties than lefties, and both Giles and Gonzalez are much worse against LHP than RHP. Giles owns a .355 OBP vs. LHP over the past three seasons and a .389 OBP vs. RHP. Over the same time period, Gonzalez posted a mere .315 OBP vs. LHP while earning a .375 OBP vs. RHP. Despite these large discrepencies AND Happ's availability, Manuel marched Lidge out to the mound and watched him load the bases. Then Happ began to warm up. Thankfully, Lidge finally got to face a couple righties, and he muscled his way out of the inning unscathed. CharliesManuel: Complaining about a 0-run inning in an 8-run game.

The biggest complaint you should have with Manuel tonight came in the bottom of the 8th inning. Greg Dobbs led off the inning with a single against righty Duaner Sanchez. Rollins, for absolutely no reason, BUNTED Dobbs to second base. The Phillies were trailing by a run, and Charlie Manuel decided it was a good idea to hand the Padres one of the final six outs, simply to move up a below-average runner with one of the best hitters on the team. Sanchez allows lefties to reach base at a .345 clip, yet, Manuel figured it was good to give him an out with lefty Rollins.

You may be thinking that it's better to have a runner on second with 1 out than it is to have a runner on first with 0 outs, and that's why we have the trusty run frequency chart. With a runner on first, 0 outs, there is a 56.3% chance of scoring zero runs in the inning. After the sac bunt, putting a runner on second with 1 out, there is a 59.4% chance of scoring zero runs in the inning. Take into account the speed of Rollins and the very low chance of a double play, then it's even worse that Manuel handed the other team an out WHILE LOSING. The Phillies did not score in the inning (because Greg Dobbs is not fast), and they went down quietly in the ninth (because Matt Stairs walked on the 3-1 pitch, but the umpire decided to abandon the small strike zone he enforced THE ENTIRE NIGHT). Blame the pitching, blame the bunt, blame that awful strike call.

And blame Bill McCreary for missing a blatant dive. We'll let Mr. Graham vent on that if he wants.


I heart PAT said...


Scott Graham said...

yea... Dobbs probably could have hurdled the catcher. He probably could have knocked him over as well. The worst option was probably sliding approximately 10 ft before home plate.

Ticky tack calls in overtime of an overtime game, let alone a playoff overtime game. 5 on 3 in overtime. The Knuble crosscheck is a weak, weak call. The stupid broken stick auto-slash also needs to be changed.