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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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Game 26: Phillies swept by Mets (14-12)

Jamie Moyer had an awful start tonight, and he exited the game with the Phillies trailing 7-1. The Phils battled back to make it 7-5, but Francisco Rodriguez converted his second save opportunity in as many nights to complete the two-game sweep for the Mets.

I'm not going to criticize Manuel for any of his pitching decisions tonight. Instead, I'll focus on what is becoming an obscene problem for the Phillies' lineup: Pedro Feliz should NOT be starting against right-handed pitchers. His career OBP against RHP is a dreadful .285, and when the opposing pitcher allows lefties to reach base at a .393 clip for his career (as was the case tonight in Mets' starter Mike Pelfrey), the decision to start Greg Dobbs instead of Feliz should be automatic.

Feliz was only 1 for 4 tonight, but he may have harmed the Phillies the most during one of the innings where he never got to bat. Here's how:

In the top of the first inning, with the Phillies already leading 1-0, Raul Ibanez was at the plate with runners on first and third. Ibanez worked a 3-0 count against Pelfrey. If Greg Dobbs (.340 OBP vs. RHP over the last three seasons) were on deck, Charlie Manuel would be a lot less likely to give Ibanez the green light; however, with such a poor performing hitter against RHP on deck in Feliz, Manuel allowed Ibanez to swing. The pitch was low, but Ibanez swung anyway and grounded out to end the inning.

If the lineup properly had Dobbs batting behind Ibanez, the top of the 1st could easily have been a much bigger inning for the Phils. Unfortunately, at this point, it seems this is going to be a season-long debacle.

The Phillies, who are somehow still in first place, open a six-game homestand tomorrow at 7:05 against the Braves: LHP Cole Hamels vs. LHP Jo-Jo Reyes.

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