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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Game 28: Manuel picks a bad time to start Dobbs (15-13)

Now, it was a good thing Greg Dobbs started today. He is much better than Pedro Feliz against RHP, and RHP Javier Vazquez started for Atlanta this afternoon; however, since Dobbs RARELY starts (I believe this was only his second start of the season), it's asinine to let him start against Vazquez.

Ideally, Dobbs would always start against RHP because of Feliz's ineptitude (.285 career OBP vs. RHP). This, however, is not the case. Wouldn't it make sense, then, to use Dobbs against a starter who is much worse against LHB than RHB? Yes, it would, because I asked the question. A perfect example of such a pitcher is Mike Pelfrey, who allows lefties to reach base at a .393 OBP while retiring righties much more efficiently. The Phillies faced Pelfrey twice in the past two weeks, but Feliz started both times.

Yet, Dobbs gets the start today, when the Braves marched out a pitcher in Vazquez who owns virtually identical numbers against RHB and LHB. Righties own a .309 OBP and a .421 SLG; lefties a .311 OBP and a .432 SLG against Vazquez for his career. Dobbs' performance was therefore unsurprising: 0 for 3 with one strikeout.

There were no other managerial mistakes today besides this decision, which really isn't a mistake in the context of one day because Dobbs is better than Feliz against righties. Vazquez pitched a great game and the Phils were shut down.

Of course, if Manuel chose today to begin starting Dobbs consistently against RHP, then this entire post means nothing. Unfortunately, that possibility is about as likely as the Sixers winning this year's NBA Championship. I would bet that you will see Feliz in the lineup tomorrow against RHP Kenshin Kawakami. The early start time is 12:35, and RHP Brett Myers starts for the Phils.

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