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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Friday, May 29, 2009

Game 46: Manuel out-managed, but Phils win (26-20)

Manuel didn't make any pitching mistakes tonight. J.A. Happ threw 96 pitches, and despite Bill Conlin's jaded perception of the world, a pitcher generally loses velocity and effectiveness as his pitch-count climbs into the 3-digits. The Phillies lineup, however, was not as efficient as it could have been. They were facing a LHP tonight, but Manuel decided to stack his 3 lefties in a row again, behind switch hitters Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino. Of course, since Nats' manager Manny Acta is not as out-of-his-mind as Manuel, this came back to haunt the Phillies.

In the bottom of the 7th, the Phillies had bases loaded with one out for the pitcher's spot. There was a righty on the mound for the Nats, so Manuel correctly chose Greg Dobbs as his pinch hitter. Manny Acta, realizing that Manuel's lineup is absurdly easy to manage against, immediately took the righty out of the game in favor of LHP Joe Beimel. Acta knew that Manuel would take Dobbs out of the game (which he did, for John Mayberry Jr. - another problem in itself), and Acta also knew that there were two switch-hitters after Dobbs, with 3 straight lefties after that!

Beimel came into the game and promptly struck out Mayberry, who should never have been allowed to bat in that situation. Mayberry has a career .332 OBP in the minors, and he strikes out frequently while walking rarely. This was the DEFINITION of a contact-situation, and since Eric Bruntlett has an OBP over his career against LHP in the .360s while also not striking out as frequently, Bruntlett should have batted in that spot instead of Mayberry. Beimel got Mayberry to strike out on a full count on a pitch in the dirt, then he retired Rollins, and of course he stayed in the game to face the 3 lefties without ever having to face Jayson Werth. If Werth, arguably the Phils' best hitter off LHP, is in the 3-hole, then Acta may have saved Beimel for Utley-Howard. This would have given Dobbs a bases-loaded at-bat against a righty, or Werth would seen a lefty. Neither of these things happened, because Charlie Manuel isn't really a good manager.

Phils win!

Tomorrow night at 7:05 pm LHP Cole Hamels faces RHP Shairon Martis.

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