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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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Game 47: Despite Hamels' rough outing and Manuel's rough strategy, Phils win (27-20)

I'm not surprised that everyday Manuel sticks with the three consecutive lefties. However, I do feel it's big enough of a deal worth mentioning. You wouldn't know it tonight because the Nationals defense is worse than a little league team's, but Manny Acta used Manuel's foolishness to make a smart decision. Acta brought in Ron Villone to face Utley, Howard, and Ibanez in the 6th inning tonight with men on 2nd and 3rd and 2 outs. Villone walked Utley, and then got Howard to ground into what should have been an inning ender, but Anderson Hernandez made a fielding error, and the Phils padded their 1 run lead to make the score 9-6. Ibanez then got out to end the inning.

If not for the pitiful defense of the Nationals, the score remains 7-6, and who knows how the rest of the game plays out. The lefty-lefty matchups with Utley and Ibanez vs starters really doesn't matter. Where this matchup becomes a problem is late in the game when the opposing manager can bring a specialist in that makes the Phils' three best hitters more often than not, look like average hitters. Even though Utley and Ibanez have decent to good numbers vs. LHP overall, these numbers shrink against the great lefties they face late in games.

Dobbs probably could have started tonight. You know the reason. Eyre came in to pitch the 7th with Johnson, Zimmerman, and Dunn due up. That's an alright decision even though Zimmerman is really good against lefties because as soon as he got through that part of the lineup, Condrey was brought in to face additional righties.

Madson pitched the 8th inning against R,R,L. Knowing that the 9th would have S,L,R,L (Dunn), I would have preferred to see Lidge pitch the 8th and Madson pitch the 9th. Madson fairs better against lefties than Lidge does. Also, with Lidge's recent struggles, why not let him face the weaker hitters? With this in mind, Manuel can't keep using Madson every night. He will be burnt out by June maybe July. I'd love it if Madson could go every night, but he can't.

Phils win, and go for the series sweep tomorrow.

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