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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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Game 54: Lidge blows another one (32-22)

Brad Lidge blew yet another save as the Phils fell to the Dodgers in extra innings, 3-2. My main gripe with this game has nothing to do with the pitching decisions that Charlie Manuel made; rather, I would like to know why Eric Bruntlett started against RHP Hiroki Kuroda.

The easy answer to that question is that Jimmy Rollins is having an awful season (he is LAST in the majors with his .256 OBP). Regardless, Eric Bruntlett is simply awful against right-handed pitching and he should never start at SS when a righty is on the mound. His career numbers against RHP (.276 OBP and a .297 SLG) are so bad that even a badly-slumping Rollins brings more to the table. Bruntlett is actually pretty good against lefties, so if Rollins needs a day off, it should have been Sunday night when the Phils face lefty Randy Wolf. Instead, Bruntlett faced RHP Hiroki Kuroda, the Dodgers' ace, and he was completely overmatched as he reached only once in 4 plate appearances. Now, Rollins will probably start tonight, and unless he snaps out of his slump, the shortstop position will have contributed absolutely zero offense over the course of two days simply because Manuel chose the wrong day to give Rollins a day off.

Lidge allowed the game-tying homer to a left-handed batter. This is not an accident. As always, I would rather have JC Romero or Ryan Madson facing lefties than Lidge, and if Manuel can juggle his bullpen to make this happen more often, the Phillies will improve as a team. Unfortunately, Brad Lidge is "THE CLOSER," which means Manuel will mindlessly give him the 9th inning regardless of the matchups.

Phils go for the series split (when it could very easily have been a sweep) tonight at 8:05 pm when LHP Antonio Bastardo faces LHP Randy Wolf.

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