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 21, 2009

Game 67: Swept at home by Baltimore (36-31)

Charlie Manuel was ejected from today's game because the first base umpire made one of the worst calls of the season. Jimmy Rollins hit a ball to the first baseman, who tried to tag Rollins, who avoided the tag and dived safely into first. The umpire, however, decided to call him out even though umpires are instructed to call a player safe if he doesn't see a definitive tag. The next batter hit a double, but he was stranded on second and the Phils ended up losing by one.

The Phillies ended this homestand with a 1-8 record. It's remarkable that they are still in first place, but it's a shame because the Mets are playing terrible baseball right now. A 4-5 homestand would have the Phillies in first place with a 5-game lead in the division (assuming the Mets lose their game today: they are currently losing by 3).

My only problem with today's game was that Greg Dobbs, who has more speed than Matt Stairs, played first base while Stairs played left field. Dobbs is not a good infielder anyway, and Stairs, who has never had any speed, is 41 years old with experience at first base. It did not cost them any runs, but Manuel seems to forget that Stairs has absolutely no outfield range.

The Orioles scored the winning run on a base hit by a right-handed batter off Cole Hamels. Hamels decided to throw a curveball, which was promptly hit up the middle for the game-winner. The curve is not only the least effective pitch to throw to a righty, but it's also Hamels' weakest pitch as well. Hamels pitched well, but he should not throw many curves to righties: especially with runners in scoring position late in the game.

The Phils are off tomorrow, thankfully, and they travel to Tampa and Toronto this coming week. Here's hoping Manuel absolutely berates the first-base umpire in his press conference.

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