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 28, 2009

Game 73: Phillies actually win a series (39-34)

Well, the Phils have finally won their first series in what seems like months. They defeated the Blue Jays 5-4 this afternoon to take 2 out of 3 from Toronto. Jamie Moyer did not pitch very well, but he managed to pick up the victory after allowing 4 runs over a shaky 5 innings. Chan Ho Park pitched the next two innings (Park is definitely a good fit for the bullpen, and it's a shame he did not start the year there), while Ryan Madson pitched the 8th and Brad Lidge the 9th. This bullpen looks a lot better when Lidge is active.

I don't have any managerial complaints today, even though Jimmy Rollins was held out of the lineup yet again. I hate when Eric Bruntlett starts against a RHP, but today's pitcher was lefty Brian Tallet, so I can't complain about his presence in the lineup. In fact, his bunt-hit and his take-out slide in the 4th inning were huge contributions to the 4 runs the Phillies scored, which turned out to be the deciding inning of the game.

When a righty starts on the mound, however, and Manuel wants to bench Rollins and his .260 OBP, I don't feel like Bruntlett is an adequate replacement. His career OBP against righties is below .290, and his defense at the shortstop position is uncomparable to that of Rollins. As a result, Manuel should move Pedro Feliz over to short (he has done this before, and I can't imagine Feliz would be a downgrade at short from Bruntlett) while starting Greg Dobbs at third base. Dobbs, of course, is a much more suitable offensive replacement against RHP than Bruntlett.

If the Mets lose tonight, the Phils will somehow hold a 2.5 game division lead despite their horrible recent stretch. Hopefully the Phils can build on this series win Tuesday night in Atlanta at 7:00 pm, when RHP Joe Blanton faces RHP Derek Lowe.

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