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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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Game 99: Phils miss sweep (58-41)

The Phillies lost tonight despite a good performance by J.A. Happ (yes, he's still on the team). Justin Upton hit a cheap homer off him in the first inning. People say CBP is really small, well Chase Field plays at least as small. The Phillies should have crushed Yusmeiro Petit tonight. He's a pretty bad pitcher. However, they stunk like they occassionally, curiously do against a pitcher they should own.

Charlie Manuel made a really bad decision in my opinion tonight. With the score 2-0 in the top of the 7th, the Phils had the bases loaded with 2 outs (after failing twice to knock in a run with men on 2nd and 3rd and 0 outs). J.A. Happ's spot in the lineup was due up, and Manuel wisely elected to use a PH. However, with a righty on the mound, Manuel used Pedro Feliz. That's right, Feliz vs. a RHP. In this case, I would fully support running Stairs out there even if it resulted in the Diamondbacks changing to a lefty. Then, Feliz would be the perfect batter. Instead of the possibilities of Stairs vs a RHP, Stairs vs a LHP (wouldn't happen), or Feliz vs a LHP, Manuel chose the worst case by not forcing the Dbacks's hand and requiring a pitching change. Shockingly, Pedro got out.

The Phillies were not helped out by homeplate umpire Brian Runge tonight. He was absolutely awful. A disgrace to all umpires which says A LOT. Umpires are pretty much the worst human beings. He made two hideous calls to Howard in the 1st inning (1st and 3rd strikes WELL inside). He then made a bad call even more inside to J.A. Happ. Also, in another key situation, Runge punched out Ibanez on a curveball that started far outside, and never came close to making it back to the black. Awful. Umpires are awful.

There should be an overhead view following evey questionable pitch. I recently watched the 95 All-star games as the MLB network was airing all the past All-Star games. I didn't see much, but I did see former Phillie Mickey Morandini's AB vs David Wells. After each pitch, questionable and fair, there was an overhead replay of the pitch. Morandini was called out on a terrible strike three call. Tonight on ESPN, I saw at least one use of this same view. It's worth the money. Get rid of those awful inground cams that show nothing. Umpires need to be held accountable. The other night in STL, Orlando Hudson dragged a bunt up the first base line. Pujols fielded the well-placed bunt and tossed it to Chris Carpenter who needed to make a diving tag. He tagged the headfirst sliding Hudson at least a foot before the base, and the 1B ump called him safe. If anyone has a replay or a still shot of this, I will award you 400 points. Please share.

Cliff Lee is here. The Phillies definitely upgraded their pitching staff with this move, but did not add one of the top 5 starters in all of MLB to their rotation. I still wish they had.

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