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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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Game 110: Lou Pinella falls asleep in the 8th, opening door for Phils (62-48)

The Phillies won tonight in extra innings due in part to a Ben Francisco (why was he starting?) home run. Harden completely shut down the Phils for the majority of the first 5 innings. Ruiz worked out two huge walks that led to men on base for Jimmy Rollins to hit a 2 run shot.

J.A. Happ was hit around pretty solidly all night. It's funny, even on a bad night he still manages to escape major danger.

Charlie Manuel did his best to hand the game to Lou Pinella before it even started. As usual, Manuel went with the three consecutive lefties when the Cubs have 2 LHPs in the bullpen. The Phillies just had a day off yesterday, so I'm confused as to why Werth was not starting.

In the top of the 8th inning the Cubs went with their "8th inning man". Marmol has terrific BA against numbers this season, but suffers from VERY frequent walks. Ruiz led off the inning with a walk. Victorino was "hit by a pitch" with 2 outs, bringing up Utley with 2 men on base. At this point, a LHP should have been up in order to pitch to the dangerous (even when slumping) Utley, Howard, and Ibanez. Pinella allowed Marmol to walk Utley and Howard (Howard's ball 4 was actually a strike). Then, after allowing the go ahead run to cross, Pinella brought in a lefty to sit down Ibanez on 3 pitches. Manuel does the incorrect thing, and luckily outmanages his opponent.

Brad Lidge was used to close it out, and was squeezed immensely. He blew another save. How long are they going to let him do this? He's not getting any better. The game went to extras, and Manuel went with Tyler Walker who pitched well, Eyre who pitched well, and Durbin who pitched OK. I was hesitant about the removal of Walker until I remembered that the Phils had recalled Durbin yesterday. Otherwise, Kendrick would have been the only person left to throw.

It appears as if this site will include a new segment to the analysis of everygame: Umpires. There was a boatload of things to talk about tonight. Home plate ump Ron Kulpa's strike zone was off for the majority of the night. I'm going to point out the major bad/inconsistant calls that I can easily recall.

1. 2nd batter Victorino had a bad strike (thought he was going to get tossed again).
2. Milton Bradley was called out on a ball outside thrown by Happ.
3. Park threw strike three past Lee, but it was called a ball high. It was MAYBE a little above the belt.
4. Lidge was squeezed against Fukudome outside, and maybe low. He was squeezed again later that inning.
5. The following inning, Stairs had a ball that was farther outside that Lidge's ball called a strike. Rollins had 2 pitches a good amount outside called a strike.
6. Ibanez had an outside pitch called against him which he correctly told Kulpa was "not a strike. Come on." Cheer Ibanez telling the ump.

However, the worst call of the night had to be crew chief Dale Scott calling Ruiz's ball a home run. The ball was clearly foul (can be seen passing in front of the foul pole. It would need to disappear behind the foul pole for it to be a homer. It was VERY clearly foul. Somehow Ron Kulpa did not see this, and instant replay was necessary.

I'm sorry, but these men have a job. It's fairly simple to see a ball being fair or foul. It's also pretty amazing how the batters usually have a better sense of the strike zone than the umpires do. They are next to the plate. The umpires are directly behind the plate, and should have a better sense of high/low and inside/outside. Most umpires stink at their jobs. I feel just in saying that.

To touch briefly on the Jamie Moyer/Pedro situation: Moyer should not complain. The job should be earned based on performance. Moyer has done a pretty awful job for most of the season. Even at his best, he has only been slightly above average. Moyer spoke out today saying he was disappointed in the situation. The only way he has the right to use the word disappointed is if he means that he is sad he sucks too bad to start. He is in no way owed anything. He has said Amaro Jr. stated nothing like this situation would happen during contract talks. This sounds an awful lot like the Chan Ho situation. They "promised him he'd have a chance" and gave him far too many chances where he failed. He's a much better reliever and was signed as such. Happ is a better starter and this is how the season should have started. Since career numbers are most important, the eventual Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez has better credentials.

Lets go Pedro again Jeff Samardzija

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