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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Monday, August 24, 2009

Game 122: Lee improves to 5-0 as Howard smacks two more (72-50)

The Phils beat the Mets this afternoon by a score of 6-2. Cliff Lee pitched 7 innings, allowing zero earned runs. The only Mets runs were due to a dropped pop-up by Chase Utley in the first inning.

Jimmy Rollins was provided with a day off, meaning Eric Bruntlett got the start at SS after his historic play yesterday. Usually I don't like sitting Rollins when there is a RHP starting for the opposition (which was the case today) because of Bruntlett's poor numbers against RHP, but if there is ever a day to do it, it would be when Cliff Lee faces a poor Mets lineup.

My only complaint for Manuel is his use of Brad Lidge in the 9th inning. The Phils were up by 4 runs, and it was Lidge's third straight appearance. Chan Ho Park easily could have stayed in to pitch the 9th inning, because he did not pitch yesterday and he only threw 12 pitches in today's 8th inning. The Phils may be forced to use a makeshift closer tomorrow night simply because Lidge was "needed" in a game which was essentially over. I know Lidge hasn't been pitching too well lately, but he has run into some pretty terrible luck (see the Braves' loss and the three plays before the triple play yesterday) and he is still the closer. Overusing the closer in a game like this is not the best idea in a pennant race, especially when there is no off-day in sight.

Tomorrow the Phils open a three-game set at Pittsburgh when RHP Joe Blanton faces RHP Ross Ohlendorf at 7:05 pm.

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