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, September 7, 2009

Game 135: Swept (77-58)

The Phils lost the final game of their 4-game series at Houston today by a score of 4-3. A large part of today's loss is on Charlie Manuel's shoulders.

The Phils were leading, 3-2, heading into the bottom of the 7th inning. Chan Ho Park was called upon to relieve Jamie Moyer. With three straight RHBs due up for Houston, this was not a bad move by Manuel. However, Park allowed two straight doubles to allow Houston to tie the game. After retiring one batter, Park walked two more to load the bases. At this point, Park had faced 5 batters, allowing 4 to reach base. LHB Michael Bourn was the next batter, with the bases loaded and one out. Scott Eyre was warming up in the bullpen. Bourn is significantly worse against LHP than RHP, yet Manuel allowed Park to walk Bourn, which turned out to be the game-deciding play. THEN Manuel called on Scott Eyre, after the LHB had already reached base. Eyre retired switch-hitters Kaz Matsui and Lance Berkman to preserve the one-run deficit. Had he simply come into the game one batter earlier, there's a good chance the Phils only would have allowed one run in the 7th inning.

Apparently, Manuel "vented" his frustrations to the media after the game about his team's performance over the weekend. Personally, I don't think three 1-run losses are a huge cause for concern, especially since Saturday's loss was on Lidge, while Sunday's loss was due to bad luck (several hard-hit outs for the Phillies; several infield hits for the Astros). Also, if Manuel can complain about the players, why shouldn't Scott Eyre complain about the manager?

Phils are still six games up, but they face the second-place Marlins six more times.

Tomorrow night at 7:05 pm the Phils open a 3-game set in DC when RHP Pedro Martinez faces LHP John Lannan.

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