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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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Game 151: Lidge blows 11th save; Phils miss chance to gain on LA (88-63)

The Phils lost to the Marlins tonight, 7-6, despite a 6-3 lead in the 7th and a 6-5 lead heading into the 9th. Brad Lidge blew his 11th save of the season, and his record on the year is now 0-8. It was time for another closer a month ago; Brett Myers and Ryan Madson should be in charge of the 8th and 9th innings. It really doesn't matter which one is the closer, because the only thing that matters is that the man with a 1.86 WHIP on the year is not pitching in close games.

The Dodgers lost the Nationals tonight, 5-4. If the Phillies won, they would have been 1.5 games behind LA for the best record in the NL. Instead, Charlie Manuel decided to trot Lidge out for the 9th inning. Maybe if the Phils were locked into their playoff seed, it would be appropriate to let Lidge straighten out. However, the Phils can finish anywhere between 1st and 3rd in the NL, and there's really not much time left for "straightening out." Manuel should not be using Lidge in 1- or 2-run games. Madson, Myers, and even Tyler Walker are better alternatives right now.

If the Phillies are on the road in the NLCS against LA, you can look back at these September experiments with Lidge for an answer.

Tomorrow the Phils, whose magic number remains 5, open a 4-game set in Milwaukee when LHP J.A. Happ faces RHP Jeff Suppan.

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