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, September 29, 2009

Game 156: Phils' division lead falls to 4 (90-66)

Cole Hamels ran into some bad luck with several broken bats, while the Phillies' offense was very quiet in their 8-2 loss to Houston last night. Hamels allowed 6 runs in 6 2/3 innings, while Tyler Walker allowed 2 runs without recording an out. The mop-up duties were assigned to Clay Condrey (1/3 innings), J.C. Romero (1 inning), and Brad Lidge (1 inning), who all kept the Astros scoreless.

There's nothing to say about Manuel after a game like this. The Phillies have lost 5 out of 7, and their magic number remains 3. They are still 2.5 games behind LA (LA has the tiebreaker), and they are now tied with St. Louis (Phils have the tiebreaker). It is still possible for the Phils to take the top spot in the NL, but they have to win the division first. Atlanta could very possibly win the next 6 games, which means the Phils would have to play .500 ball (no small task given their recent play) over the final 6 games to win the East.

Tonight at 7:05 LHP J.A. Happ faces RHP Wilton Lopez, who will be making his first career start.

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