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, May 19, 2010

Game 39: Lineup, Manuel fail Moyer (24-15)

Jamie Moyer pitched 7 innings tonight, allowing only 2 runs to the Chicago Cubs. Unfortunately, he earned the loss in the 4-1 game. The Phils' lineup was shutdown by a lefty for the second straight night. LHP Tom Gorzellany threw 6 2/3 innings for the Cubs without allowing a run, but, unlike last night, the Phils' lineup was at full strength. Chase Utley returned to his 3-hole, and Jimmy Rollins was dropped to the 6-spot as Shane Victorino continued to lead-off.

The glaring mistake that Manuel committed tonight was one that he has repeatedly made in the past: using J.C. Romero against a RHB when several right-handed pitchers are available. In the top of the 9th inning, Chad Durbin loaded the bases while recording only one out. The following batter was lefty Tyler Colvin, with the pitcher's spot on deck. Manuel went to the lefty Romero, who promptly struck out Colvin for the second out. Lou Piniella then went to RHB Xavier Nady to pinch hit. This is an OBVIOUS spot to use either Danys Baez, Jose Contreras, or even David Herndon. Anybody except Romero, who has a career .377 OBP allowed against RHB, is acceptable. It is simply an inexcusable mistake, and Nady's two-run single off Romero sealed the game. The Phils' ninth-inning rally could have gone much differently had the margin remained at one run.

Tomorrow the Phils try to avoid the sweep as Big Joe Blanton faces RHP Ryan Dempster at 1:05 pm.

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