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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Friday, June 4, 2010

Game 52: Phils leave best pinch-hitter on bench in loss (28-24)

Charlie Manuel decided Wednesday's game, against the first-place team in the NL East, was a good day to not play 4 of his regular starters. Of course we can't blame him for the absence of Jimmy Rollins, who is on the DL, but it should be no shock that the Phils scored only 1 run when their lineup featured Ben Francisco, Wilson Valdez, Brian Schneider, and Greg Dobbs. There was a day off on Thursday, so it makes even less sense to rest Carlos Ruiz and Shane Victorino at the same time. Regardless, this wasn't even his worst decision of the game.

The score was 1-1 in the top of the 8th inning with runners on the corners and 2 outs. The Phillies actually had their 2-hitter up to the plate. One would think this is a great opportunity to take the lead late in the game, but Manuel thought it would be a fantastic idea to let Wilson Valdez, owner of a .272 career OBP, bat SECOND. Moreover, he didn't even pinch-hit for him! Shane Victorino, Ruiz, and Polanco are ALL on the bench at this time. But screw that, let's allow the guy with a below-average minor league OBP to bat in the biggest spot of the game. He flied out weakly to center, and the Braves scored the winning run in the next half-inning.

Here's the best part: "Manager Charlie Manuel was livid at his team, saying the players have shown no sense of urgency to end their slide."

Well, Charlie, they aren't the only ones without a sense of urgency.

The Phils try to pick up the pieces in another Roy Halladay start that no one will get to watch. Tonight at 7:05 pm they face the first-place San Diego Padres and RHP Matt Latos, owner of a 1.01 WHIP on the season.

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