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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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Game 53: Manuel tries to blow game, fails (29-24)

The Phils defeated the San Diego Padres Friday night, 3-2, thanks to a strong 7 innings from Roy Halladay and a Shane Victorino 2-run homer. I missed most of the game due to hockey, but I did see one sequence in the top of the 8th inning where JC Romero was brought into the game to face two righties with men in scoring position.

After walking the leadoff man to begin the 8th inning (score 3-2), Roy Halladay was removed for Jose Contreras, who walked one man and retired another. San Diego then used LHB Matt Stairs to pinch hit. Manuel must know that if he brings Romero into this spot, San Diego will simply use a RHB to replace Stairs. Unfortunately for the Phils, Manuel brought in Romero, and the Padres brought Oscar Salazar, owner of a .350 career OBP against LHP, into the game. Romero, of course, is the Phils worst reliever against RHB. He promptly walked Salazar, bringing another righty to the plate with the bases loaded and only one out. The batter, Chris Denorfia, hit into an inning-ending double play to third base. Romero lucked out.

Manuel should realize that it is better to have Chad Durbin (.350 OBP allowed vs. LHB) or Jose Contreras (.344) face a lefty than it is to have Romero (.377 against righties) face a righty. Especially when that batter owns a SLG% less than .400 this year and hasn't gotten a hit since the 2008 NLCS. Bud Black saw Romero warming in the pen, and he knew that he'd rather have Romero in the game than Contreras (two righties followed Stairs). Manuel was out-managed, but since Denorfia's ball went directly to the third-basemen, nobody will question him.

Flyers won, Phils won, Braves lost, and Brad Lidge looked fantastic.

The Phils try to guarantee at least a split tomorrow when LHP Jamie Moyer faces RHP Jon Garland at 7:05pm.

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