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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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Game 95: Despite Manuel and lineup, Phils win (49-46)

The Phillies are now tied for second place and are only 3 games out of the wild card after their 2-0 victory over St. Louis in 11 innings today. Cole Hamels pitched 8 innings and faced the minimum while only allowing one hit. Charlie Manuel actually managed his bullpen well, using JC Romero for only one batter in the bottom of the 10th inning and bringing on Chad Durbin to face two righties after Romero. However, Manuel botched the top of the 11th inning, even though the Phils scored two runs.

Raul Ibanez walked with the bases empty after Placido Polanco's home run to make it 1-0, but Charlie Manuel decided to not pinch run for him. Ben Francisco is not only a faster runner, but a much better defensive left fielder as well. Use Francisco to run, then leave him in for defense. Simple. Manuel missed it.

Ibanez scored anyway, but with the bases loaded (up 2-0) and only out with the bases loaded, Manuel let Brian Schneider bat. Fine. With the count 3-0, Manuel let Schneider swing. Unbelievable. He swung at ball 4 on the 3-0 pitch and the 3-1 pitch. He grounded out to the pitcher on the 3-2 pitch (which was ball six), and the Phils only ended up with the 2 runs. Thankfully for Manuel, even though had they lost nobody will question that green light anyway, Brad Lidge allowed only one baserunner in the 11th to record the save.

The Phils had a god-awful road trip, but they are still within striking distance of the wild card as they enter their biggest series of the year against the Colorado Rockies. Tomorrow night Roy Halladay faces RHP Aaron Cook.

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