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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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Game 104: Lidge and Blanton do it again (56-48)

Blanton caused the Phillies to fall behind early, allowing 3 runs to score in the first inning. After that, he settled down and held the Nats scoreless through the next 4 innings. Blanton had 8 Ks and 1 BB on the night. If he could have pitched better in the first, or maybe if the umpire could see, he would have had a pretty good night. Blanton's ERA in 1st innings this season is 7.94. The Phillies clawed their way back into the game, and managed to take a 1 run lead in the top of the 9th on a Ruiz single that scores Werth.

Manuel's bullpen decisions were okay last night. In the bottom of the 7th, Kennedy (LHB), Zimmerman (RHB), and Dunn (LHB) were due up. After using Contreras to pitch to Kennedy, who singled, he correctly pitched to Zimmerman, and the Phillies were lucky enough to have a strike'em out throw'em out to record the 1st and 2nd out. At this point, Manuel could have gone to Romero, but it appeared as if Contreras was pitching around Dunn anyway. He went to Madson in the 9th, and Ryan sat them down 1-2-3.

Manuel then used Lidge for the save in the 9th. What else would he do? I personally, would have left Madson in to pitch to the RHB Morse, and then used Romero to pitch to the two lefties since Lidge is absolutely terrible vs. LHPs. Manuel did this the other night vs. the DBacks, but for some reason decided not to tonight. It is very clear right now that the Phillies do not have a solid closer. Knowing that, it is a must that Manuel utilize match-ups to maximize the efficiency of his bullpen.

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