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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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Game 151: Hamels defeats Atlanta, Manuel outmanages Cox (90-61)

The Phillies defeated the Braves tonight, 3-1, to go up 4 games in the NL East. Cole Hamels pitched 8 strong innings, and he got out of a 1st and 3rd, no-out jam in the second inning. After that, he was dominating. Rookie Brandon Beachy started in place of Jair Jurrjens due to injury, and Bobby Cox left him in for one batter too long.

In the bottom of the 5th inning, the Phils held a 2-1 lead with nobody on base, one out, and Chase Utley at the plate. Lefty Eric O'Flaherty was warming in the bullpen for Atlanta because three of the next four batters were lefties for Philly. For some reason, Cox allowed Beachy to give up a clean single to Utley, THEN he removed Beachy from the game. O'Flaherty is much more likely to retire Utley than the rookie right-hander. Utley ended up scoring the third run. Cox is to blame for that third run. With the Braves' baserunners late in the game, perhaps a 2-1 deficit would have allowed for a couple stolen bases to create different situations for Phils' pitching.

Manuel wins round one.

Also, why is Raul Ibanez swinging first-pitch with the bases loaded after O'Flaherty walked both Howard and Werth? The pitch was well out of the zone. A better plate approach could have resulted in an even bigger lead for the Phils. So, Manuel wasn't perfect (should have had a take sign on), but he wasn't as bad as Cox.

Tomorrow night the Phils look to win the series as Roy Halladay faces LHP Mike Minor at 7:05 pm.

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