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, September 23, 2010

Game 152: Halladay beats Atlanta, Manuel outmanages Cox (91-61)

The score was 3-2 last night when Jayson Werth came to the plate with two outs in the sixth inning. Lefty Michael Dunn had just walked Ryan Howard. With only Howard on base, Bobby Cox decided to allow the lefty to face Werth. Big mistake. There were two more lefties available for Atlanta's bullpen, so there was no need for Cox to leave in Dunn any longer than necessary. Werth absolutely kills lefties, and while his OPS may be higher against righties this year (due to a low number of PAs vs. lefties in addition to the depleted Phils' lineup for most of the year), his 2010 OBP is still higher against lefties than righties. Also, Werth's career OPS against LHP is .938. Righties? Only .803.

The fact that Peter Moylan, a submarine righty (the exact type of pitcher to neutralize Werth) was warming up makes Cox's decision even worse.

The lefty Dunn allowed Werth to demolish a pitch to left field, barely missing a home run. The ball hit off the wall so hard Werth was held to a single.

Cox left Dunn in the game because Raul Ibanez was on deck: he would rather have a lefty face Werth than a righty face Ibanez. Wrong again. The difference in righty/lefty OPS for Werth is .135; Ibanez's is only .096 (.849 OPS vs. RHP; .753 vs. LHP). That is a 29% difference that Cox simply allowed to fall into the Phils favor. And, remember, because of the multiple lefties the Braves carry (presumably for situations exactly like this), Cox could have simply used a righty for Werth and then another lefty for Ibanez.

Cox decided to use the worst option of the three, and after Werth's near-home run, Ibanez knocked in two runs with a double of his own. 5-2 score, game over. Freddie Freeman hit a home run in the next inning, and Cox ensured that home run would not be the tying run. Well done, Mr. Cox.

Manuel outmanages the "legend" once again.

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