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, October 2, 2010

Game 160: Phils take first from Braves (96-64)

I think you can tell the most about Charlie Manuel in games like this. He was resting some of the starters, so the lineup could not possibly be the same one that he usually trots out there. This being the case, how else would he decide the lineup besides based on statistics and matchups?

Since Shane Victorino wasn't in Atlanta due to the birth of his child, Ben Francisco got the start, and Greg Dobbs got the start over Placido Polanco. Victorino had been batting lead off, so Manuel put Rollins back into his old spot in the order. That left the 2,7, and 8 slots to be changed. Personally, I probably would have put Ruiz 2nd, Francisco 7th, and Dobbs 8th. Ruiz has a .398 OBP and is hitting over .300. These are pretty outrageous numbers. Rather, Charlie put him 8th in the lineup. Greg Dobbs (.589 OPS!!!) batted 7th. I'm not hideously opposed to putting Ben 2nd, but it's not the most effective way to handle this lineup.

Charlie's odd lineup was overshadowed by Bobby Cox's awful in game strategy, however. In the top of the 6th, Brandon Beachy allowed 2 men to reach base, and Bobby Cox brought in RHP Peter Moylan, a fine decision. Moylan got the ground ball that he needed (to third baseman Brooks Conrad), but the 2B was not covering the bag. The FC throwing error allowed everyone to advance safely resulting in the bases being loaded. Manuel PH for Kyle Kendrick with Dom Brown. Cox most likely should have brought in a lefty, but Manuel could have burnt Brown for another PH, so it's not a huge deal. Brown worked out a walk which brought in a run. Then, Bobby Cox brought in a LHP to face Jimmy Rollins right-handed.

Rollins career OPS splits? as LHB: .757 OPS as RHB: .781 OPS. Both his OBP and SLG are better facing lefties as a RHB. Cox messed up big time especially considering the fact that Rollins looked awful at the plate earlier in the game. Rollins made him look even more like a fool when he popped a GS into the left field seats.

The Phils cruised to a win using Bastardo, Romero, Durbin, Contreras, Zagurski, and Herndon to go the final 4 innings.

Today, Vance Worley takes on Tommy Hanson at 4:10

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