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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95% Phillies, 4% Eagles/Flyers/Sixers/Big Five, 1% Nonsense .... Contact us: Scott Graham ~ Andy Musser

Saturday, October 16, 2010

NLCS Game 1: Derryl Cousins, Raul, and Manuel blow game (0-1)

Well, you certainly know by now that Mr. Musser and I do not like the lineup the way it is. It's getting gross though. We're not asking for a radical shakeup despite the fact that the batting order is probably a lot different than we would like. However, it is unacceptable for Jimmy Rollins to continue hitting above 7th or 8th in the lineup. He had the highest OBP on the team, and he's hitting in front of the pitcher and Victorino. Not a recipe for success.

Scratch that. There is another change that I think is necessary. I think Jayson Werth should split up Utley and Howard. The Giants' LOOGYs are too good to allow them to face Howard and not Werth. Bruce Bochy needs to have his hand forced. Utley is about even vs. LHPs and RHPs, but Howard's drop off is huge.

In game strategy.

Charlie Manuel needs to institute a take sign. Lincecum was a little erratic tonight. It sounds strange to say, but he did fall behind in the count quite a few times. There are only 3 people on this team who should have a green light up 2-0 in the count: Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jayson Werth. Too many people were swinging at bad 2-0 pitches tonight and getting themselves out.

Charlie Manuel did not yell at HP umpire Derryl Cousins after he let Pat Burrell off the hook. I'm not really holding that against him, but I will address the game changing play in a little bit.

Manuel went with Domonic Brown to pinch hit for Roy Halladay in the 7th. I do not understand this at all. The following people are all better options than Domonic Brown: Ben Francisco, Mike Sweeney, and Ross Gload. Let's put a baby up in a huge spot, and have him face one of the nastiest pitchers in baseball. Absurd.

This following suggestion might be out there to some people. It seemed out there to me upon receiving the text message from Mr. Musser, but I fully agree after thinking about it. Manuel probably should have PH Francisco or Sweeney for Howard against Javier Lopez. Howard can be easily neutralized by good LH relievers. Make the move.

Manuel went with Gload in the 9th to hit for Lidge. I'm okay with that. He didn't pinch run for Ruiz immediately. I'm not quite sure why, but he eventually used Valdez. Phillies lost.

All of that being said, HP umpire Derryl Cousins blew a call in the top of the 6th inning. Pat Burrell watched strike 3 at the knees. However, Cousins called it a ball. Had he called it correctly, it would have been the end of the inning. Next pitch, Pat Burrell hit a long drive to left that Raul should have caught. It was in his mitt, but he dropped it. The Giants tacked on another after that. The score on the scoreboard said 4-1, but it should have read 2-1.

Umpires are employed to be unbiased arbiters of sports. If anyone believes that umpires' errors are meant to be part of the game, they are crazy, and should not be allowed to talk about sports. The players are the only people who should have a hand in deciding the game. Do the Phillies get breaks sometimes? Yes. Do I complain? Obviously not. However, I still do call out what I believe are bad calls that go the Phillies way. Something needs to be done. The pitch should never have been thrown to Burrell, and if everything proceeded the same way, the Phillies would be up 1-0 right now instead of down 0-1.

Let's hope Mr. Musser was not correct in saying that this game could be crucial for the Phillies.


Spliff Lee said...

I'm really surprised Manuel didn't take action on the obvious strikeout. It's upsetting how one lapse of judgment by the person in control of the game sways the tide that much.

I did some pretty detailed research on Cousins' strikezone tonight and the craziest part was he called a pretty good zone for RHH overall. LHH on the other hand had the most erratic zone I've ever seen. This game was out of everybody's control though, Phillies and Giants alike.

Anonymous said...

that ruiz OBP in history stat is not correct at all.

Scott Graham said...

I honestly didn't look it up. I heard it mentioned on the broadcast, and I used it. Maybe it was Phillies history. I don't know.

Do you know the correct stat, or what was said that made me think that?