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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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Game 23: Phils drop second straight to DBacks (15-8)

Since publishing our first guest post, we (I at least) have been inundated with emails from loyal readers begging to be posted. I am flattered with everyone's desire to be published on such a prestigious blog...

The Phillies really haven't had to play any stiff competition yet. To me, it's scary then how much their offense has struggled against very mediocre pitching. It's very important for them to win as many games as possible before the schedule really gets tough - losing two consecutive games with Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt on the mound is not the way to do that.

Oswalt wasn't very good last night; his first bad appearance of the season. After he gives up five runs in three innings, I didn't think there was much hope for a victory with the way the offense has been floudering. They did however end up scoring more than 4 runs for the first time in 17 days, so that's a plus. Manuel did his best to use mop-up guys to finish out the game.

Speaking of Charlie, I was certainly surprised by some of his recent comments regarding his pitching moves that may or may not have led to Contreras finding himself on the DL.

"There's no way in hell we overused Contreras," Manuel said. "That's how I feel. There's no way. . . . We weren't trying to stay away from him. He was closing games for us."

Manuel also appeared to take a shot at Madson, who had asked for another day of rest Sunday because of general soreness and a desire to be fresh for October.

"It's April 25 and I already hear our guys need days off," Manuel said. "Guys need this. Guys need that.

"Over the years, I get tired of hearing people say we want them healthy in October. October is a long ways off. It's April 25. A lot of time - hell, there's a lot of people that aren't going to make October."

I really don't like these comments. I mean yes, freak accidents can happen that lead to injury. Contreras pitching in 5 of 7 days followed by him going on the DL with an arm problem screams overuse to me. He's old. All of this is compounded by the fact that he pitched in two, 3-run games during that stretch. One was for a save, the other was with the Phils down by 3. Why is he "closing games for us" down 3 runs? To make matters worse, both of these outings were on days after he had pitched.

Yes, it's still April. Yes, he has fewer than 10 innings under his belt, but it's the time frame over which those innings were bunched together that is the problem.

Manuel also takes a shot at Madson (or so is assumed). I don't see why this is necessary, as he is the Phillies best arm out of the bullpen. If he said he needs time off in April, give it to him.

This does not sound like typical Manuel to me.

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