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, May 4, 2011

Game 28: Werth returns to Philly; Hamels shines (19-9)

Last night was Jayson Werth's first game back in Philly, and he got a very mixed ovation. Cole Hamels on the other hand, was cheered throughout the entire game due to his outstanding performance. He ended up going all 9 innings, and he only gave up one run on a solo home run to Mike Morse. Aside from his stellar pitching, Hamels chipped in 2 hits, a triple and a single.

Manuel didn't have any pitching substitutions to deal with, so we were lucky there. However, Manuel did make some lineup changes before the game. He switched around the Phillies top 3 hitters. He changed Victorino-Polanco-Rollins to Rollins-Victorino-Polanco. While many think the three-hole hitter should be the teams best hitter, lineup optimization does not work that way. While a perfectly optimal lineup isn't leaps and bounds better than traditional lineup logic, it still is better. So moving Polanco (the team's highest OPS, and more importantly, OBP) from 2 to 3 took the highest OB man out of the most important spot in the lineup and into the 4th or 5th most important, the three hole. All in all, the effect wasn't very large last night as the Phillies only scored 4 runs, but did record 12 hits and 7 walks. How did the Phillies only score 4 runs with 19 base runners? Charlie Manuel is probably to blame.

One of Mr. Musser's favorite things to point out recently, the take sign, could be to blame again last night. In the bottom of the 4th inning, the Phils ended up with the bases loaded and only 1 out (Ibanez got a ground rule double that contributed to the bases being loaded). Brian Schneider came up to the plate after Pete Orr was intentionally walked in order to fill the bases. Now, Livan Hernandez fell behind Ibanez 3-0, intentionally walked Orr, and then fell behind Brian Schneider 2-0. One might think that Schneider would be given the take sign, but one would be wrong since Manuel is the manager. He swung at the next pitch (a SINKER), and grounded into a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning and the threat.

Luckily Cole Hamels was great last night, and that didn't come back to haunt the Phils.

Tonight, Vance Worley gets his second start and faces RHP Jason Marquis.

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