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, May 7, 2011

Game 31: Phils manage only two hits as they waste Lee's 16 Ks (21-10)

Derek Lowe took a no-hitter into the 7th inning last night as the Braves beat the Phils 5-0. It was 3-0 until the 9th inning, with those 3 runs all coming after Cliff Lee got the first two batters out in the top of the third inning.

There's nothing really the manager can do about a game like last night, so I'll take this chance to point out the most surprising part of the season so far. Jimmy Rollins walked once last night, bringing his season total to 18. His career high in walks for a season is 58. He managed that in 625 PAs in 2008, for a walk/PA rate of 9.3%. He has 141 PAs this year for a 12.8% rate. His career rate is only 7.5 percent.

Rollins is walking at a rate 70% higher than his career average -- an absurd increase. Plate discipline has by far his biggest offensive weakness, so if he can keep up this huge improvement over the course of the season, then perhaps Mr. Graham and I will drop our Ruiz for Leadoff campaign.

In the meantime, we'll give Manuel a pass when he bats Rollins first as we monitor how often he walks.

The Phils are now only 3.5 games ahead of the Braves. Tonight, because of Roy Oswalt's addition to the DL, Kyle Kendrick will start against RHP Julio Teheran at 7:05 pm. Teheran is making his ML debut.

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