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 18, 2011

Game 41: Manuel must not be able to form logical thoughts (25-16)

I understand that the offense is suffering. I get that there aren't a whole lot of options for the lineup at this point in time, but batting Michael Martinez 2nd is just wrong. Yes, he had a couple of hits last night, but even a broken watch is right twice a day. None of this really matters though because the manager is just a buffoon in a completely indefensible way.

The Cardinals handed the Phillies a golden opportunity to win the game. In the top of the 8th, Jimmy Rollins hit a weak pop-up to second that Tyler Greene could not hold onto. Michael Martinez hit a ball toward the gap in right-center that sent Rollins from first to third, and Polanco hit a sac fly to score him.

Fast forward to the bottom of the 9th tied 1-1. Michael Stutes had already been used (and had to leave the game after throwing 3 pitches), Kyle Kendrick went two innings without allowing a run(!), and Antonio Bastardo pitched the 8th inning (so predictable). At this point in time, the Phillies cannot win the game without coming to the plate at least one more time. It is crucially important for the Phillies chances to win that the Cardinals do not score because the game will be over. Clearly, the manager will go with the best reliever in the bullpen to get the job done, right? Wrong. Ryan Madson never even came close to seeing action. Due to the fact that the Phillies were on the road, tied with their opponent, Charlie Manuel decided that he wanted to save Madson until the team had the lead (spoiler alert: they never had a chance to take the lead).

Manuel used Danys Baez against the top of the Cardinals lineup. Ryan Madson hasn't pitched since Friday, and most definitely could have gone two innings, taking you through at least Pujols, Holliday, and Berkman. However, Ryan Madson is the CLOSER, and he is only there to CLOSE. I like to look at Ryan Madson as the Phillies best reliever, and the manager should use him in the highest leverage/most important situations. What makes Manuel's decision to "forfeit" even worse, is that at no point after Baez started letting runners reach base did Madson even begin warming up. Instead, Manuel went with J.C. Romero to switch Lance Berkman to the right side of the plate. Berkman is substantially worse as a RHB, but J.C. Romero makes all RHBs look like Albert Pujols. Romero lasted just one pitch, and the game was over.

I don't understand how this is hard to understand. You don't SAVE your best reliever. You need to provide your team with the best chance to win. While I don't expect miracles, this type of bullpen management should not happen again with Manuel with tonight being Exhibit A. However, we know this will certainly happen again because Mr. Musser and I have been talking about instances like this for almost three years now.

At least Oswalt looked good. I was kind of surprised.

The Phillies come home to take on the Rockies (Hamels vs. LHP Jorge de la Rosa (a.k.a. the Grudge)).


Aaron J Warren said...

Are you kidding me???!?!??

Charlie played this one by the book and considering that the Phils are at the front end of a 20 game in row stretch, that two of our "closers" are on the shelf, that the team's offense has been in a funk of historic proportions, that we have the Rangers, Reds, and Braves coming up and are going to absolutely need Madson to save whatever miniscule lead Jimmy and the boys can scrape out, to put Madson in a situation like this one is, well, stupid. A tie game on the road? Really? You're gonna beat up Charlie for this one?

Wow, you're really digging.

Andy Musser said...

You clearly do not understand baseball.

Andy Musser said...

I particularly enjoy how you say "you're really digging" about manuel's most obvious incorrect decision of the year.