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, June 8, 2011

Game 59: Charlie Manuel refuses to use a take sign in any situation (35-24)

The Phils won on Sunday to avoid a sweep by Pittsburgh. Roy Halladay pitched very well following the 2-run homer he gave up in the first inning, and Charlie Manuel's decisions were relatively straightforward.

However, he was lucky that the Phils won the game, because Manuel certainly didn't contribute to the victory.

Here's why: in the fourth inning, Pirates starter James McDonald was extremely wild. He walked 2 batters, threw 2 wild pitches, hit one batter, and threw a passed ball. Carlos Ruiz earned the HBP with the bases loaded and one out. Wilson Valdez then came to the plate. Valdez, who grounds into DPs at an astronomical rate, was somehow allowed to swing in this situation at the first pitch. Thankfully, he swung and missed instead of grounding into a double play, but he ended up grounding into a double play later in the at-bat anyway. The first pitch of the at bat was about a foot outside and in the dirt. If Manuel used a take sign, its a 1-0 count and Valdez has a pretty good chance at an RBI walk. Instead, Manuel treated Valdez like Albert Pujols, and Manuel swung himself out of a rally. The score was 2-1 Pirates at the end of the inning, and if not for the Phils' offense, Manuel would have been responsible for another loss.

More to come on the take sign-issue.

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