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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Game 64: Manuel is a terrible manager, Phils win (38-26)

Lets cut right to the chase here. The Phils were winning 7-0 last night heading into the top of the 8th inning. Roy Halladay probably could have pitched a complete game shutout, but Manuel correctly decided to give Halladay a couple innings off with a big lead.

They started the 8th inning with Jose Contreras, who promptly allowed4 of the first 5 batters to reach base. With runners on the corners and one out (score now 7-2), JC Romero came into the game to lace lefty Blake DeWitt. Romero walked him on four pitches to load the bases.

Geovany Soto, a right-hander, then came to the plate. Here are JC Romero's splits for 2011 before last night's game: .419 OBP-allowed against right-handed batters, .320 against LHB. Lefties have a dismal .227 SLG against Romero as well. Those are blatant stats of a lefty one-out guy (his career stats are just a macrocosm of his season stats. .802 OPS against lefties, .602 vs. RHB).

My guess is Ruben Amaro realizes Romero is a lefty-specialist (otherwise, wouldn't his career stats against righties render him a useless reliever from a front-office standpoint?). Unfortunately Ruben Amaro is not the manager of this team.

Romero, obviously, stayed in the game to face Soto, probably because lefty Tyler Colvin, fresh off an 0 for 33 streak, was on deck. Colvin, though, is the 8-hitter, and Manuel mustrealize that he would be replaced by a righty. Manuel either didn't realize it, or didn't care. Romero let up a hard single to Soto and remained in the game to face the lefty Colvin, who, shockingly, was removed from the game for a RHB.

It is embarrassing that Manuel ever allows Romero to face a righty when the outcome of the game is in doubt (and yes, when the tying run is on deck in the 8th inning, it's in doubt). Leaving him in the game to face Soto was horrendous, but allowing him to pitch to the pinch-hitter for Colvin was truly mesmerizing.

Lou Montanez drove home a two-run single off Romero to cut the lead to 7-5. Then Manuel went to the bullpen to get righty Michael Stutes -- two batters and three runs too late.

Guess which type of batter Stutes faced? A lefty. Manuel was so badly out-managed in the 8th inning of last night's game.

If he brings Stutes in when Soto is at the plate, and Stutes makes a mistake to give up a home run, the score is still 7-6 Phillies. After the Romero fiasco, a home run from Stutes makes it 8-7 Cubs. Horrendous is the only word to describe Manuel's bullpen use this year.

I could probably write another 2,000 words or so on this topic, ranging from Chris Wheeler's defense of Manuel (here's a paraphrase from last night after Romero was removed: "Well, the guys who were supposed to do their job just didn't do it, and now it's a tight game." Fine, Contreras didn't do his job. And Romero technically didn't do his job either, because he walked the lefty on four pitches. But Wheeler conveniently leaves out the two most important at-bats of the inning, and doesn't mention that IT'S NOT ROMERO'S JOB TO RETIRE RIGHT-HANDED BATTERS. Shane Victorino probably sucks as a pitcher against right-handed batters, but you don't see Manuel telling Shane to go in there to face Geovany Soto. Is it really that hard for Wheeler to type 9 characters into Google, click two links, scroll down a little, and say, "Romero is really good against lefties and really bad against righties, maybe Stutes should come in now."?) to the fans' reaction when Romero was removed from the game (they only booed when Romero started walking to the dugout, but not when Manuel walked towards the mound; this means they have no idea. Manuel should have been unanimously booed the second he stepped out of the dugout, two batters too late). But I won't.

The Phils won last night! Alright.

They go for at least a series split today at the dreaded 4:10 start time when Cliff Lee faces RHP Matt Garza.


hk said...

I think Charlie also mishandled the 9th inning of Friday night's game, but it got overlooked because of the result. When Stutes K'd Castro and Chooch threw out Barney trying to advance, there were two outs and none on in a 2-run game with a LHB (Pena) coming to bat with a RHB (Ramirez) to follow. Since Pena no longer represented the tying run, Charlie should have left Stutes in to face Pena so that he could have faced Ramirez (RHP vs. RHB) if Ramirez got a chance. If Pena had reached against Bastardo, Ramirez would have represented the tying run facing a LHP. Your thoughts?

Andy Musser said...

I was under the impression that Bastardo was in the game for one batter, with Madson coming into the game if Pena reached base. I do not know if Madson was even warming up, though.

If Madson was not warming up and it was Bastardo's game to lose, then yes, it was definitely a mistake.