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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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Game 74: Phils late rally plus LaRussa help lead to Phils W (46-28)

The Phillies offense and defense was pretty frustrating through the first 6-7 innings tonight. Halladay pitched pretty well, but got absolutely no support from the lineup.

Things turned around for the Phils in the 8th inning tonight due to some good patience, timely hitting, and terrible strategy by Cardinals' manager Tony LaRussa. Jimmy Rollins led off by lining out. Victorino and Utley both reached base against LHP Trever Miller. Following Utley's walk, Tony LaRussa removed Miller for a RHP to face Ryan Howard (?!). I don't even understand what possibly could have been going through his head when he did this. Motte hit Howard to load the bases. He then hit Polanco to force in the tying run. LaRussa then brought in LHP Brian Tallet to face Ibanez (?!). Even if Miller was "done" after facing Utley, there was another LHP in the bullpen to face Howard. Ibanez jumped out of the way of the first pitch that would have hit him on the ass, which is absolutely ridiculous. Take one for the team, eat the pitch, and force in another run. He struck out for the 2nd out. The Phils combined for some more hits and walks, and thankfully ended the inning with 9 runs which stopped Chris Wheeler from the snowman (8) they had put up in the inning prior to that point.

In our opinion, Tony LaRussa cost the Cardinals the game tonight (there is no way of knowing that Howard still wouldn't have gotten on base, but the odds are certainly worse with a lefty on the mound). I would have absolutely been losing my mind tonight if I were a Cardinals fan.

Cliff Lee takes the mound tomorrow against Kyle Lohse (the guy who, pitching for the Phillies, gave up a grand slam to Kaz Matsui in the 2007 NLDS despite the fact that he probably shouldn't have been brought into the game with the bases loaded. That too was Charlie's fault).


Henry Rowengartner said...

Thank you for pointing out Ibanez jumping out of the way on that pitch. There is no better place for a ball to hit you and he jumped out of the way like it was at his head.

Also, after walking Howard, Motte went 2-0 to Polanco and then threw a high fastball that Polanco chased and fouled off. Why, after a pitcher just hit someone and then threw you two straight balls, would you ever think about swinging? He never would have gotten hit in the hand if he took that pitch.

Andy Musser said...

Right before that 2-0 pitch, I said "he's swinging". Polanco's plate approach is dreadful.

There was one out for Polanco's at-bat, and he grounds into double plays at a high-rate (which is why it's ridiculous he's labeled as the "ultimate two-hitter"). Never swing before a strike in that situation, let alone swinging on a 2-0 count.

Thank god the 3-2 pitch was nowhere near the strike zone, otherwise this easily could have been a loss.

Also, why pinch hit Francisco for Brown instead of Ibanez? With one out, Ibanez is more likely to GIDP than BF, much less likely to walk than BF, and more likely to strikeout. That doesn't even consider your defensive alignment for the 8th and 9th innings. Brown needs to see as many lefties as possible -- the complete opposite of what Ibanez needs at this point in his career.

Manuel and the Phillies didn't have a good strategic inning, but LaRussa was so bad it didn't matter