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.
Friday, July 1, 2011
It wasn't for a lack of competition though, because Charlie Manuel tried his hardest to blow the game as well.
He started the day off pretty well by allowing Domonic Brown to finally start against a left-handed pitcher (about a month too late, but whatever), and unlike Raul Ibanez, Brown didn't look completely lost against the lefty. He got one hit off Romero and scored a run.
The Phils took a 5-4 lead into the bottom of the 7th inning, and since the bullpen is very thin (other than Stutes and Bastardo, your third-best reliever is David Herndon), Manuel allowed Kyle Kendrick to go back to the mound against the 9-1-2 hitters in the Toronto lineup. the 3-hitter, of course, is Jose Bautista, the MLB leader in homers. Bautista hammered Kendrick for n RBI-double in the first inning, and once KK went out to the mound, I assumed that Manuel would remove Kendrick if Bautista came to the plate in the inning. Wrong!
Kendrick retired two of the first three batters, which meant the best hitter (by far) in Toronto's lineup was coming to the plate as the go-ahead run with the Phillies needing only 7 outs to win the game. Michael Stutes is the obvious choice to pitch to Bautista; since he hasn't pitched since Saturday and since Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee are the next two starters, you can be aggressive with Stutes to get four outs in this situation.
Manuel did the opposite, and allowed the worst Phillies' starter to throw his 92nd pitch of the day to the best Toronto hitter. It was clear this was Kendrick's last inning, so there's NO reason whatsoever to leave him in for Bautista. It makes no sense, and Bautista hammered that point home with a 2-run homer.
The Phils came back in the 9th to win it, and Antonio Bastardo pitched a perfect ninth to earn the save.
Edition number 13921326 of the Phillies offense bailing out a terrible mistake by Manuel.
The Phils look to win the series tomorrow afternoon as Roy Halladay faces RHP Carlos Villanueva at 1:07 pm. Listen for the airhorn.