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.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Here are some reasons for the Phils' loss: Manuel's bullpen usage, Kerwin Danley's brain, and Manuel's lineup. Let's start with the lineup.
Michael Martinez batted second tonight while John Mayberry batted 8th. That's insane. If those players were simply switched in the order, Mayberry's two home runs may have led to more than only 3 runs.
Now to the umpiring: If Kerwin Danely didn't inexplicably call Domonic Brown out for missing second base (which he clearly didnt), and Mayberry's home run still followed, the Phillies probably win the game.
Now to the bullpen's usage in extra innings, which is a recurring theme of the 2011 season: Manuel never uses his closer in a tie game on the road, which makes absolutely no sense. The reasoning is that "if you get the lead, who will close the game?", as if it's more difficult to pitch with a 1- or 2-run lead than a 0-run lead. Apparently Manuel trusts Danys Baez (who pitched the 9th and 10th innings before inevitably blowing the game-- he has all 3 losses in the road walk-off games they've dropped) more with a 0-run lead than he does Antonio Bastardo. It's ridiculous.
The whole notion that "you don't use your closer in a tie game on the road" is disproved with one sentence: If you can trust a reliever with a 0-run lead, you sure as hell trust him with a 1-run lead. The fact that Baez is continually allowed to pitch in tie games, on the road, in extra innings means he's capable of pitching with a 1- or 2-run lead.
In these three walk-off losses this year (St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and now Florida), Manuel has made the same mistake in each game. Madson never pitched in the first two games, and Bastardo didn't pitch tonight. If he had used his pen correctly in all of these games, they probably would have won at least one, possibly two, and who knows, maybe even all three.
If the Phils end up as the wild-card (not a ridiculous possibility), these games should be remembered.
Oh, and Stutes was mismanaged tonight as well. He was used in the bottom of the 8th inning with zero men on and zero men out, against the 7-8-9 hitters. That's about as low-leverage as you can get in a tie game. Meanwhile, Andrew Carpenter was entrusted with a 1-run lead in the 7th inning against the heart of the Marlins order. He retired only one of the first 3 batters he faced, and the Phils were clinging to a 1-run lead with men on the corners and one out. Hanley Ramirez was the batter. This is the type of high-leverage situation that's absolutely screaming for Stutes. Instead, Carpenter pitched in the most important situation of the game, surrendering the lead on a hit to Ramirez. Stutes was saved for a situation with no one on and no one out. Just a terrible night for Charlie Manuel, who will get zero criticism from the media tomorrow.
The Phils are off tomorrow, but they head back to CBP to face Atlanta on Friday when Roy Halladay faces RHP Brandon Beachy at 7:05pm.