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, July 20, 2011

Game 96: Phils overcome early deficit to even series (60-36)

Cliff Lee started last night’s game by allowing a double, a home run, and another double consecutively. The outlook was ominous for the Phils after that start when you consider the fact that the offense was struggling against Garza. Cliff Lee definitely turned it around, and shut the Cubs down over the next 5 innings, and the Phillies eventually were able to climb their way back for the victory.

Manuel placed Martinez in the 2 slot again. His .590 OPS is just atrocious. It makes sense to want men on base before Utley and Howard right? The more this case presents itself the more puzzling it is to me. Are most managers really striving to bunt/slap people around the bases just to advance one runner (maybe) into scoring position for the 3 and 4 hitters? I mean, if I were the manager, and I was content with hitting my two best hitters 3rd and 4th, I’d want my two highest OBP guys on in front of them. It just fits what I’m trying to accomplish. Instead, the highest OBP in the Phils’ lineup (Ruiz) batted 8th. It’s just puzzling.

Manuel used Stutes for 2 innings and Bastardo for the save. I was somewhat confused that we didn’t see Madson at any point. The Cubs lineup in the 9th was L,R,R followed by mostly RHBs. Was he going to wait to see if Bastardo got into trouble before going to Madson for RHBs? It would seem odd to me that Manuel would rely on Madson in a higher leverage situation and not a lower one (coming in with a clean slate to start the 9th). Maybe he decided it was Bastardo’s inning regardless of whether or not he got into trouble. How long is Manuel going to “work him back into the closer’s role”?

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