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, August 16, 2011

Game 120: Phils fall in the 9th (78-42)

The pre-game ceremony that involved the unveiling of a commemorative Harry Kalas statue was well done, and I was glad that I was able to be in attendance for it.

The Phillies didn't really produce a lot of offense tonight. They did manage to scatter 9 hits and two walks, but Chase Utley's three hits (Roy Halladay also added two hits) kind of get erased when Ryan Howard and Hunter Pence combine for five strikeouts. I'm not a huge strikeout hater, but Collmenter isn't really a strikeout pitcher, and he managed to collect eight tonight.

I have a couple questions for the manager about tonight's game:

1) Why start Michael Martinez over Wilson Valdez at third base?

Valdez is slightly better at the plate than Martinez, and is probably better in the field (let's just call the defense a tie). If you start Valdez, then maybe you can have John Mayberry PH at the end and Martinez run rather than have Mayberry run and Gload hit. I personally would have Jack Cust on the roster at this point in time because his stats over the last few seasons are better than some of the Phillies regulars, and all of the Phils' bench players.

2) Why let Halladay go the 9th?

I'm not too upset about this, but I don't think there is anyone that could convince me that it's more than a wash in favor of letting Halladay begin the 9th. Justin Upton was leading off, and he is a pretty damned good hitter. I'm not just saying this because the Phillies ended up losing, but I'm pretty sure I'd take Ryan Madson fresh over Roy Halladay after 100 pitches almost 95% of the time. Take into account that the Diamondbacks lineup had seen Halladay a few times, the bullpen being well rested, wanting to not overwork Halladay with the playoffs right around the corner, and I think you have to go with Madson. Whatever, I'm not going to bury Manuel for that.

3) Why have Madson and Bastardo warming in the pen?

Why warm them up if you're not going to use them with a man on first and no one out, men on first and second and no one out, men on first and second with one out? I don't get it. Charlie didn't want a fresh arm for the 9th, then decides he wants them warming up. My guess they're there in case Halladay gets into trouble? Lead off man isn't trouble? First two men on isn't trouble? The only reason I'm not furious that Manuel didn't use the pen was because I was more confused than anything about the sequence of what occurred.

I sincerely hope Manuel isn't "afraid" to pull some of the starters based on their reputation. That just doesn't bode well.


Robby Bonfire said...

Regarding the high strike out total, tonight, that can usually be attributed to a "pitchers" home plate umpire, given that the two starters combined for 22 K's, and given that neither starter is a pronounced strike out pitcher.

In fact, you can say that racking up strike outs is the weakest part of Halladay's arsenal, given that since July 4th and the resumption of intra-league play, Halladay has logged a rate of 113 K's to 100 K's for his SP opponents, adjusting for the difference in innings pitch. Halladay has logged 46 K's to 34 for his SP match-up, while showing the edge in outs recorded, 145-121. (121 x 46 / 34 / 145 = 113.)

This is getting old, but again I have to ask why a SP who hadn't pitched in eight days was asked to throw 123 pitches, tonight. Every Phillies starter has to be the reincarnation of "Iron Man" McGinnity? (Yes.)

hk said...

On Crashburn Alley, Bill posted a poll asking, "Which NL oppenent worries you the most in the post-season?" I haven't answered because Charlie Manual was not listed as one of the options. None of the other teams in and of themselves worries me other than my knowledge that the best team does not always win a short series. What does worry me is the Phillies' managers penchant for enhancing the other team's chances of winning each particular game, which is especially problematic in a short series.

Robby Bonfire said...

hk: Will you share your observation, above, with Phillies principals ABOVE the level of General Manager?

hk said...


I appreciate the offer, but any group that re-upped Charlie this offseason most likely abides by the "In Charlie We Trust" motto.

Scott Graham said...

I hate Charlie's in-game strategy most of the time, but there's still so many other managers who are as bad or worse than he is. I believe that the players love him, and that DOES stand for something.

Bottom line: Just because they gave him a new contract doesn't mean they are enamored by him. Can you imagine the uproar if they didn't re-sign the Manuel. He has been in charge of the team through arguably the franchise's most successful run in history?

Robby Bonfire said...

Can't wait to see Charlie Manuel, acting like a geriatric caracature of himself in two years, if just for laughs. Oh, wait - he is already there...

How can there be an "uproar" over moving out a fossilized mental pygmy? Plus I believe the ballclub doing the right thing should trump "popularity" until the fans actually become stockholders of the team. Even Louis Rukeyser was fired, BEFORE senility set in. Anyone can be fired for any good, expedient, bad or even wrong reason. It's called hands-on ownership and it doesn't have to have a perfect track record to exercise that prerogative.

Charlie Manuel is today's version of Bobby Cox, who also had one championship to show out of about 15 failed "runs" at the big prize. One championship is not enough when it should be three or four championships, based on available talent, over the years.

I don't think the eminently successful and demanding George Steinbrenner ever went on a party binge in those contending years the Yankees came up short. Maybe the Phillies should raise their sights, accordingly, just a little bit. Our expectations of them should not be higher than the expectations they have of themselves.

Robby Bonfire said...

What a match-up, Thursday, Aug. 18th. The Diamondbacks have won all seven of Ian Kennedy's starts since the resumption of Intra-league play on July 4th. As have the Phillies won all seven of Vance Worley's starts in the same period. In fact, the Phillies have won all 10 of Vance Worley's starts this year, as they also beat three American League teams with Worley on the mound.