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, September 23, 2011
Oswalt started the 8th inning with his pitch count in the low 90s or high 80s, so I won't completely fault Manuel for allowing Oswalt to start the inning. However, he allowed an infield single with two outs before walking the next batter to bring his pitch count to 104. Oswalt was clearly tiring on the mound, leaving all his fastballs high in or above the strike zone. The next batter was Michael Morse, the right-handed first baseman who's having a career year. Since Brad Lidge had been warming in the bullpen all night, it was good to see Manuel emerge from the dugout to walk to the mound.
Of course, Manuel didn't remove Oswalt from the game. He decided to force Oswalt's obviously tired arm into an even higher pitch count, which resulted in Morse demolishing a high 3-2 fastball into the Phillies bullpen. The 3-0 deficit turned into a 6-run rout, and the game was over.
Then Manuel removed Oswalt, bringing Lidge in for a left-handed batter.
If he were trying to protect the pitcher's arm for the postseason, he would have brought in Lidge for Morse. If he were trying to win the game, he would have brought in Lidge for Morse.
Apparently, Manuel is trying to lose every game the rest of the season in an effort to duplicate the luck that the 2006 Cardinals experienced in the playoffs.
Don't expect a win tonight, either. The Phils open a 3-game set at Shea Stadium when Cole Hamels faces RHP R.A. Dickey at 7:10 pm.