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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Friday, September 23, 2011

Game 156: Phils swept by Nationals, Oswalt overused (98-58)

The Phillies dropped the season series to the Nationals last night, thanks to a 6-1 defeat. Half of the Nationals' run total is a direct cause of Manuel's overuse of Roy Oswalt.

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.


Robby Bonfire said...

Saying that Manuel is trying to duplicate the "luck" of the St. Louis Cardinals of 2006 by wearing down the condition of the club's active roster is cutting him a lot more slack than he deserves. It is now blatantly obvious that rendering this team a shell of its peak physical condition, and psychological, and emotional states attained prior to the September burn-off we are witnessing, is what is going on.

This goes beyond the manager and the GM, it is so glaringly apparent that this man has a dual agenda, as regards his oversight of this team, I have to wonder if the Phillies have an ownership team with a pulse? If this were happening to my team I would have a private detective agency all over the manager's ass, looking for documentation that he is on the take from another source.

At the very least there is criminal intent in the way this manager is destroying this team's health and sanity. So let's park the "kid gloves" somewhere else - where the naive, sophomoric, and blindly trusting supplicants live.

hk said...


I assume you're trolling, but I enjoy reading your conspiracy theories whether you are serious or not. The problem that I see as a fan of the team is that your theories are off base. I believe that, if Charlie's intent was to intentionally undermine the team's chances, he'd probably be doing the right things like resting 4 regulars every game, pulling the starters after 90 pitches regardless of the score, giving Dom Brown a chance to make the post-season roster, etc. The problem is that Charlie's ability to implement any reasonable pre-game and in-game strategy left with Jimy Williams a few years ago. Obviously there's no way to quantify this, but Charlie's errors in strategy seemed to be signficant in the pre-Jimy - like the night in RFK when Charlie came out and pulled the pitcher before the Nats announced their PH, thereby enabling the Nats to choose a different, more favorable PH - and post-Jimy years and were fewer and further between when Jimy was in the dugout. Unfortunately, Charlie in 2011 is the same as Charlie in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010, a bad manager without a good bench coach to steer him right. No conspiracies (be they mental illness, being on the Yankees payroll, etc.) are necessary.

Robby Bonfire said...

Don;t give me that condescending "troll" b.s., and my take on the situation is as valid as yours.

Robby Bonfire said...

I used to make him out to be merely a moron, too, but when the line is crossed by about 20 miles into duplicity country - you have to at least consider the new evidence.

Such as: not ONE starting pitcher has been allowed to skip a start, since the clinching. Instead they keep getting forced to throw 100+ pitches.

The regulars are either infirm or being pushed every day like its the seventh game of the World Series. I am insulted, and you should be too that this hair-brained reprobate was given ANOTHER two years at the helm of this team. ENOUGH, GDI - ENOUGH! And stop running interference for the real troll, if you want to call a spade a spade, which you don't.

What bugs me about this society we live in is the rush to judgment people make, re where others are coming from and what their motivation is, when they don't even know the person and just enjoy assuming the worst scenario they can think of. Worms, that's what people are, little name-calling worms with no real life other than the crap gossip and slander they can throw at people they don't even know. Pathetic!

Robby Bonfire said...

I will tell you something really funny about this "Trolling" business. In 2005 a partner and I (a female from Philadelphia) shared oversight of the Phillies blog at, which was run out of Boston by a fanatical Red Sox fan. (The site is now defunct.)

After a year and after posting 40 sabermetrics-based columns on the Phillies, I asked to be transfered into the general columnist pool so I could cover all of baseball, not just the Phillies. Thirteen columns into my new venue, I posted a column, in the month of June it was, projecting that the Yankees would best the Red Sox and win the divisional title, primarily based upon my stats which indicated that Red Sox pitchers were much more vulnerable to allowing multi-run home runs, when directly compared with their rival pitching in that respect.

Well, the Red Sox fanatic who owned the site decided this made me a "troll," and had his tech delete all 53 of my columns from the site, giving me no choice but to resign. The irony here is that NO ONE depises the New York Yankees more than I do, but once again, someone decided who I was and what my agenda was without knowing the facts in the matter, such as I was simply writing objectively and honestly given the numbers I had developed. (And the Yankees did win the division that year, breaking open a tight race as I predicted they would.)

A year later I checked out the site and found that many of my articles had been reposted and plagiarized, under the name of the new Phillies blogger.

So now maybe you can understand why I am a bit sensitive to people putting THEIR values on me. Best I can do in response is to not make the same all too frequent character judgment assumptions and aspersions, where it comes to people I don't know, whatever their position on the issues of the day.

hk said...

Fair enough, I wasn't sure if you seriously thought Charlie was being paid off by the Yankees. I find it surprising that anyone who has watched this team through Charlie's tenure would consider a managerial blunder as new evidence. This is the same buffoon who has been making horrible decisions since his tenure began. Unfortunately, Scott and Andy only began this blog in 2008 or we would be able to see that his errors of 2011 were just as egregious as those of 2005.

Robby Bonfire said...

You have nailed it, there at two factors in play, here. First is the indisputable incompetence of this man, which appropriately and courageously is the premise for the existence of this web site.

And second is the highly irregular, brutally demanding physical oversight of this team by the manager which conjures suspicions that something is seriously wrong, here. I have NEVER BEFORE seen anything like the pushing of the pitchers and regulars on this team to the brink, AFTER a post-season berth has been clinched. It is a five-alarm siren and a red flag, for certain for all that it implies.

Adding to this concern is the GM indefensibly rewarding this man, who at the very least is the worst manager in baseball now, and by far the worst manager that I have ever seen at the Major League level, with yet another two year contract extension at the age of 68!

I could be wrong as regards a conspiratorial manipulation of the players condition, coming up to the playoffs, but if I am I must then allow for the fact that this man many be suffering the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease.

Whichever it is, something is way out of line at this time in Philadelphia, and I want to know what gives?