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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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Game 12: Manuel completely blows the game (5-7)

The Phillies continue to play close games, and their manager continues to demolish the entire effort with insanely illogical decisions.

Cliff Lee pitched TEN SCORELESS INNINGS, yet Manuel still found a way to lose the game for his team. Yes, the Phillies offense is bad, but their manager is significantly worse. 

In the top of the 11th inning, Carlos Ruiz led off with a double. Freddy Galvis then sacrificed him over to third base. The pitcher for the Giants at this point was righty Sergio Romo, and Manuel correctly sent Jim Thome to the plate to face Romo.

Immediately, Bruce Bochy brought LHP Javier Lopez into the game to face Thome. Lopez has a career .800 OPS-allowed against RHBs, and a .621 OPS-allowed against LHBs. Thome has a 1.000+ OPS against RHPs, and only a .767 against lefties. Clearly, Bochy made this move in the hopes that Manuel would be too dumb/loyal to remove Thome for John Mayberry (career .913 OPS against lefties -- small sample size, but his minor league stats aren't too far off that pace). 

Guess what? Bochy proves yet again that he is 10 times smarter than Manuel. 

The reason why you HAVE to use Mayberry instead of Thome is because you are guaranteed to have Mayberry face Lopez. When a new pitcher enters the game, he is forced to pitch to at least one batter -- Bochy could not have removed Lopez had Mayberry pinch-hit for Thome. The fact that Manuel missed a chance to have Mayberry face a lefty-specialist (especially one who struggles against RHBs) in favor of a withering 40-year-old who has always struggled against lefties only confirms what we have been saying for the past 5 years: MANUEL IS A BAD BASEBALL MANAGER. 

Thome was left in the game to face Lopez, and, SHCOKINGLY, he struck out. Then, in typical Manuel fashion, he used John Mayberry to pinch-hit for LHB Juan Pierre, even though it was painfully obvious that Bochy would remove the specialist Lopez for a RHP to face Mayberry. This is exactly what happened, and Mayberry grounded out weakly to end the inning. 

The funny part about Mayberry's appearance is that Pierre has a better OBP against LHPs (.363) than Mayberry does against RHPs (.312). Choosing Thome over Mayberry was hideous, and choosing Mayberry over Pierre was just insulting to anyone who decided to stay up for the game. The only thing more insulting than Manuel's managing was Wheeler's attempt at defending the decisions by describing them as "gut instinct" and "rolling the dice" (for perspective, Wheeler predicted that Manuel would burn Thome and use Mayberry against Lopez, so it's not as if Wheeler agreed). 

Oh, and when Antonio Bastardo allowed two runners on base in the bottom of the 11th inning with only one out, Manuel did not go to Jonathan Papelbon to preserve the game. Instead, the 50-million-dollar closer watched yet another inferior reliever lose the game. After all, there might be a 6-run lead that needs to be saved in tomorrow's game, right Manuel???

This team is going straight to hell, and Manuel is first in line.

Tomorrow, the Phils are going to San Diego, presumably to play a baseball game. 

1 comment:

Scott Graham said...

Maybe Papelbon is being saved for preserving a 3-run deficit today. The possibilities are endless.