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, April 25, 2012

Game 18: Lefties shallack Collmenter (8-10)

Normally I would complain about Manuel's usage of Jonathan Papelbon with a 3-run lead in last night's 9th inning, but with David Herndon, Joe Savery, and Michael Stutes all unavailable (and with an off-day tomorrow), we can't argue with Manuel on that one. However, situations like this only further underscore why Papelbon shouldn't be pitching in every 9th inning with a 3-run lead. The more often he pitches with 3-6-run leads, the more often he will be unavailable for 0-2-run leads.

Only one minor complaint for the manager, who started 6 lefties against RHP Josh Collmenter. Pete Orr should not be batting 2nd, especially when Pierre is batting first. You essentially have two minor leaguers in two of your most important lineup positions, while Jimmy Rollins is batting in the less-important 3rd spot. The lineup would have been more optimized had Pete Orr batted 7th, Victorino 2nd, and Nix 5th, but thankfully for the Phillies, they were facing minor-league-quality starting pitching.

Manuel technically outmanaged his opponent in this game, thanks to Kirk Gibson's allowing LHP Mike Zagurski to face Shane Victorino to lead off the top of the 8th inning. The score was 7-4 at this point, right after the DBacks put up 3 runs in the 7th inning. Gibson was clearly just trying to get through the game at this point, rather than trying to come back against the strong back-end of the Phils' bullpen (Papelbon). Zagurski predictably fell behing Victorino 3-1, and Victorino predictable demolished the next pitch for yet another right-handed home run.

The Phillies look to win their first road series this afternoon when Cole Hamels faces RHP Trevor Cahill at 3:40 pm.

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