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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Monday, April 30, 2012

Game 22: Marmol walks 3 batters, Phils still lose (10-12)

The Phillies are still only 4 games behind Washington and Atlanta for first place, but they blew an opportunity yesterday to cut it to 3 after Matt Garza outpitched Kyle Kendrick for a 5-1 Cubs' victory.

My only complaint for Manuel today is that he allowed Freddy Galvis to swing at a 2-1 pitch from closer Carlos Marmol to lead off the bottom of the 9th inning. Yes, I realize no manager in MLB would force a position player to take two strikes in this situation, but when you have a terribly wild closer (who only blows saves when the other team doesn't swing at his pitches) facing a minor-league hitter who is only on the team for defense, and when you're losing 5-0, there's virtually no benefit to swinging the bat before you have two strikes on you. The first pitch of the at-bat was a strike to Galvis, followed by two balls. With every sane Phillies fan praying for Galvis to take a pitch for a chance at a 3-1 count, Galvis swung and made the first out of the inning. I do not know if the pitch was in the strike zone since I was listening on the radio, but it is irrelevant -- he should be taking all the way in that situation.

Natually, Marmol walked three batters after the Galvis at-bat, but since the Team Who Doesn't Teach Walks spotted Marmol the first out of the inning, he was able to escape the ninth inning with only one run allowed (Hunter Pence and Ty Wigginton each swung at pitches from Marmol before they had a strike against them).

This is a Phillies team who is in the bottom of the league in terms of walks-drawn, yet Marmol still walked 3 batters in one inning. Had Charlie Manuel actually encouraged his batters to walk every once in a while, perhaps the rally could have ended differently.

Tonight the Phils look to split the series when Vance Worley faces RHP Chris Volstad at 7:05 pm.


hk said...

What did you think of Charlie taking out Bastardo for Qualls last night? I know it sounds like hindsight now, but I didn't understand then and I don't understand now why, with a RHB (Castro) followed by a LHB (LaHair) coming up, he would bring in a RHP (Qualls) to replace a LHP (Bastardo). In this case, it was particularly puzzling because (a) Castro could not represent the tying run while LaHair could, (b) to that point, LaHair had hit 50% of the Cubs HR's this season, (c) LaHair has shown a much more significant platoon split than Castro in their careers so far and (d) Bastardo was already in the game meainng that he could have saved Qualls for the batter after LaHair or for a PH if they put in a RHB for LaHair.

What's even more disconcerting to me that Charlie continues to make these mistakes is that the media members who attend the press conferences never question him on his strategy.

Scott Graham said...

I missed a decent amount of the game last night, so I'll let Andy respond to you. However, that is one of our biggest complaints is that he isn't held accountable for his terrible strategic moves. He has been given a lot of breaks due to winning the WS (although I think that's slowly fading), and he usually hides behind his "I know my players" type of logic. It's terrible. I'm sure Mr. Musser will have enough to say about the game last night.

Andy Musser said...

I didn't see your comment until I completed Game 23 post, but I included the idea. It's maddening that his mistakes are so off-base that there are almost an infinite amount of viable alternatives.