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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95% Phillies, 4% Eagles/Flyers/Sixers/Big Five, 1% Nonsense .... Contact us: Scott Graham ~ Andy Musser

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Game 3: Only 159 more chances at excruciatingly painful games this season! (1-2)

I will make it known right now that Juan Pierre is one of my least favorite baseball players ever. He's one of those players that "old baseball men" love because he "makes things happen". Juan has no discernible skills at this point in his career, which explains why he's struggling to make major league rosters from year to year. He usually posts an acceptable batting average, doesn't really reach base at alarming rates, and has as little power as possible for a Major League player. While being fast, he has a career 74.4% success rate with stolen bases. Nothing to write home about. Oh yea, and his arm is probably weaker than Chris Wheeler's.

Now that that's out of the way, I don't think there's ever a reason he should start on this team. I'd rather see Dom Brown run wrong routes to balls all season long than see Pierre in LF. Honestly, I think the Phillies could even stick Brown at 1B and put Mayberry in LF. If Howard can play first, Brown can (maybe).

My first complaint today was the Juan Pierre got to start.

My second is that he batted lead off.

Third, let's fast forward to the 7th inning. Ty Wigginton walked to lead off the inning. Galvis was due up next. He got ahead 2-0 in the count. At this point, regardless of what the plan is going forward in the PA, Galvis should be taking. Hughes had just walked Wigginton, and threw two additional balls to Galvis. The last thing Manuel or Galvis should be planning is to bunt at the next pitch. Take a strike before giving up an out. Maybe Hughes throws some more balls and the runner gets to first without giving up an out? Had Neil Walker caught the throw at first base, the Phillies probably lose the game 4-2.

Kyle Kendrick was used to start the 8th inning. This tells me a few things: the Phillies haven't seen enough lack of skill from Kendrick to not use him in a 1-run game in the 8th inning, Chad Qualls was unavailable after one inning last night, and the Phillies are in some SERIOUS trouble. Kendrick surrendered the lead. I was flirting with screaming about bringing Papelbon into the game in the 8th, but realized that was wayyy too unrealistic for Manuel.

My biggest complaint, and probably my biggest pet peeve now (even bigger than bunting), is ML managers saving their closer on the road in tie games. It cannot be defended with any logic. If you trust "Middle of the Road Reliever" in a tie game, meaning he cannot allow any runs, then you certainly can trust him in a 1-run game where he can give up 0 or 1 run and not lose the game. Today, for the second straight day, Papelbon warmed up in the bullpen, never saw the field, and got to watch his new team lose without ever getting a chance. It's indefensible to not use your best pitcher to extend the game while there's still a chance.

I also really did not like how the game was managed in the 9th. David Herndon was brought into the game to try and get it to extras. He promptly gave up a double to McGehee, who was later sacrificed to third. With two outs and a runner on third, Andrew McCutchen was due up. I would not want to face the Pirates best hitter. I would suggest walking both him and Neil Walker (Herndon has terrible splits vs. LHBs), and bringing up Joel Hanrahan with Rod Barajas the only bat left on the bench. This would provide forces at all bases, Rod Barajas would be at the plate, and Hanrahan would be out of the game. Instead, Herndon lost the battle to McCutchen, and the Phillies are in 3rd place.

Cole Hamels gets the Home Opener tomorrow at 1:05 against Anibal Sanchez and the Marlins.

3 comments:

hk said...

Is it time yet to change the second sentence of your introduction at the top of the site? I am so frustrated with this team that I passed on an offer of free (1st level, 6th row behind the dugout) tickets for today's game and I will probably just follow it on the internet from my office instead of watching it.

Andy Musser said...

We're definitely considering it.

Scott Graham said...

I'm just following along from my office as well. Not because I have to, but because I'd rather do work than actually watch the game after the last two days.