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 9, 2012

Game 4: This is why you don't give away close games (1-3)

Well, there's not much to say about this game, because with a 6-2 final (Hamels gave up 4 of the runs), there's nothing much the manager could have done to impact the outcome. However, when you bat Juan Pierre leadoff, while Shane Victorino and Carloz Ruiz are in the lower half of the lineup, it's not exactly a surprise when you only put 2 runs on the board.

The only other ridiculous decision came in the top of the 9th inning with the Phillies trailing 5-2. Manuel used Jonathan Papelbon to NAIL DOWN the 3-run deficit. Presumably, Manuel used his best reliever in this absurdly low-leverage situation because the Phils were poised to increase their offensive output by 150% in the bottom of the inning (NOTE: this did not happen). Papelbon allowed a leadoff homer -- but who cares? The only purpose of using Papelbon there is because he didn't get enough work over the weekend. Hmmmm. I can't think of any situation where he could've been used in the two losses in Pittsburgh.

Here is a quote from Rich Dubee defending the bullpen's usage in Pittsburgh (via Todd Zolecki's

“How many times am I going to crank Pap up? It’s a little early,” Dubee said. “You want me to run him out there 162 games? It’s hard. You’ve got nobody else to close the game. If you had somebody with experience closing the game, if you had (Jose) Contreras, then you might think about doing it.”

Papelbon didn't appear in a tie game Saturday, a 2-run lead Sunday in the 7th, a 1-run lead Sunday in the 8th, or a tie game Sunday in the 9th. However, he was all CRANKED UP for a 5-2 deficit today. No, I don't want him out there 162 games; but apparently you do, because you were prepared to use him for "save situations" in the 14th or 29th inning or whenever you planned on taking the lead, right Dubee? And, you used him today, with a 5-2 deficit.

The only ones prepared to use him in every game, apparently, are Dubee and Manuel -- but only in the least important innings.

I'm not sure yet if this season is a joke or not; I just hope the Flyers win the Stanley Cup and Manuel hits the road forever.

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