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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Friday, April 13, 2012

Game 6: Blanton defeats Florida (3-3)

The Marlins started lefty Mark Buehrle last night, which meant that the Phillies did not put Juan Pierre at the top of the order. Uncoincidentally, it was leadoff man Shane Victorino who started the Phils' only 2-run inning with a solo homer, which was enough offense for the 3-1 victory. Joe Blanton pitched 7 strong innings, and his only run-allowed was due to a misplay by Hunter Pence in right field (will he be banished to Allentown forever?).

I was prepared to criticize Manuel for leaving Chad Qualls in the 8th inning too long -- Qualls retired the first two batters before allowing a single to Emilio Bonifacio and a walk to Hanley Ramirez. This brought cleanup hitter Mike Stanton (sorry, you can't change your name from "Mike" to "Giancarlo"; that's more absurd than Artest-World Peace) to the plate in the form of the go-ahead run. Lefty Logan Morrison was on deck with Antonio Bastardo warming up, so Stanton was certainly Qualls's last batter.

If a RHB was on deck instead of Morrison, the proper strategy probably would have been to bring Papelbon into the game immediately after Ramirez's walk (or even after Bonifacio's single). However, since Morrison has traditional splits against LHPs, there's not much difference between Qualls-Stanton/Bastardo-Morrison and Papelbon-Stanton/Papelbon-Morrison. Additionally, run expectancy -- and run frequency -- with men on 1st and 2nd and two outs is actually lower than nobody on base and nobody out (which was the situation Papelbon ultimately entered in the top of the 9th).

As a result, no complaints for Manuel today.

The Phils take on the Mets tonight at CBP when Cliff Lee faces RHP R.A. Dickey at 7:05 pm.

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