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.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Not only did Manuel use Wigginton instead of Galvis (which, for the record, isn't terrible), but he batted Wigginton ahead of Laynce Nix in the order. Wigginton went 0 for 3 in 3 PAs against Pelfrey, and his only contributions came after Pelfrey exited the game. Nix and Ruiz both should have been batting ahead of Wigginton in this one, but, thankfully, Pelfrey was only able to pitch 6 innings, and the Phils attacked the Mets' bullpen for the victory.
It's also a mistake that Ruiz started this game instead of Saturday's game (see below), especially given Pelfrey's splits.
It's also a mistake to continue batting Juan Pierre at the top of the lineup. Yes, he was 3 for 4 yesterday, but once his .368 BABIP comes back down to Earth, it will be excruciating to see how long it takes Manuel to permanently remove him from the leadoff role. Here's Pierre's slash line for 2012 so far: .350/.350/.350. Once the BABIP falls back down to around .300, it will only get more absurd.
More on Pierre: what the hell was he doing in the bottom of the 4th inning, when he tried to steal 3rd with 2 outs and a 2-2 count on Rollins? I mentioned last week how Pierre's stolen base rate of below 70% is unacceptable for the top of the order, and, surprisingly, this caused the Phillies to blow a scoring opportunity. There were men on first and second with 2 outs, yet Manuel gave Pierre the "green light" to steal third base. He did not make it, and LHB Rollins never got a chance to drive in the runners against RHP Pelfrey. Simply terrible, terrible managing.
On the god-awful pregame radio show between Chris Wheeler and Charlie Manuel (don't ask why I was listening), Wheeler was gushing over the fact that they had a JUMP-STARTER at the top of the lineup, which basically just means a fast, probably black person who doesn't hit home runs. This nonsense quickly turned into Manuel rambling about how he doesn't plan on using the "hold" on Pierre when he's on base. In other words, it's up to Pierre -- who was 27 for 44 last season stealing bases -- to make the decisions when to run. Working out well so far, right Wheels?
Somehow, there's more. The Phillies were winning 8-2 after 8 innings, and Manuel trotted out Jonathan Papelbon to lock down the 6-run lead. This is just completely idiotic. Their logic is this: "Well, it was a 1-run lead when he started to warm up, and he's coming off TWO WHOLE OFF DAYS, so he needs the work."
Papelbon ended up throwing 26 pitches in order to retire the Mets. Now, with 10 games in the next 10 days, all on the West Coast, it is very possible that Papelbon will need a day off due to this useless, asinine appearance. Remember, this is the guy who couldn't be used in tie games and 1-run leads in Pittsburgh because the pitching coach doesn't want to overwork him.
The way this team is managed on a daily basis is clearly a disgrace, and I haven't even been paying full attention due to the timing of these Flyers games. It is disgusting that the Phillies are heading into a likely low-scoring game tonight with a closer coming off an entirely unnecessary 30+ pitch workload (including warmups).
The Phils head to San Francisco tonight when Roy Halladay faces RHP Tim Lincecum at 10:15 pm.