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, May 14, 2012

Game 35: Phils take series from San Diego despite Qualls's absence (16-19)

The Phillies rode Cole Hamels' one-run, 7-inning outing to a 3-2 victory yesterday afternoon to stay within 6.5 games of first place. The score was 3-1 headed into the top of the 8th inning, and Manuel went to Jose Contreras because Chad Qualls was unavailable.

Qualls was unavailable because he had pitched the previous two games. Saturday night, his appearance came in a close game, so no complaints there. However, his appearance on Friday night was questionable: he pitched the entire 9th inning in a game where the Phils were leading 7-3. The Phils have a litany of young arms in the bullpen who should be pitching when the win expectancy is over 99.5%, but Manuel decided to use Qualls here even though he clearly cannot pitch 3 straight days (remember, this is the guy who was unavailable the previous game against the Mets -- the KK debacle -- even though he hadn't appeared in the 4 previous game).

Using Qualls unnecessarily caused his unavailability Sunday, which then caused Contreras to face the 3-4-5 hitters in the 8th inning. He predictably struggled, allowing one run and another baserunner while only recording 2 outs, and Antonio Bastardo had to get the final out of the inning with the lead still intact at 3-2.

Jonathan Papelbon's pitched another 1-2-3 ninth inning, shielding them from yet another managerial-aided loss.

Tonight the Phils start a two-game set at CBP against Houston when Big Joe Blanton faces RHP Lucas Harrell at 7:05 pm.

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