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

Monday, June 4, 2012

For the Record...

It's very clear that Mr. Musser and I are in full agreement with Manuel's usage of Papelbon on Friday night.  We've only been asking for him to do things like that for years now.  Apparently he made it clear after the game that fans shouldn't expect that type of move to become commonplace.  That isn't necessarily a problem for me depending on how specific he was being.

If by "that type of move" he means using Papelbon for 3+ outs routinely this early in the season, then I'm okay with that.  

However, if by "that type of move" he means using Papelbon before the 9th inning, then I do have a problem with it.  The situation on Friday night - Phillies up by 2, with the bases loaded and 1 out in the 8th inning - was precisely the type of situation that SCREAMS for your best reliever.  Like Mr. Musser said, Manuel should have brought Papelbon in for Reyes (1 batter earlier), but it's hard to get too picky.  If the situation allows for Papelbon to be used for a high leverage situation in the 8th inning, followed by the bottom of the lineup in the 9th inning, or a 3 run lead with a clean slate in the 9th inning, or one of the Phillies other few reliable relievers is available, well... no one here is screaming that Papelbon must "close out" the game.  If the clean slate in the 9th inning isn't a clear threat, then using Papelbon until the conclusion of the threat in whatever inning he enters is ideal.  Manuel will be giving the Phillies the best chance to preserve the lead by using Papelbon, and will not be overusing him in the sense of him pitching more than 1 inning.  Theoretically it will require the same amount of work, just use more efficiently.

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