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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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Game 67: With the game on the line, Manuel goes to....Chad Qualls! (31-36)

Wait, the Phillies lost an extra inning game on the road? Let me guess, their two relievers threw zero pitches today. Yep, that's exactly what happened.

Yes, Antonio Bastardo was unavailable due to injury today, but what does that matter? He was available last Sunday in Baltimore in the same exact situation, and Manuel decided to use Chad Qualls and BJ Rosenberg in a tie game rather than Bastardo. The game was over before either Bastardo or Papelbon was called upon to pitch.

Today, more of the same. The Phils were leading 5-4 when Cliff Lee allowed a base hit in the bottom of the 8th inning, putting a runner on first base with zero outs. Manuel decided this was the correct time to remove Lee. I will not argue that decision.

However, with a runner on first base and nobody out, the chances of the Blue Jays' tying the game in this inning is 44 percent. With nobody on base and nobody out (the situation for which Manuel was saving Papelbon), the odds of allowing a run is only 29 percent. So, since you know the situation in the 8th inning is already 50% riskier than the situation in the 9th inning, you'd use your best reliever in the more dangerous situation, right?

Unfortunately for everyone, Manuel decided to choose the illogical option, asking Chad Qualls to strand the runner on first base. Qualls did not pitch poorly: he got 3 outs and did not allow any of his batters to score; however, he allowed Lee's runner to score, and the game was tied 5-5. Had you used Papelbon to strand the runner on first base, and then used Qualls in the 9th inning, Qualls's performance would have been good enough for a save. In fact, the first hit Qualls allowed would have been a groundout if he did not enter the game with a runner on base. The first baseman was holding the runner on base, and the chopper bounced over his head and into right field.

Manuel continues to mismanage the bullpen; yet the blame tomorrow for Lee's winless streak will go to the players in the bullpen. Andy Reid admits he needs to put his players in better positions to win, but Manuel does the opposite: never saying he needs to do a better job, and always shifting blame to the players. Wait, isn't that why everyone hates Donovan McNabb, because he never took full responsibility and was somewhat outspoken about his mediocre receiving corps for most of the decade? God forbid we use the same logic with the fool wearing number 41.

Tomorrow the Phils look to get swept by the Canadians when Kyle Kendrick faces LHP Brett Cecil at 1:07 pm.


Robby Bonfire said...

Happy Father's Day to you who do such a terrific job maintaining this site.

Francisco said...

I was at this game yesterday and the first mistake Charlie made was not bringing in Chad Qualls but letting Cliff Lee pitch the 8th at all.

At first blush it makes sense. Up by 3, Lee had 7 IP, 2 ER and 88 pitches thrown more or less. Pretty good right? Until you see that he only had 2K, allowed 10 hits already and more than half of his outs were flyballs. He had only 2 1-2-3 innings. Simply put he was NOT dominating.

I distinctly remember thinking: WTF is Cliff Lee doing on the mound in the 8th against the heart of the Jays order (Bautista, Encarnacion, Johnson)? I was proven correct. Bautista walked, Edwin had a hit and Johnson a hit. Never mind the defense compounded the problem with 2 runs scored on a throwing error. The bottom line is that Qualls should have come in with the 3 run lead to start the 8th. You also get the benefit of having a RHP against the two top right RH sluggers. At this point Lee's stats are irrelevant. Anyone could see he was NOT dealing that day and asking him to pitch for the 4th time against the top Jays hitters was asking for trouble.

Robby Bonfire said...

Excellent analysis, Francisco.

To what you observed I might add that this manager likes to push Lee to 120+ pitches, whenever he can. You are right to monitor Lee's effectiveness, more so than the manager who thinks all pitchers are effective up to logging about 130 pitches, or so it seems, so that ineffectiveness at a relatively low pitch count, doesn't count against them, if you can believe that?

This man is the most bizarre excuse for a human being I have ever suffered, from a distance. His world is completely obtuse and irrational. He is either a psychopathic masochist or a Ponzi hustler. This is NOT a normal human being. I strongly believe he should be institutionalized, greatly resticted for freedom of motion, and monitored 24 hours per day, for the benefit and safety of those around him.

That the Phillies are going to coddle this lunatic all the way through game 162 this year renders them just as crazy.

Robby Bonfire said...

Sad to see yet another victim of Manuel's mania for burn-out abuse, Brad Lidge, came to the end of the line of his MLB career, today, with the DFA by Washington.

Never saw a RP abused so badly as was Lidge in the 2009 season. Manuel ground him down to powder, rendered him a virtual ERA powder keg (7.11, with 11 blown saves - the N.L. high that season) yet kept going back to him with games on the line.

2009 was J.A. Happ's one really good season and Manuel blew what would have been two victories for Happ by putting close games with Happ on the W side, in Lidge's hands when Lidge obviously had nothing. The two-run lead blown by Lidge, in relief of Happ in Yankee Stadium, for me was the most painful loss suffered by the Phillies, this side of the 2009 WS debacle games, in the "Manuel era."

The two games Lidge via Manuel cost Happ in the win column also probably cost Happ the ROY award. Thanks again you stupid idiots in Philadelphia who employ this curmudgeon and continue to act like he is God Almighty in pin stripes.

Lidge is done at only 35, by the way. Truly sad, the number of brilliant careers this man has demolished, prematurely. But hey, it's cool, this is Philadelphia, not Steinbrenner country where you earn your paycheck or walk.

hk said...

"Brad Lidge...came to the end of the line of his MLB career."

Don't be so sure. I would not be surprised to see Mr. Lidge back in red pinstripes by Wednesday.

Francisco. said...

Thanks for the good words.

Well I wouldn't go so far as to declare Charlie a vomitable excuse for a human being. He makes mistakes and should know better but he's also under pressure from the players and 30 odd years of tradition. After all he's capable of recognizing the situation when he wants to (when he put in Papelbon in a couple of times in the 8th).

His failing is to not take the bull by the horns, recognize that the he's playing with a bad deck of cards, damn the torpedoes and use his influence to make the players play HIS game and stop being so damn loyal to the pride of his veterans (Rollins, Victorino, Lee, et al).

Anonymous said...

So true, Francisco, and the best example of Manuel's "misplaced loyalty" I can think of is his handing the ball 16 times, in the spring of 2005, to Terry Adams of the 13-run (12.83) ERA.

Adams lost his two decisions outright, and that cost the Phillies a shot at the playoffs, as they were beaten out of the WC slot by Houston - by one game, that year.

And this maniac would have kept going back to Adams except that Ed Wade, mercifully, cut Adams in late May of that year, as a defense against what his manager was doing. What he should have done, of course, was fire the manager, not just give him different human toys to destructively play with.

Just think, even Ed Wade grades higher for baseball brains than Charlie Manuel, now accorded the honor as the "Best manager in Phillies history."

That is akin to referring to The Three Stooges as superior Shakespearean actors to Lawrence Olivier - with a straight face - because some bozos would buy it.

hk said...

Who are these stooges of whom you speak, Moe, Larry and Curly (plus Shemp) or Charlie, Ruben, Dubee (plus Mackinin)?

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on Ryne Sandberg as an option to replace Manuel?

Andy Musser said...

If Ryne Sandberg can read and write, and he has watched at least 20 baseball games in the last decade, and he is indeed a human without any clear signs of dementia, then I believe the Phillies would benefit from that switch.

My next door neighbor is 88 years old and fits all those descriptions. I don't think she would have let Jim Thome face Javier Lopez in April, and I can guarantee you that she wouldn't have used Michael Schwimer over Papelbon on May 2 in Atlanta with the score 12-9.

I don't think her name is Ryne Sandberg, but if Sandberg fits the requirements AND his last name is not Manuel, AND he is less than 88 years old, then he's probably the best bet between him, Manuel, and my neighbor.

hk said...


My fear of Sandberg, which I readily admit is totally baseless, is that he would be another manager who goes by the book. Maybe it is because I cannot stand to hear Rick Sutcliffe analyze games and I associate Sandberg with Sutcliffe and deem him guilty by association. I have never seen the Iron Pigs play under Sandberg, so I don't know if he commits the same strategy errors as Charlie or, if he can actually manage a bullpen better than my 11 year old would.

The guy that I want - and I don't even know who it is - is someone who has served under and presumably learned from Joe Maddon, preferably the Rays' bench coach.