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.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
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.