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.
Friday, June 22, 2012
However, I do have one complaint about his starting lineup. LHP Jeff Francis started the game for Denver. For his career, Francis owns a .817 OPS-allowed vs. RHBs and .712 vs. LHBs. For whatever reason, Manuel decided to play Juan Pierre in left field last night (batting second), while John Mayberry played first base. Mayberry is a better defender than Pierre, and had RHB Ty Wigginton started in place of Pierre, the team's defense would have improved.
For his career, Wigginton owns a .814 OPS against LHPs, and Juan Pierre owns a gaudy .701 against lefties. Therefore, the only possible reason Manuel had to play Pierre over Wigginton was injury. Oh, wait, Wigginton demolished a leadoff double in the 8th inning as a pinch-hitter. The only conclusion is this: Manuel doesn't care about matchups, HE JUST GOES WITH HIS GUT.
Sitting Wigginton for Pierre last night is the equivalent of sitting Jayson Werth for Greg Dobbs when a LHP is on the mound. Not only is Pierre a significantly worse defender in LF than Mayberry, but Wigginton is considerably stronger against LHPs than Pierre.
Pierre was only 1 for 3 against Francis (seeing a grand total of seven pitches). The only hit? A goddamned bunt. Meanwhile, one of the few players with legitimate power on this team was sitting on the bench. If Wigginton had started instead of Pierre, the defense would have been better behind Worley, and the lineup would have been shuffled. In fact, all 9 batters for the Phillies would have been right-handed. The Phillies still probably would have lost with Wigginton in the lineup, but, like always, Manuel did not give them that extra chance at victory.
Remember this type of nonsense when the region's biggest imbecile, Anthony Gargano, tells you that Manuel had nothing to work with this year. Tonight the Phillies face the Devil Rays when Cliff Lee faces RHP James Shields at 7:05 pm.