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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Friday, June 22, 2012

Game 71: Manuel benches Wigginton for Pierre vs. LHP, Phils lose (33-38)

I don't have anything to say about Manuel's in-game decisions last night; the Phillies lost because they only scored 1 run. Vance Worley did his best to keep the Rockies at zero, but his surrendered 2-run home run in the 7th inning was the death knell for Philadelphia.

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.


Robby Bonfire said...

Gargano couldn't sell a camel in heat to a horny A-Rab.

hk said...

I cannot stand Wigginton, whose drop of a strike 3 throw from Chooch turned the season around in Game 3, but if he's not in the starting lineup to face Jeff Francis, why is he on the roster? It's surely not for his defense, base-running or .677 OPS vs. RHP's.

I won't even start on Gargano or any of the other stiffs that pollute the airwaves of Philly talk radio. If you ask them, they'll tell you know (except maybe Cliff Lee) is to blame for this season, the fact that the future looks bleak and, more importantly, that the bleakness came upon us so quickly. I never thought I'd say this, but I miss Howard Eskin on the airwaves. At least he had enough baseball sense and the balls to criticize Charlie Manuel. Fortunately, since moving my office 10 minutes closer to my home, I rarely get the pleasure of listening to the local experts.

Scott Graham said...

I think Howard getting on Charlie Manuel was just his thing. I think Eskin made me just as bad as anyone else. I called him up one time to piss him off by saying that walks are as good as singles in a lot of instances (complaining that Howard wasn't walking as much any more, I think), and the phone call ended up with him telling me to "go play a board game". I think stat-minded individuals love board games?

Scott Graham said...


hk said...

I was not implying that I liked to listen to Eskin. I was just pointing out that he was the only mainstream media member who was willing to criticize Charlie and point out his many inadequacies. By the way, further to my earlier comment, Juan Pierre has a higher Slugging Percentage than Ty Wigginton.