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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Monday, June 25, 2012

Game 73: Juan Pierre asked to run up players' rears, not to unclog bases (34-39)

Some of this is admittedly hind-sighted as I didn't take the time to think about it prior to Saturday's game.  After the postponement on Friday night, starter Cliff Lee's start was pushed back to Sunday.  I guess his warmup was very taxing, but just a few weeks ago, Angels starter C.J. Wilson started a game that had a rain delay in the first inning.  He threw his warm-ups, 22 pitches in the 1st inning, and then however many pitches he threw during the rain delay to stay loose in case the game resumed.  Wilson was replaced after the delay, and started the game, the VERY NEXT DAY.  Apparently, with a known double-header on Sunday, the Phillies decided to save Lee for the 3rd game in the series.  Personally, I would have had he and Cole Hamels start the first two games in the series.  This would result in your two best pitchers (inning eaters) pitching the first two games, and presumably saving the bullpen for the Kendrick game on Sunday.

This goes against my other complaint in which Manuel had Hamels start the day game on Sunday.  Hamels is much worse during the day than at night.  Hamels K/BB ratio at night is 4.05 compared to 3.29 during the day.  His ERA at night is 0.78 runs better than during the day.  Couple these stats, and his appearance during Sunday afternoon's game is questionable. 

Maybe if you start Lee Saturday night, Bastardo doesn't throw 29 pitches, and blow the game on Sunday.  I don't know.  Again, this might be somewhat hind-sighted (only because this is the first time I thought about it, but hey, I'm not the manager).  I might also be way off on my logic, but at least I'm trying.

Anyway.  Hamels threw 7 strong innings not allowing a run.  J-Roll provided the only offense, a home run off of Price.  

In the 8th inning, the Phillies posed a serious threat to retake the lead after "8th inning guy" Antonio Bastardo performed poorly after a night in which he threw 29 pitches.  After cutting the lead to one on a Wigginton base hit, there were runners on 1st and 3rd with 2 outs.  Manuel chose to PH Jim Thome.  Joe Maddon, not afraid of Michael Martinez (or anyone else the Phillies have), intentionally walked Thome to load the bases.  Not a hard decision.  Following this, Charlie Manuel decided it was crucially important to use Juan Pierre... to PR for Jim Thome.  Thome's slow, but his run represented the 5th run in a 3-2 game.  It's not extremely important to get a speedy runner onto 1st base with Michael Martinez up.  Juan Pierre holds a .701 OPS against LHPs while Mini-Mart boasts a career OPS of .513!!! against LHP.  The clear decision is to have Juan Pierre bat.  Manuel couldn't figure this out, and Michael Martinez...... made an out.

Charlie got pissed after the game when the media was second-guessing his decisions.  It's his job to get things right, and when he doesn't he should be held accountable.  He also joked as if he DOES understand the moves he should routinely make, but he almost always makes the wrong ones.  Maybe we should have someone in the dugout to accept tweets with tips.  

1st tip: Don't have an "8th inning guy".  Use matchups.  Especially with the minor league ridden bullpen.  I'd take it a step further and say, don't make Papelbon the "9th inning guy", but his head might explode.  

2nd tip: Pinch run Pierre (or whomever), on first base when it's actually beneficial.  Don't wait for the runner to get to second.  Don't use a PR on first with the bases load unless its the lead run.  


Robby Bonfire said...

It is practically universal with pitchers that they strike out more batters at night, when vision is reduced, than in the day time. This is why, for years, I did relativity stats, starting pitcher vs. starting pitcher, in these categories, rather than just maintaining totals and rates per nine innings, which can be misleading. Especially considering that from one umpire to the next strike zone dimensions can vary, widely.

hk said...

That's the second time in the past few weeks when he pinch-ran for Thome when Thome represented an insurance run. In both cases, the decision led to an unfavorable hitting match-up in a key spot.

Robby Bonfire said...

The thought came to me that when "Charlie The Butcher" does go the way of the dinosaur, that will ~finally~ mark the end of the Ed Wade era. That Ed Wade hired this buffoon is a pox on all of us, not just on Ed Wade. That the Phillies, when they fired Ed Wade, and I believe, subject to research, the date was 10-10-2005, they should have cleaned house and fired the manager and the coaching staff, too. To think that "The Butcher" survived the Ed Wade purge is truly upsetting and depressing.

Why does this organization go half-way, instead of all the way, when it has reached the fork in the road? Indecision, when a course of action is strongly dictated, is one self-defeating weakness, and this organization reeks of it.

The cost to this club for the Ed Wade - Charlie The Butcher debacle has been foreshortened careers for Utley and Howard, on both the front end and back end of their careers, plus the now disasterous-looking RAJ era, when all they had to do was hire the right man for the G.M. job, Mike H., who aced every other organization in baseball out of the career services of Utley and Howard. This incredible organization did not promote its most distinguished and capable organizational man, yet retained the worst manager any of us will ever see stumble around in a major league uniform in our lifetime, for nearly a decade.

There is no righting this ship, now, its going to take many years and new ownership, to revitalize this beleaguered franchise. But when will the rejuvenation process even begin when almost no one perceives the infested cancerous nature of the problem?

hk said...

@CharlieManuel: When down 1 run with the bases loaded and 2 outs, use the hitter who has reached base 36% of the time in his career vs. LHP's, not the one who's reached base 16.9% of the time vs. LHP's.

Andy Musser said...

Has Andy Reid ever been as condescending in a press conference as Manuel was yesterday? The reporter asked, "Was Fontenot a consideration?", and Manuel went off. Manuel would last about 12 seconds in a typical Reid press conference.