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, July 28, 2012
Cole Hamels allowed 6 runs in only five innings, so Manuel had no chances to screw up too badly. However, when the Phillies staged their final threat of the game in the 7th inning, LHP Jonny Venters was able to pitch to both Chase Utley and Ryan Howard without having to face Carlos Ruiz or Hunter Pence (both of whom batted behind the lefties). Venters walked Utley to load the bases, and Ryan Howard came to the plate with a predictable outcome. He swung and missed at a 2-2 slider to end the inning, and the Phillies season ostensibly ended as well.
The season is over not just because the Phils lost to Atlanta (after all, they can still take 2 of 3 in this series and conceivably catch the Braves), but because St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Arizona, Los Angeles, and Cincinnati all won yesterday as well. It was the worst-case scenario for the Phils' last-ditch effort, and when you consider that Pittsburgh and St. Louis both have incredibly easy remaining schedules, it's time to trade Hunter Pence.
Today the Phillies try to avoid losing another series to Atlanta when Big Joe Blanton faces LHP Mike Minor at 7:10 pm.