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.
Monday, July 2, 2012
I said to my brother in the middle of the 2nd inning, "they just should not try to steal against this guy." This was during Ty Wigginton's at-bat with Hunter Pence on first base. Pence, who steals bases at a 63% rate for his career (an unacceptable number to be running against a LHP with one of the best moves in the game) decided to take off for second base on a 3-2 count. Due to the count, I suspect this came from the dugout (run to avoid the double play). Wigginton has a decent walk rate this year, and since Buehrle is smarter than Manuel, he simply threw to first base to get Pence (who inexplicably was running on first movement). Pence caught stealing for the second out of the inning. The next pitch to Wigginton? Ball four. More terrible managing from Manuel, and more hideous baserunning from Pence, acquired from the Astros to replace a cost-controlled 23-year-old because Dom Brown didn't have good fundamentals.
Somehow, with two outs in the top of the fifth inning, Cole Hamels got picked off with 2 outs as the only baserunner. He was on first base, and the count to Rollins was 2-1. Incredibly, Hamels broke for second base and was nabbed easily by Buehrle. If they are hitting-and-running in this situation, someone needs to be fired. If not, then someone needs to be held accountable for this insane strategy of not-giving-Hamels-the-hold-sign. If Hamels missed the hold sign, then it's unacceptable that he doesn't know he should SELDOM try to steal bases, especially against Buehrle, and especially that the Phillies are trying to trade him for value.
Monday would be the ideal day to fire Manuel. They are coming home for an off-day Monday before heading to Shea Stadium on Tuesday. Fire him now, at the exact halfway point of the season, and bring someone -- anyone -- else to manage this team. If nothing else, the games will be shorter because the strolls to the mound will be quicker.