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, July 6, 2012

Game 84: Manuel removes LHP, Ike Davis makes him pay (37-47)

We're going to analyze one decision tonight, because it pretty much cost the Phillies the game (and the subsequent 2 games in the standings relative to the Mets). Antonio Bastardo came in the game to pitch the 8th inning with a 5-4 lead, and he retired all 3 batters he faced. The Phillies failed to score in the top of the 9th inning, and they did not pinch hit for Bastardo in the process.

Ike Davis led off the 9th inning for the Mets. Bastardo, who had pitched only once since June 27 (and had 3 straight days off before today), had thrown only twelve pitches in the 8th inning. So, the only reason why Bastardo was removed was because HE'S THE 8TH INNING GUY. Davis, owner of a career .672 OPS against LHPs and a .810 against RHPs, was coming off an 0-3 performance against Hamels. Instead of facing another tought lefty, Manuel trotted Papelbon out to the mound. There is no question that Davis was happy to see the lefty removed, and he promptly laced a leadoff double off the righty. The Mets scored the tying and winning runs with two outs in the 9th off Papelbon.

This is yet another game that Manuel has cost the team because he manages on autopilot, but, unfortunately, Ruben Amaro Jr. is drunk in the control tower. There are plenty of other mistakes made by the Phillies management/coaching today (Victorino inexplicably attempting to sac-bunt after already earning a hit off Dickey; Samuel running Fontenot into a dead out at home plate with only one out; Bastardo coming into the game to face RHBs Wright and Hairston). However, the fact that Papelbon was brought into face Davis is just horrifying. Over the past 5 years, the good managers have brought lefties in the game to face Howard when he leads off the 9th inning, then  they bring in their RHP closer after Howard inevitably swings and misses at 3 sliders. The bad managers simply bring in the righty, and Howard sometimes drills a pitch in the gap or off the Budweiser sign. I think you know the group to which Manuel belongs.

Tomorrow the Phillies limp home to face the Atlanta Braves, a team with a bad manager. We'll see who is dumber this weekend; however, in the Fredi Gonzalez-Charlie Manuel matchup, it's usually the home manager who manages slightly less stupidly.


Robby Bonfire said...

So much indicts this moron/conspirator (take your choice), but not pinch-hitting for a pitcher who is effectively out of the game, in a tight game, is indefensible. Ordinarily you do not make a PH move to keep a pitcher in the game, for match-up advantage. So this mule hurt the Phillies offensively, in the 8th inning, and on the mound, percentage wise, leading off the 9th inning.

NO ONE can really think all this anti-Phillies strategizing is random and simply ignorance of basic baseball fundamentals? We are miles beyond giving this crook in candy cane pinstripes the benefit of the doubt, now. 2009 was the year it caught up with him, via his Lidge over-usage beyond sanity.

Yes, Andy, this is really falling on the GM and ownership, now, especially as this blog has done such a sterling job chronicling the crass ineptitude of the manager - the manager who learns nothing in the process of gaining experience. This prideful SOB cannot be bothered with winning percentage baseball strategies.

This ball club needs an on-field and locker room captain to lead a revolt, if the players even care, which I am beginning to question.

Robby Bonfire said...


"The Phillies have called a press conference for 10 a.m., Monday. Our sources inform us that the contract of manager Charlie Manuel has been extended, two years."