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.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
In the top of the 8th inning, Fredi Gonzalez sent Juan Francisco up to the plate. The Phillies commentators made it sound like Juan Francisco was a huge power threat, and without looking it up at the time, I took them at their word. So, when Manuel removed Kendrick for LHP Antonio Bastardo, I was fine with it since Kendrick is awful against LHBs, especially powerful ones. Upon looking up Juan Francisco, I'm not so sure this was a great move. Francisco owns a career .745 OPS. He wasn't a threat, and Kendrick was pitching pretty well. He was also at 89 pitches, so it wasn't like he was dead tired.
The result was the Braves yanking Francisco out of the game for Matt Diaz who owns a career .865 OPS against LHPs. Bastardo has reverse platoon splits, so it's not the worst move of all time, but Matt Diaz exists solely to hit against LHPs. Diaz singled, in an above average leverage situation, and gave his team a 7% increase to their chances of winning the game. The rest of the inning would have been Bastardo's anyway, but maybe the lead off man doesn't reach base, and Brian McCann never reaches the plate.