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
Later that inning with the bases loaded and only one out, Joe Blanton came up to the plate. I didn't want him swinging at any point, and definitely not before he had two strikes on him. Blanton was swinging for the fences on the 1-1 pitch, which is terrible by both him and Charlie Manuel. Of course, I ate my words as he lined a single to right with a full count. MUCH more often than not he is going to make an out. A strikeout would be okay, but a ground ball is a sure double play, and would end the Phillies threat. He shouldn't be swinging.
Fast forward to the 7th inning. Jake Diekman was brought in to face the heart of the Braves order down 2 runs with 1 out. Now, I was at the game, and the next sequence of events seemed very out of character for Carlos Ruiz from where I was sitting, so if I misconstrue something I saw our most reliable player do, I apologize. Diekman is at fault for no holding Bourn on, but Bourn got a HUGE jump on the 2nd pitch, and that virtually means that Ruiz has NO chance of making a play at third. Yet, he came out of the crouch to make a throw, and completely missed the ball allowing the runner on first to advance. That same at-bat featured a much bigger mistake by Ruiz. It was now 2nd and 3rd, with 1 out. Heyward struck out on a dropped third strike. Ruiz blocked the ball, which bounced in front of the plate. At the time Ruiz picked the ball up, Bourn was a decent amount of the bag at 3rd. Rather than pump fake, throw to third, or just NOT throw to first, Ruiz opted to get the out at first base, which allowed Bourn to score rather easily. This extended the lead to 3 runs, and essentially ended the game in my opinion. I'd have been much happier had Ruiz held the ball, and got the bases loaded. He's absolutely conceding the run, which in my opinion officially put the game out of reach. Heyward's run doesn't matter, and according to the run frequency matrix, with the bases loaded and 1 out, 0 runs score 33% of the time, which is a significant increase from 0%. Best case scenario, he pump fakes, and probably gets Bourn.
Also, why can't Ryan Howard pinch hit.
Also, also. I forgot to post this about Friday's game. All of a sudden Charlie Manuel has Victorino batting 2nd again. That's probably how I'd prefer it with a realistic outlook on a Manuel lineup, but it infuriates me that Manuel couldn't tell me why he did it other than to try and move Victorino around. If he wants the 2 hole to have more on-base ability, I'd say that at this point this season, Pierre probably provides it. If he want's the 2 hole to have more power then why wasn't Victorino batting there all year? It pissed me off for months that he was getting up fewer times than people like Pierre and Polanco, and now for some random reason, Manuel decides to do it.