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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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Game 91: Manuel outmanaged by Mattingly, Phils win anyway (40-51)

Charlie Manuel batted Chase Utley and Ryan Howard back-to-back again last night. With the Phils clinging onto a 3-2 lead in the top of the 8th inning, they got the first two batters on base against the Dodgers' lefty reliever Scott Elbert. Chase Utley was the next batter, followed by Ryan Howard. After Howard were RHBs Carlos Ruiz and Hunter Pence, both of whom are vastly better against LHPs than Howard. We've stated since this blog's inception that Utley and Howard should never bat consecutively, especially when they are the only lefties in the lineup. Four years later, Manuel is still making the same mistake, and the opposition's bullpen continues to take full advantage.

Elbert retired Utley. Howard then grounded into a double play to end the inning. Elbert did not have to face either Ruiz or Pence, simply because of Manuel's autopilot laziness.

Manuel then correctly allowed Joe Blanton to pitch the bottom of the 8th inning, which brought Blanton's line to 8 full innings and only 2 runs allowed. Papelbon shut down the ninth. However, either Diekman or Bastardo probably should have pitched to LHB Andre Ethier to start the ninth. Ethier swung at a 3-2 pitch out of the zone; had he simply taken that pitch, it would have been an entirely different inning for Papelbon.

Manuel made another mistake with one out in the 9th inning and nobody on base, allowing a cheap single through the left side. The Phillies were playing a no-doubles defensive alignment, which is inefficient with nobody on base, especially when your pitcher cannot hold runners on base. Closers are notoriously bad at keeping runners from stealing, and Papelbon is no exception. As a result, when you play a "no-doubles" defense with Papelbon on the mound, you are increasing the chances of a cheap single, which then allows a pinch-runner to try to steal second. This is exactly what happened. Juan Rivera reached first base as a direct result of the terrible defense, the pinch runner advanced to second on a double-play ball only because he was running on Papelbon's pitch, and the Dodgers ended up with a legitimite scoring threat. All because of the asinine defense.

If the no-doubles defense is the best way to prevent a run in the 9th inning with nobody on base, then why not use it in the first 8?


Scott Graham said...

Why would you ever position a player to be able to cover almost as much ground in foul territory as in fair territory? It's insane. If a guy is going to hit a ball that is on the line and you can't reach it by diving, you must just tip your cap to that hitter.

hk said...

Great points Andy and Scott on the no-doubles, guarding the line defense. Similar to Scott's point is lining up the OF's so deep that, over the course of the season, many singles will fall in front of them in exchange for making outs on the very few long flies that stay in the park and are caught, but that would not have been caught with the OF's at normal depth.

hk said...

The yes singles defense strikes again.

Robby Bonfire said...

Can't wait for the announcement of a "Charlie Manuel Day," for next season. A truly special day for a truly special sub-human being.

hk said...

Will you come down from upstate NY to the ballpark for that special day?

Robby Bonfire said...

No, but if I outlive him I WILL be down for his funeral, just to make sure that this time around he really goes away and is not given a lifetime "Extension."

The thought just occurred to me that this guy would have been the most corrupt, special interest "Bag man friendly" politician who ever lived. Or the "actor," who could have given Rex Harrison elocution lessons on the set of "My Fair Lady." Or the best concert violin player of all time. Or perhaps one of the best country music singers of all time, wish I could hear his rendition of "A Country Boy Can Survive," complete with a chaw of Red Man bulging out his jowls.

He also would have made a great trainer of throughbred horses, given his penchant for deception and dishonesty. Also a great World Series of Poker player, yes, he is bluffing all the time.

But his main calling in life he missed, that is, short-order cook at some truck stop, with extra greasy burgers and fries his specialty, and special little pats on the butts of the waitresses who no doubt would swoon at his attentiveness to them.

Also, he no doubt could have been understudy to Rudolph Valentino. The girls would have mobbed him for his good looks, innate charm, and charismatic ambiance.

I would also like to hear him attempt to learn and speak the French language. Now that would be something: "Est ce que vous-etre deja pres pour le diner au restaurant, baby,? in a broken Lousiana twang.

Yes sir, when it comes to laughs, ole Charlie, "He's my guy."

Andy Musser said...

If Manuel chose poker over baseball, he'd have been broke and/or dead before the age of 30.