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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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Game 94: Manuel forfeits, allows Worley to throw 119 pitches (41-53)

The Phillies lost to San Francisco by a score of 7-2, thanks to a 5-run sixth-inning. This is the only inning we'll analyze today, even though Manuel made his normal lineup mistake of stacking Howard and Utley consecutively in the lineup.

Vance Worley carried a pitch-count of 78 into the 6th inning. He allowed 3 of the first four baserunners to reach, which resulted in men on first and second with one run in, and the Phillies were now trailing 2-1. The batter was lefty Nate Schierholtz, with lefty Brandon Crawford on deck. Worley, to this point, had thrown 97 pitches through only 5 and 1/3 innings. Schierholtz is a lefty with even splits, but with another lefty on deck and your starting pitcher obviously going no more than 6 innings, Antonio Bastardo must be used in this high-leverage situation. He is still your best reliever not from Louisiana, and he is not a liability against right-handed batting, which makes any possible counter-move from Bruce Bochy immaterial to your own decision.

Worley walked Schierholtz on 8 pitches. With his count now at 105 and the bases loaded with only one out and a lefty at the plate (with the 8-hitter on deck followed by Lincecum), it is outrageous to leave Worley in there. Crawford owns a career OPS against LHPs well under .600, and since he is a shortstop, he almost certainly would have remained in the game to hit against Bastardo had a move been made (especially since the Giants already had the lead). Yesterday was an off-day so Bastardo's availability is not an issue. Manuel, of course, does not understand the value of left-handed relievers (evidenced by his years of abuse of J.C. Romero, his distrust of Diekman this season until it was too late standings-wise, and his inexplicable decision to allow Michael Schwimer to face LHB James Loney on Wednesday). Worley allowed a grand slam to the lefty Crawford, and the game was over.

The only thing that infuriates me more than Manuel's strategy is the media's allowance of it to continue. Here's an excerpt about yesterday's game from Matt Gelb, the beat-writer who is less of a Manuel apologist than David Murphy:

"Afterwards, Manuel and Worley both said they felt the pitcher had enough left in the tank to get batters out.
Manuel also said that it would have been a difficult situation to bring young relievers such as Michael Schwimer and Jeremy Horst into a bases loaded, one-out situation."

This quote is laughable. I like the first sentence: "Manuel defended his decision to leave Worley in the game by saying he thought Worley would get batters out." Are you kidding? This is like Andy Reid saying, "I threw the ball on 3rd-and-1 because I wanted to get a first down," rather than explaining why the pass was a better option than a run. 

Obviously, the second sentence of that quote is the real issue: Manuel did not trust Michael Schwimer to come into a game you're already losing because the bases were loaded with one out. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

May 2nd, 2012: The Phillies are leading the Atlanta Braves by a score of 12-9 in the bottom of the 8th inning. There is ONE OUT AND THE BASES LOADED. Jonathan Papelbon is available. Guess who Manuel brought into the game? 

Burn in hell, Philadelphia media. I'll see you there.


Anonymous said...

What's Manuel suppose to do with the bases loaded if Kyle Losche isn't in the pen!?!?

Robby Bonfire said...

He pulled this SP burn-out crap last year, too, big time, when the team was in contention = he took them OUT of contention. Lee 120 pitches in a game after the clinching of home park advantage for the entire league. Oswalt = 96 pitch outing his second start back from an extended stay on the D.L. It just never ends with this retard.

Hamels 128 pitches, an Worley 119, including his refusal to make an obviously overdue change, in deference to Worley's fatique and making a percentage move.

Think about that - NOT removing a pitcher who is tired, who is no longer fooling anybody and putting men on base, when you can get the percentage match-up advantage for doing so. This man is goosing Philadelphia and Philadelphia, for some perverse reason, just loves being played with. Where are you, Charles Bronson, when we need you?

Robby Bonfire said...

He IS gone after this season, right? He is not coming back, right? Eight years of excrutiating suffering is more than enough, except for the Phillies GM and ownership, right?

What the hell is wrong with baseball fans in Philadelphia that they keep right on selling out and supporting this charade of a major league baseball organization? A schoolhouse play featuring kindergarten kids reciting the alphabet for their giddy parents is more substantive adult entertainment.