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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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Game 98: Manuel inexplicably stacks RHBs against Grienke (44-54)

Charlie Manuel made no obvious in-game mistakes last night (he probably left Cliff Lee in the game two batters too long), but his lineup was even worse than usual. It nearly cost them the game, and the only reason it didn't is because Carlos Ruiz is apparently superhuman.

Zach Grienke was the starting pitcher for Milwaukee. He owns a career OPS-allowed against RHBs of .668; that number is .763 for lefties. The Phillies have three leftfielders: Laynce Nix, Juan Pierre, and John Mayberry. Two of those players are left-handed, and the RHB is notoriously awful against right-handed pitching; so bad, in fact, that it is the sole reason he will never be a full time MLB player. Guess which player Manuel chose to play against the right Greinke? Mayberry, of course, and Manuel was rewarded with an 0-4 night from him. All his PAs were against right-handed pitching.

Also, Manuel started Wigginton at third base instead of the lefty Fontenot. This is a strange decision, because Wigginton is bad defensively and also because of Greinke's strength against RHBs. Why did Manuel stack his lineup with these righties? My guess is this: he looked at the lineup from Monday's comeback win, and he figured to go with the same exact lineup in order to "keep things rolling." I honestly believe this is true, because he has stated many times in the past that he likes using the same lineup on days after wins. FORGET the fact that Mayberry and Wigginton only played Monday because Randy Wolf's corpse was the starting pitcher, and forget the fact that Greinke is a closer pitcher to Jonathan Papelbon than he is to Randy Wolf.

Manuel's idiotic strategy got all of 1 run through the first 7 innings, and the bullpen promptly collapsed when he was removed from the game. However, another lineup mistake from Manuel nearly derailed the comeback in the 8th inning.

With the score 6-1, LHP Gerardo Parra came into the game with one man on base and Laynce Nix coming to the plate with one out. Manuel properly removed Nix from the game against the lefty, and Eric Kratz hit a PH home run to cut the lead to three runs. Jimmy Rollins followed this with a lineout, before Shane Victorino drew a walk.

Now, there is one man on base with 2 outs and a struggling lefty on the mound. Parra is the Brewers' only lefty, so he was absolutely staying in the game to pitch to both Utley and Howard. Unfortunately for Phillies fans, their manager continues to stack Utley and Howard consecutively in the lineup. We have been calling for years to end this strategy, either dropping Howard to 5 and Ruiz to 4, or Ruiz to 3 and Utley to 2. Either way, you cannot have consecutive lefties.

Parra walked Utley, and thanks to Manuel's terrible lineup, he did not have to face another righty before Howard. Howard and the home plate umpire tried their best to end the rally, but Parra walked him as well before being removed for a RHP. Carlos Ruiz popped a 3-run double off the righty, but, of course, he would have been more likely to get a hit off the struggling lefty.

This is the type of game that makes me nostalgic for the days where the team would cover up about 80% of Manuel's mistakes; this year, they're down to around 25%, and the standings reflect that.

Today the Phils go for the sweep in a businessman's special.

1 comment:

Robby Bonfire said...

Come on, Andy, he's putting us on with the "Going with who's hot and who's winning - regardless of percentage fundamentals," crap. This is his excuse for over-matching his own ball club. This man is taking the whole world out to dinner, and the whole world is paying his tab.

Why be kind to this son of a bitch? Why give his consistent "stupidity" the benefit of the doubt? How can there be any doubt that this man is as perverse and duplicitous a human being as we will ever come across in this lifetime. Jaded, corrupt two-faced, demagogic career politicians could take lessons from this master of the deceitful agenda.

Charlie Manuel is NOT about gut-level, instinctive, playing his hunches baseball. He is about being the sharpest and most dishonest poker player, in a non-poker setting, as any of us will ever be accursed to suffer in this lifetime. The man is a con-artist, Andy, please get it right. Analysing baseball when it comes to this man is to buy into the hustle. The original Ponzi was his grand-father.

The Charlie Manuel story is NOT about baseball! Look, he gets it wrong ALL the time, therefore, he cannot be stupid. If he were merely stupid, the law of averages says he would get it right sometimes - per wild and lucky guesses. So he knows what he is doing because he ALWAYS makes out the wrong batting lineup, he always makes the wrong batting order, he always makes horrible percentage pinch hitting and defensive moves, and he always botches the relief match-up choices. And he always burns out his best players and pitchers. And he always lets superior-ability ballplayers rot on the bench while putting the roster-filler potholes in there to give the game away. You cannot always be wrong, by chance, to where you are beating Power Ball lottery odds to do so.

This man is living proof that you can fool all the people, all the time, to our everlasting shame and humiliation. I wish I were the Commissioner of baseball because I would have this skunk's ass in a Penn State-type straitjacket, along about now.

(On top of the above, I really don't care much for the guy.)