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.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Kendrick allowed 4 runs through the first 3 innings, and he was allowed to start the fourth inning against the bottom of the Atlanta lineup. This was the correct move since the bottom of the Atlanta order was right-handed (Paul Janish and Tim Hudson). LHB Michael Bourn was due up third, and 4 of the next 5 batters after Bourn are left-handed. LHP Raul Valdes was warming up in the bullpen before Michael Bourn hit the home run to extend the lead to 3 runs, so Manuel clearly was ready to remove Kendrick from the game in case of trouble. Janish led off the inning with a single, and Tim Hudson struck out swinging.
There is no excuse to leave Kendrick in the game to face Bourn. Kendrick was not going to hit anytime soon in the bottom of the inning, and Kendrick struggles significantly against lefties. Not only is Bourn a lefty, but he's having an outrageous season, by far the best of his career. RHB Martin Prado was on deck, but -- get this -- Manuel ended up allowing Valdes to face Prado anyway AFTER Kendrick gave up the 2-run bomb that turned a deficit into a blowout. It is obvious this is a managerial mistake: if you are going to remove Kendrick in case of disaster, that means you are ready to remove Kendrick soon. Why wait until the RHB is up to leave in Kendrick? KK had already gotten Prado to GIDP earlier in the game.
The answer is clear: Manuel wants to make sure that Kendrick is the one getting booed, and consequently receiving 100% of the blame for that home run. There were zero boos audible on the television broadcast UNTIL Kendrick was walking toward the dugout and Manuel was secured on the mound. This is hideous. The correct move to increase your chances of winning is to allow Kendrick to face Prado before removing him. Three LHBs follow Prado, so Valdes only has to wait one more batter before entering. However, the correct move to ensure that KK receives all the blame (because in Manuel's mind, he knows he was considering bringing Valdes into the game to face Bourn). Not only is the man a terrible manager, but he's manipulative as well. If he's not manipulative, then he's just the worst manager of all time.
Tonight the Phillies start a 3-game series against St. Louis. Roy Halladay will throw too many pitches; Kyle Lohse will not.