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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Friday, August 10, 2012

Game 111: The descension into Hell continues (50-61)

The Phils dropped the rubber match of the 3-game series against Atlanta in terrible fashion, allowing four 7th-inning runs after rallying from a 5-run deficit, tying the game in the 5th inning. Kyle Kendrick pitched terribly. Charlie Manuel still made a mistake, however, by leaving Kendrick in the game for one batter too long.

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.


Robby Bonfire said...

Just thinking about how this team allowed this season to sink from the pre-season high of prohibitive regular season favorite (2-1 odds, to falling out of contention WITHOUT making a managerial change.

What other organization would allow its pre-season favorite team to fall into the abyss without making a managerial shake up? NONE. This team went from favorite, to contender, to playoff long-shot hopeful, to dumping some salary with a couple last minute deals, with no shake up in the dugout along the way.

You mean injuries are the excuse? You mean no other teams have suffered major injuries? Why in hell does this GD three-card monte manager get all the passes in the world, year in and year out, when it comes to his stumbling and bumbling around with no clue as to which hand is his left and which is his right, and no clue as to whether the sun rises in the West or in the South, in the morning?

Stringing this blockhead along for all these years is beyond cruel and unusual.

Robby Bonfire said...

And why is the GM position in Philadelphia vacant (and vapid) at this time?

Robby Bonfire said...

Much obliged to see the(rhetorical, to me) question above: "Is Manuel the worst manager, ever?" Well, for starters I doubt any observer of baseball over the years can tender the name of anyone else who has been remotely as bad.

This club had better address its problems by getting a new GM ~and~ a new manager, this off-season, because when Bozo is gone from the dugout, major problems will still remain with this GM, starting with high-salaried, way past prime players, and a depleted farm system.

Now we know, throwing money at high-priced Free Agents may be the way the players, the blood-sucking Scott Boras-type agents, the Union, the media, and the courts want baseball to go - under the threat of another "collusion" rap, but it is double-edged sword that brings down more franchises than it helps.

By the way, isn't having a player's union a kind of "collusion?" Why do players legally allowed to have both a union AND agents - both of which are colluding to extort compensation and conditional clauses far in excess of their market value? The owners try to protect their financial interest in maintaining profits and it's a "criminal case", which the Players union won in court, years ago.

What a joke! How can multi-millionaire players have a players union AND agents negotiating on their behalf, and that's ok? And when these millionaires go out on strike, to the detriment of the best interest of the owners and the fans, that's ok, too! Whereas the owners locking out players is supposed to be "restraint of trade."

Sports today, is absurd.
I don't know why we continue to care who wins and who loses these games?