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 17, 2012

Game 118: Manuel forces Lee to throw 111 pitches, then promptly blows Lee's win (54-64)

Cliff Lee had 100 pitches entering the 8th inning with a 4-3 lead and the pitcher's spot due up, followed by LHB Norichika Aoki, RHB Rickie Weeks, and RHB Ryan Braun. Manuel allowed Lee to start the inning, which is probably a mistake given Lee's contract and the meaninglessness of this game, but if Manuel is trying to win this game at all costs, it's not a bad move. Lee retired the first two batters.

Now, the batter is Weeks with no one on base and two outs. Braun is on deck, and RHP Josh Lindblom is warming up in the bullpen because Braun had hit 2 HRs off Lee already in the game. Weeks was obviously Lee's last batter. Wait, why? Weeks has a .397 career OBP against LHPs; only .336 against RHPs. There's simply no excuse to leave a pitcher with 105 pitches against a hitter with such significant platoon splits, especially when you are planning on removing the pitcher immediately afterwards anyway. Weeks hit the ball hard and induced a throwing error, then Lee was removed. Lindblom walked the first two batters he faced before allowing a grand slam. Had he entered the game facing Weeks with no one on base (instead of entering the game facing Ryan Braun with the tying run in scoring position), it is likely Lindblom would have surrendered zero runs.

Another day, another victory impeded by Manuel, and another opportunity for the press to blame a minor-league pitcher instead of the major-league manager.


Robby Bonfire said...

He does this when this team is in contention, he does this when a season is reduced to rubble, like this one. As decrepit a manager and a personality as he is, this is on ownership/management now.

What the hell are they watching when the Phillies are playing? Are they so distracted they are not mentally into the game? Getting rid of this manager and this GM is not the entire answer. The Phillies desperately need new, visionary, aggressive ownership, or this cancerous passivity in the face of crass incompetence will never end.

Why does ownership get to "skate" all the time. Why cannot those who have a major financial stake in this team be exposed for the incompetents they are? It starts at the top, not down on the field, this disgraceful, organizational indifference to results and standards of performance. I am embarrassed for those who live life in a detached-from-reality sanctuary.

hk said...

One more thing that drives me nuts watching this team try to win meaningless games is that, if they finish in the bottom 10, their first round pick is protected even if they sign (what was formerly known as and what still might be known as) a Type A free agent. If they finish 11th from the bottom or better and squander a first round pick to sign Michael Bourn, RAJ should be fired on the spot. Of course, he should have been fired on the spot for forfeiting this past year's first round pick by rushing to sign Papelbon.

Robby Bonfire said...

Ever seen a closer handled more injudiciously than the way the resident clown botched Papelbon's season? Poor Papelbon, had he stayed in Boston that other bumbling professional dork, Bobby Valentine, would have been his manager. Bouncing between Bobby V. and "The Fiend That Walked The East" cannot be the greatest professional baseball career fortune.

hk said...


I could not agree more. How does Charlie get away with squandering Lee's win on Friday by not using Papelbon for a 4-out save - not to mention 4 or 5 games earlier this year in which the Phils led in the 8th and lost - then using him to close out last night's win? Either he's your 9th inning-only closer or not, but if not, don't start using him in meaningless games to try to save your job after you've helped to blow 5+ games already this season. What's the message here? Is it that wins for Hamels are more important than wins for Lee? Bigger picture, are they trying to win for some 1 in a 1,000 shot at getting back into the race because they better recognize the unintended consequences (over-playing those who are older and/or recovering from injuries and, more importantly, potentially escaping the bottom 10 in the overall standings in which case RAJ will squander another 1st round pick if he signs a Type A free agent).

Robby Bonfire said...

Manuel is NOT coming back, right? He must be gone after this season, right? It is impossible that they could bring back the worst manager in baseball history, what, about 70years fossilized,now, for more of the same indescribable sputtering and stuttering.

Why in the name of God Almighty cannot someone in the Phillies organization step up and take control of this floundering franchise with no rudder, no compass and certainly clueless when it comes to direction? This is dereliction to the maximum.

This is defrauding a truly gullible public that buys into this grossly defective product.