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, September 5, 2012

Game 132: Manuel doesn't use Papelbon correctly (63-69)

The Phillies tied Friday night's game against Atlanta in the top of the 9th inning when Eirk Kratz homered off Craig Kimbrel. The score was then 5-5 heading into the bottom of the 9th, when the Braves had Jason Heyward, Chipper Jones, Freddie Freeman, and Brian McCann due up. With no room for error, it is imperative to use your best reliever against the heart of the Braves' order. Instead, Manuel used Josh Lindblom against these four hitters, simply because it was not a save situation. Lindlom allowed one runner and got through the inning unscathed, and then the Phillies scored 3 runs in the top of the tenth, which is exactly why you must use your closer as early as possible in a tie game on the road: yes, you may have to rely on someone like Lindblom to record a save, but since you're on the road, you have the chance to earn a multi-run lead. The end result: Lindblom pitched the most important inning of the game, and Papelbon pitched one of the least important (if not the least important) innings. This is what happens when you have a manager who's never heard of a high-leverage situation. And, if he has, he still views the almighty save statistic as more significant, which makes me want to vomit.

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