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 133: Lee shuts down Braves, Manuel overuses Bastardo for no reason (64-69)

The Phillies won Saturday night 5-1. Cliff Lee only threw 93 pitches, which shouldn't be encouraging, but since he is routinely forced to throw north of 111, this is a good sign. However, Manuel still found a way to misuse his pitching staff.

They were leading 5-1 in the 8th inning with one out (and nobody on base) when Manuel brought Bastardo into the game to face lefty Jason Heyward and switch-hitting Chipper Jones. Bastardo, who had pitched the night before and is often unavailable after pitching consecutive nights (if one of the nights is a heavy workload -- he only threw 14 pitches Friday), retired both batters. Since the score was 5-1 heading into the bottom of the 9th -- and since the rosters have expanded to 40 players -- the optimal strategy is to go to another reliever (the Phillies still had two lefties in the bullpen at this point) to save Bastardo for the future. After all, the Phillies were only 7.5 games out of the wild card after winning this game, and you know Manuel is trying to win every game. The only problem is that he doesn't know how.

Bastardo was forced to pitch the 9th inning, throwing 18 additional pitches to four batters. His pitch count ended at 31 on the night, and he was therefore unavailable the next day.

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