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.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Watching the game live, it was obvious that the ball bounced into his glove, simply based on the angle of the glove and the behavior of the ball. All four umpires missed the call. Had they gotten together and overturned the call, they could have awarded the Reds with one out at second base, and sent the other runners back to their original bases (since no one advanced). A run wouldn't have scored on the play, but they still would have had bases loaded, two outs for Erik Kratz. Did Manuel vehemently argue this point? Did he at least complain about the hideous missed call? Nope, he did neither, instead opting for a short conversation with the crew chief, which was just an explanation of their call.
It is too bad that our manager was more confused than the umpires on that play. Otherwise, the umpires could have had the guts to overturn the call (it is very possible that one umpire saw it hit the ground, but didn't want to go through the trouble of placing the 3 baserunners after overturning it). Thanks a lot Manuel; it is disgusting that the fans watching on television not only understand what happens before you do, but they clearly care more as well. If you're here next year, Ryne Sandberg should be canonized into the sainthood before August if he is still in the organization.
Now, fast forward to the top of the ninth, when the Phillies, now trailing 2-1, had Ryan Howard, John Mayberry, Domonic Brown, and Schierholtz due up. LHP Aroldis Chapman, who has the fastest recorded fastball ever, was into the game for a save. With RHBs Ty Wigginton and Placido Polanco on the bench, it is clear that Manuel should use those two righties for his two least-effective lefties. Out of the 3 lefties due up, Howard is certainly the worst against left-handed pitching (and hideous against LH relievers). Brown had relatively even splits in the minor leagues, and Schierholtz is more effective than Howard against lefties: Howard has a career .308 OBP against LHPs; Schierholtz is at .320. Howard has a bigger SLG, but not by enough to discount the difference in OBP. It is also worth noting that since Schierholtz and Brown are entering/in their primes, while Howard is about 5 years removed from his prime, Howard is even less effective than his stats indicate. Finally, and most importantly, Brown and Schierholtz are much better in terms of plate discipline than Howard. Of course, Manuel allowed the least effective LHB to face Chapman, pinch-hitting for Brown and Schierholtz but allowing Howard to flail away, even after the count was 1-0. Howard predictably struck out, and the game was over soon after.
FIRE CHARLIE MANUEL.