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.
Friday, September 7, 2012
Cliff Lee got no run support again tonight, and pitched pretty well after getting out of the first inning. The Phillies could not muster any offense against Jeff Francis the owner of a 5+ ERA and a 1.47 WHIP.
Lee allowed two runners to reach base in the top of the 7th while only recording one out. With a RHB due up, Manuel went to Josh Lindblom to get the out. He utilized a R/R matchup. Lindblom succeeded, and LH slugger Carlos Gonzalez was due up. Manuel used Jake Diekman to come in and face Cargo. Diekman a LHP, succeeded in getting Gonzalez to ground out to second.
In the bottom of the 7th, the Phils manage to load the bases with 2 outs. Wigginton, tonight's cleanup hitter, was due up, and Jim Tracy went to the bullpen (for the 1000th time tonight) to utilize a R/R matchup against Wigginton. At that point, Manuel made a smart decision to use Laynce Nix to PH for Wigginton. Nix hit a ball harder than I've probably ever seen before. His double only plated two, most likely because of how hard he hit it, but, nonetheless, the Phillies tied the game up because Manuel was proactive.
Aumont pitched the 8th, and looked really solid. Papelbon pitched the 9th (Kratz gunned down a PR trying to steal second. Kratz has a cannon).
In the bottom of the 9th, Rollins led off with a walk. You know what comes next. Manuel had Juan Pierre sacrifice the runner to 2nd. Mr. Musser has covered why this is a terrible decision more times than I can even recall. The Phillies had 3 outs to get Rollins from 1st to home. If the sacrifice is successful, the Phillies have 2 outs to get the runner home. This removes the possibility of a sacrifice fly unless the runner successfully steals 3rd base. Also, if the sacrifice is "successful", Utley is guaranteed to be walked. Pierre got Rollins to second, Utley was walked. It's possible that the only reason the Phillies won in the bottom of the 9th was because of the wild pitch that allowed Rollins and Utley to advance prior to Schierholtz singled Rollins home.