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 12, 2012

Game 141: Kendrick continues to carry Phils (70-71)

The Phils climbed to within 5 games of St. Louis on Monday night thanks to an incredible game from Kyle Kendrick, who struck out 8 over 7 innings, allowing only one run. Justin de Fratus, Jake Diekman, and Antonio Bastardo combined to pitch the final two innings en route the 3-1 victory. Jonathan Papelbon was unavailable after pitching all 3 games in the Colorado series.

Manuel made only one mistake on the night, and it was starting Ryan Howard against LHP Wade LeBlanc. Here are Howard's career numbers against LHP: .238/.306/.433; for the season he is posting a dreadful .178/.228/.329 (small sample size, yes, but last season wasn't much better). Unless Howard suddenly decides that he can hit left-handed pitching as well as players like Carlos Ruiz, Darin Ruf, and Nate Schierholtz (all of whom watched Howard go 0-for-3 from the bench), it is obvious that Howard's starts should be limited to only RHPs. This is something that will never happen as long as Manuel is the manager, but when a mediocre pitcher like LeBlanc neutralizes a lineup like the Phillies, the left-handed albatross in the middle of the order must be acknowledged.

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