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 19, 2012

Game 148: Lee is still Lee, but Manuel has already given up (74-74)

It is too bad, however, that Charlie Manuel is still Charlie Manuel, because the Phillies need to win at least 13 of their final 14 games. We will not discuss Monday's 3-1 victory over New York (NL) in this post, because the only decision that Manuel made on Monday was whether or not to use Jonathan Papelbon for a save or leave Lee in for a complete game. Pretty heavy stuff.

Instead, we will focus on a point made by one of our commenters, hk, in our most recent post (see below for context). The Phils were rained out last night, which allowed them to give Tuesday's scheduled pitcher, Cole Hamles, an additional night off. Wednesday's original pitcher, Tyler Cloyd, is now pushed back to Thursday. Since Thursday was originally an off-day, Friday's starting pitcher, Kyle Kendrick (who has been recently pitching more closely to Roy Halladay's talent level than Cloyd's) could have been moved up to Thursday, and Kendrick still would have been pitching on normal rest. The chain-reaction of moving Kendrick up to Thursday would mean that Cliff Lee would have been moved up to Saturday, which would allow him to pitch the final day of the season.

In other words, if the Phillies decide to skip Cloyd's start on Thursday, with only 14 games remaining, Cloyd will only start twice, while the other four pitchers would each start three times (starting tonight, with Hamels in NY). With the way Kendrick has been pitching, it is indisputable that Cloyd is the weakest starter in the rotation. He was a fringe-prospect originally, and he hasn't done anything to change that.

To give Cloyd more starts than Lee in these final 14 games is not criminal; it's sociopathic. The manager, GM, and ownership group have obviously already decided that they have no chance of making the second wild-card spot. It is a shame, too, because that also means they haven't watched just how often Mike Matheny runs into strikeout-double plays with absurd hit-and-run combinations. The Cardinals are collapsing -- they have been collapsing -- but if Cloyd starts tomorrow, then can it be any more obvious that Amaro and Manuel care about nothing more than the bottom line? I mean, we already know Montgomery cares about nothing besides himself and his profit (look no further than Chris Wheeler and Tom McCarthy in the broadcast booth, the most sickening broadcast team since....since....wait, Troy Aikman is somewhat competent?), but if Cloyd starts on Thursday, then there is no reason for CBP to not be burnt to the ground by October 3rd.

Go Phils.


Robby Bonfire said...

Excellent, irrefutable points, above.

Pardon the sophomoric injection of my "idealism" but, my God, how trashy baseball's regular season (and post-season format) have become with crud .500 teams like the Phillies and Pirates still in baseball's "World Championship" hunt, 150 games into the season.

Got to think that this additional wild card qualifier is yet again a typically horrendous television advertising and ratings monstrosity which came from the networks, not from baseball power brokers, although the fact that the baseball moguls (Mongols?) always go along with all of television's integrity-destroying format tampering is just as much a pox on baseball's house for its sell-out of the results of the regular season.

I heartily suggest, if the truth be told, that baseball's World Series winning team, from now on, be designated as "Playoff Champion," not as "World Champion." That went out in 1969, and the cancer has spread and further devolved to the utter garbage format we have now, which is dreadfully sickening to those of us who remember those thrilling ~real~ pennant races and championship show-downs, of yesteryear.

Michael said...

Maybe he wants save Lee for potential tie breaker games or the 1 game WC game? I mean he does like to save Jonathon for games that the might need him for instead of using him when it matters.