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.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Yesterday's game started out great. Kyle Kendrick was retiring the Royals, and the Phillies scored early on some singles in the first, two homers in the 2nd by Dom Brown(!) and Erik Kratz. Utley doubled and stole third in the third before Howard knocked him in. Everything seemed great until the Kendrick got into some two-out trouble in the top of the 6th inning. The Royals had 2nd and 3rd with two outs and Billy Butler up. Manuel decided to intentionally walk Billy Butler to bring up lefty Alex Gordon.
The Alex Gordon AB was clearly the highest-leverage situation in the game. The Phillies were up 4-1, and the Royals were threatening to score. Manuel decided to go with LHP Jeremy Horst. Horst had decent numbers in his small sample-size last season, but Antonio Bastardo has a considerably higher K% than Horst, and has been in the majors for considerably longer than Horst. The Alex Gordon AB is EXACTLY why Bastardo is on this team. Manuel went with Horst, who gave up a 3-run triple. To make matters worse in my opinion, Horst came out to start the 7th inning! Bastardo used to be the "8th inning guy". Mike Adams is now that guy (as much as rolls infuriate me). So, it's not even like Manuel was saving Bastardo for the 8th. He just didn't use him.
It was also a possibility to have Papelbon come in and pitch to Butler, but I think that's expecting a little much from Charlie. In this case, Manuel had some options on how to handle the Butler/Gordon ABs, and he failed.
I personally believed the game was pretty much over at this point, but Durbin helped sealed the deal in the 7th after Horst got into more trouble. I don't blame Dom for diving on the Getz triple. I think two runs would have scored if he'd let the ball bounce in front of him, so it was worth the risk of the extra run to try and get the out there. Brown missed the ball, and the Phillies dropped the 1st game of the dreadful Interleague schedule to the Kansas City Royals
John Lannan, hopefully he doesn't break Utley's hand, takes the hill tonight against Luis Mendoza, hopefully he didn't learn how to stop on his skates, at 7:10 PM.