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, May 25, 2013
In the first game of the Phillies series with the Mets, Charlie Manuel optimized the Phillies lineup. For what seems like decades now, we have been calling for Manuel to split up Utley and Howard in the lineup. In addition to splitting up the lefties, studies have shown that the 2nd and 4th holes in the batting order should be filled by the two best batters (not saying Ryan Howard fits that role anymore). Manuel has done this before (rarely), but it usually occurs against LHP. In reality the move should be done to prevent against LOOGYs getting the opportunity to face then both back-to-back later in the game.
Kyle Kendrick pitched a complete game shutout with a 5:1 K:BB ratio. The Phillies took the first game of this series behind Kendrick's strong outing, and a four run sixth inning (the only inning in which they scored).
Game 26: Phillies sweep Mets (12-14)
Not much to mention from this game besides a productive PH appearance by Ryan Howard that led to the Phillies winning. It was also good to see Manuel giving Howard a day off against LHP Jon Niese. No harm no foul with Papelbon pitching the 9th inning with a 4 run lead, not having pitched Friday or Saturday, and an off day scheduled on Monday.
Game 27: Halladay and Phillies get destroyed by the Indians (12-15)
Manuel went back to placing Utley and Howard back-to-back in the batting order in the first game of this two-game series against the Indians. I will blame this loss solely on this fact... It had nothing to do with Halladay getting completely destroyed in 3.2 IP.
Game 28: Phillies can't hit Trevor Bauer (?) get shut out against Indians (12-16)
The Phillies managed to draw 6 walks against the Indians starter while only managing 1 hit over Bauer's five innings of work. Cliff Lee got pretty unlucky in this game, specifically in the 3rd inning. The Indians managed to safely reach first 3 times on infield singles and capitalized with only one extra-base hit by Asdrubal Cabrera on their way to scoring 3 runs.
With the offensive futility in this game, the Phils had essentially no chance at making a comeback.
Game 29: Kendrick pitches well again, Phillies win (13-16)
Manuel went back to splitting up Utley and Howard. I remember getting very frustrated around this time with the seeming randomness of this tactic. Papelbon pitched the 9th inning after the Phillies extended the lead to 5 runs in the bottom of the 8th. With a four game series scheduled, probably not the best idea to use Papelbon unnecessarily just because he was up throwing in the bullpen.
Game 30: Papelbon used for second consecutive day to convert 3-run save against 7,8, and 9 hitters (14-16)
Game 31: Phillies get 1-hit and lose game 3 (14-17)
Cole Hamels had a solid start, but the Phillies could only muster 3 base runners against the Marlins. Manuel again decided randomly not to split up Utley and Howard.
Game 32: Halladay again gets destroyed, leads to series split with fish (14-18)
The Phillies lost 14-2 (14 runs to the Marlins???) in the series finale against the Marlins. Halladay again got shelled, and the Phillies futile offense was hopeless right from the start. Utley and Howard batted back-to-back again.