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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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Game 33 - Game 38: I don't understand the extremely flawed logic of most baseball managers (17-21)

Game 33: Phils score against Bumgarner (15-18)

Nothing to really say except Papelbon pitched the 9th inning despite the Phillies being up 4 runs.  He probably started warming up when they were up 3.  God forbid you tell him to just sit down.

Game 34: Same score same story.  (16-18)

Kyle Kendrick continued his great start to the season against the Giants in the second game of the three game series.  Utley had a good game including a home run.  Papelbon pitched the 9th inning despite the Phillies being up 4 runs.  He probably started warming up when they were up 3.  I think we just talked about this.

Game 35: Papelbon doesn't pitch in a tied game in the 9th or 10th inning, Phillies lose (16-19)

Pettibone started this game vs. Barry Zito.  He walked 4 while only striking out 1.  The Phillies managed to tie the game in the top of the 9th inning against the Giants closer, Sergio Romo.  In the bottom of the 9th, against the top of the Giants order, Mike Adams appeared in the game.  Mike Adams is a solid pitcher, so it's tough to complain about his appearance.  Adams silenced the Giants, and the Phillies failed to score in their half of the 10th.  Antonio Bastardo was used to start the bottom of the 10th against Brandon Belt (who was pinch hit for by Buster Posey).  Bastardo was forced to face Posey, who singled.  Belt was the 5th batter in the Giants lineup.  It could have been predicted that Posey would be used to replace him since they both play first, and Bastardo is a LHP.  The Giants scored after a single, sacrifice, wild pitch, and another single.

I would argue that Papelbon should have been used to start the 9th or 10th.  He wasn't used because of the silly tradition that you save your closer in a tie game on the road.  Even if this ridiculous practice wasn't the norm, it's possible that Papelbon wouldn't have been available due to his superfluous use on Monday and Tuesday.

Game 36: Phillies can't hit corbin, pitchers have 4:8 K:BB ratio (16-20)

Game 37: Adams gives up leadoff homer in 8th, Phillies lose (16-21)

Game 38: Probably the angriest I've been during a Phillies game in a long time (17-21)

Fast forward to the 8th inning.  Phillies are up 3-0.  Mike Adams is not on the roster on this Saturday night due to injury.  Antonio Bastardo is used to start the bottom of the 8th inning.  He walked the first batter Pollock.  Didi Gregorious then popped out.  At this point, it was a 3-0 game with a man on first, one out, and Paul Goldschmidt, one of the best hitters in the NL, at the plate.  I was begging for the Phillies to bring in Papelbon at this point.  He was walking around/throwing at this point, and I remember being very anxious that the Phillies would lose the game if he didn't enter.  Manuel stuck with Bastardo, who gave up a single to Goldschmidt, which advances Pollock to third.  At this point, Manuel lifted Bastardo for Papelbon.  I'm not saying I disagree with using Papelbon here, it just boggles my mind how Bastardo wasn't even allowed to give up a single without being lifted.  If a single is unacceptable and would spell the end of the night for Bastardo, why even let him face such a dangerous pitcher?

Meanwhile, McCarthy and Wheels kept talking about how you "really don't want to use Papelbon for 5 out saves this early in the season."  Who the HELL said you have to use Papelbon through the end of the 9th inning if he appears in the 8th inning?!  The reason he makes so much money is because he's one of the best relievers in MLB and definitely the best reliever on the Phillies.  Why save him for situations where the Phillies are up 3 or 4 runs in the 9th inning with no runners on base (3 runs = saveeeeee, 4 runs = his appearances on Monday and Tuesday of this week).  He should be used in the most pressing situations in the game almost regardless of the inning.  He DOESN'T need to pitch in the 9th inning.

If he comes into a game in the 8th inning, and throws a lot of pitches, then you can just use the next best option in the 9th to finish the game.  Think about it.  If Papelbon successfully keeps the lead at 3-1 in the 8th inning meanwhile throwing a lot of pitches, just use someone else to pitch the 9th.  If Papelbon did NOT appear in the 8th inning and Bastardo gave up the lead (let's assume a 3-3 score), Papelbon wouldn't be used in the 9th inning for the insane reason that it's not a SAVE situation.  So, Manuel would resort to using a lesser reliever in a tie game with ZERO wiggle room.  If you use a pitcher in a game where he cannot allow even one run, then I'm confident you can use the same pitcher in a game where he has the luxury of allowing 1 or 2 runs.


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