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, June 1, 2013
Dom Brown spotted the Phillies a 3-run lead in the first inning with his 11th homer of the month of May. The Brewers added two in the top of the 2nd to bring the score to 3-2. In the top of the third, Cole Hamels' bad luck was on display. When you combine that with non-savvy outfielders and coaches that don't try to help, bad things wait ahead.
Bad Luck #1: The inning started out with a high chopper off the plate by Aoki that went for an infield single. This is bad luck because Aoki missed so much of the ball that he almost completely missed it. He got only enough of the ball to hit it straight down and off home plate.
Bad Luck #2: The very next play was almost identical. This time though, the ball didn't bounce as high, and Cesar Hernandez would have had a chance to get one out had he fielded the ball cleanly. Two batters, two infield singles.
Bad Coaching #1: Ryan Braun was due up next. Ryan Braun launched a very high fly ball into middle depth Right Field. I know Delmon Young isn't the fastest/best OF in MLB, but I assumed he would catch the ball off the bat. When the camera flashed to Right Field, he had been playing so deep that I thought he had to climb down from the RF stands. Needless to say, he didn't get to the ball, and it fell in for a single.
Aramis Ramirez then followed with a weak single to right field (I could probably reason that it too was bad luck, but I won't get greedy). 4 batters, four weak hits/misplays, zero outs.
A Gomez sac fly and a Lucroy legitimate hit later, and the score was 5-3 Brewers. But that's not it.
Bad Luck #3: Yuniesky Betancourt hit a ball hard back up the middle. Hamels got almost his entire glove on the ball, but it still deflected 20-30 feet away from him for another infield single.
The only other thing worthy of comment in this game was that Manuel decided to let Cole Hamels come out to start the 6th inning with just shy of 100 pitches and a three run deficit. After giving up a lead off double, he was pulled. What's the point of letting him come back out when he was clearly struggling (at least mentally).