Curious Strategery From Manuel

Manager Charlie Manuel allowed Kyle Kendrick to start the seventh inning of tonight’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, despite the fact that K.K. was getting hit hard all night and six straight hitters that were either left-handed or switch-hitting due up.

Unsurprisingly, the inning starts off with Miguel Montero hitting a single and Alex Romero hitting a double. No one was warming up in the Phillies’ bullpen until this point, so Kendrick had to pitch to switch-hitting pinch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio. He hit a two-run double down the left field line. Kendrick was still out there to face Augie Ojeda. Luckily, though, the D-Backs decided to give the Phillies a free out by having Ojeda sacrifice bunt Bonafacio over to third base.

At that point, Manuel decided for a change, and brought in left-hander R.J. Swindle to pitch to left-hander Stephen Drew. Swindle doesn’t throw hard stuff, so it’s not as hard for left-handers to hit off of him, and Drew delivered the RBI single to right field to give the D-Backs a 4-3 lead.

Say what you will about the attitude Manuel brings to the clubhouse, but there are more than a few times where he leaves you scratching your head.

Elsewhere, at BDD, I wrote about the current offensive trends and compared them to what we had thought in May, when many people were attributing the lack of offense to stricter drug policies.

I also narrowed Ryan Howard’s hitting problems down to a lack of intentional walks and a surplus of bad luck.

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