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Charlie Manuel responds to fan who says he ‘cost the Phillies a World Series’


Charlie Manuel is the winningest manager in Phillies history. (Bob Stanton/Icon Sportswire)

There has long been a narrative that the Philadelphia Phillies made a mistake sweeping the Atlanta Braves in the final series of the 2011 season.

On one hand, they knocked out a division rival and set a new franchise record with 102 regular season wins. On the other hand, they opened the door for the St. Louis Cardinals to make the playoffs, and eventual upset them in the NLDS en route to winning the World Series.

A fan on Twitter recently suggested that Charlie Manuel made such a big mistake in keeping the team’s foot on the pedal in the final series that it may have cost arguably the most talented team in franchise history a chance to win a World Series. Manuel responded, and got into a debate with another Twitter user:

With the benefit of hindsight, the Phillies probably would have preferred to face the Braves in the NLDS, as opposed to Albert Pujols and the Cardinals. Perhaps they could have laid down for a game or two at the end of the season, but then if then you risk coming out sluggish in a best-of-5 series. You also wouldn’t have set a new franchise record for wins in a season.

The reality is that the Phillies should have defeated the Cardinals in the NLDS. They won Game 1 and Game 3, and Cliff Lee was spotted a 4-0 lead in Game 2, one he should have been able to hold onto. Manuel could have brought Roy Halladay back on short rest in Game 4, but it’s hard to fault him for starting Roy Oswalt, one of the best pitchers of the era. And it goes without saying, but Halladay limiting the Cardinals to one run in eight innings in Game 5 should have been enough for a win, but instead the Phillies were shut out by Chris Carpenter in one of the most painful losses in franchise history.

How the often-magical 2011 season concluded will probably never sit well in Philadelphia. That’s because regardless of who the Phillies played in the NLDS, they had the most talented roster in the sport, and probably the best in franchise history. Anything short of winning a World Series in 2011 would have been a disappointment.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Ken Bland

    June 13, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    All this rhetoric is such an oversimplification. It really comes down to this. In the deciding game, the players were outmanned by a gallant Chris Carpenter. Especially since this mere 10 years ago, the sport was still reminiscent of baseball where you could strive to push a run across with a small ball approach. You get Carpenter out of the game, maybe it’s a different story against the Cardinal bullpen. Hell, you want to blame Oswalt starting, Cliff being on the mound during a 4 run Redbird comeback, let’s go all the way back to May, June and July, and find a game to blame. The past is the past. They got shut out in a game where a run might have allowed for a different path, even if it did wind up in defeat.

    Charlie got nothing to hang his head about, and why he wasted his time commenting on the matter is his right, but ill advised.

    Click bait lives.

  2. Wheels' toupee

    June 14, 2021 at 9:28 am

    This is the #1 key reason why they lost that series:

    Chooch = 1 for 17
    Polanco = 2 for 19
    Howard = 2 for 19
    Howard’s Achilles tendon = 0 for 1

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