World Series matchup: management

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


What We've Learned About Joe Girardi:

-- That he tends to overmanage. Girardi has been taking heat for his moves during the ALCS, particularly his odd pitching changes -- right-hander for right-hander, lefty for lefty -- in a Game 3 loss. Also: Giving up the designated hitter in Game 3? Pinch running for Alex Rodriguez in the ninth inning of Game 5? That's overmanaging.

-- That he inherited Joe Torre's gift for putting out fires. Since A-Rod's steroids scandal in February, there has been barely a scent of controversy around the Yankees, which must be some sort of record.

What We Still Don't Know:

-- Whether he can cool it with all the pitching moves and let his players play.


What We've Learned About Charlie Manuel:

-- That he's on a roll. Manuel's had a tremendous October, pushing all the right buttons, especially in piecing together the necessary outs late in games with a patchwork bullpen, and easing Brad Lidge back to effectiveness as the closer. Never was his touch more evident than in the clinching Game 5 against the Dodgers, when Cole Hamels's fifth-inning flameout left 14 outs to be gotten by the bullpen. Manuel weaved five pitchers into the game, locking down the win that put the Phillies back in the World Series.

-- That he ain't as dumb as he wants you to think he is.

What We Still Don't Know:

-- Whether he can do it against the Yankees. In the five postseason series the Phillies have won the past two years, none have come against a team as deep and talented as these Yankees. If one starter fizzles in the fifth inning of this series, those 13 or 14 outs the Phillies' pitchers still have to secure are going to seem like a hundred.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company