Hunter Martin/Getty Images
You may remember this game. Cliff Lee pitched something like 10 scoreless innings, got zero runs from his offense and lost.
There was a brief glimmer of hope in the top of the 11th inning, though. Carlos Ruiz doubled and was promptly sacrificed over to third base. Charlie Manuel chose to send in Jim Thome to pinch hit against right-handed reliever Sergio Romo, a decision which made sense.
However, when Romo was immediately taken out for lefty Javier Lopez, Manuel proceeded to stick with Thome.
It made absolutely no sense.
Too loyal to make the smart move, Manuel let Thome (who has hit .253, .241, .209, .233 and .196 against lefties in his past five seasons) hit against a reliever who has pitched much better against lefties than righties in his career, while he had John Mayberry, Jr. on the bench (who hit .306 against lefties last year).
Only needing a sacrifice fly to bring the run in, Thome struck out. That's what you get when you leave a 40-year-old player who has struggled against lefties throughout his career in against a lefty specialist.