I usually give managers a pass when it comes to in-game strategy. Most field generals go by the book, but I appreciate those who play on-field chess by gut feeling.

Today, I’m still steamed over last night’s 14-inning debacle at Citizens Bank Park. Not because the Phillies are going anywhere this season, but because of a managerial decision that can only be described as nonsensical.

In the bottom of the 13th inning, the Phillies have the winning run at 3rd base with two outs. Granted, they’d already stranded that winning runner at 3rd numerous times during the game.

This time, facing an exhausted pen (from the previous night/morning’s extra inning affair), the Phils’ manager decides to stick with his only fresh arm — at least it was fresh before tossing an incredible four innings of 3-up 3-down baseball. (When’s the last time we could say that about any Phillies reliever?)

Instead of allowing Jeff Manship to take a seat and bask in the glory of a potential win as a reward for his perfect outing, John Mayberry, Jr. is called back from the on-deck circle. Manship is summoned to take a few cuts. He’d already struck out earlier in the game during a typical Phillies rally: 1-2-3, out-out-out.

This time, he battles. Manship fouls a couple of pitches straight back before grounding a ball up the middle. In his quest for a walk-off infield single, Manship comes up lame as Ruben Tejada rifles a throw to beat him and continue to the 14th inning.

Except Manship can’t pitch any longer. In fact, his reward for four perfect innings and a better at-bat than we see from many Phillies who are overpaid to hit, most likely will include a stint on the DL.

With Antonio Bastardo warming in the pen, the rest is purely predictable. A leadoff four-pitch walk to a .200 hitter (Tejada) who never walks. A two-out RBI single from David Wright one pitch after Tom McCarthy mentions how poor he’s been in those situations.

Then the Phils leave the tying run in scoring position in the bottom half. Another L. Another reliever asked to go above and beyond, succeed, and then suffer the consequences. Another hitter thinking, “My manager has that little confidence in my abilities?”

A confidence builder? Pfffft.

On a positive note, MLB finally welcomes young Oscar Taveras and he delivers a game-winning homer in his second AB for the Cardinals. Oscar’s barely old enough to order a drink and he’s already making an impact on a Major League field.

Remember when the Phillies had prospects?