Hit the Ball Hard, Good Things Will Happen

Ben Francisco hit a rocket to left field in the first inning last night at Citizens Bank Park.

Caught.

Francisco spiked his bat into the ground and tossed his helmet to the side.

“Seriously?” he had to be thinking. “Really?”

He had hit three bullets to left field in three consecutive at-bats, and all three had been caught. Strong winds killed two balls that would have been home runs in his final two at-bats in Tuesday’s 7-1 loss to the Mets. But Francisco finally caught a break last night, when he crushed another ball to left field for a solo home run — the final run — in the Phillies’ 10-7 victory. Francisco is hitting .333 (7 for 21) with one double, two home runs and five RBIs in his first five games.

Ryan Howard continues to swing a hot bat. He went 4 for 4 with two doubles, one home run, two RBIs and one walk. He is hitting .524 (11 for 21) with three doubles, two homers and eight RBIs. Much of the rest of the lineup is hitting well, too: Raul Ibanez (.300), Placido Polanco (.450), Jimmy Rollins (.368) and Wilson Valdez (.294). The only guys really struggling are Carlos Ruiz (.154) and Shane Victorino (.222), although Victorino had a couple big hits last night.

It’s just five games, but it’s encouraging for Charlie Manuel nonetheless. If the Phillies can win today’s series finale against the Mets, they will be 5-1 entering a weekend series against Atlanta. That will be a great early test for them.

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8 Comments

Jayson who?

Thank you Season Ticket Sales Department for moving that whistling asshole whistler away from the camera guy. Last year the aired games were unbearable to watch because of him. It was very hard to hear the announcers and just so disrespectful. Clearly he is still in the stands because we can still hear that annoying whistle, but he his further in the distance. Kinda tolerable from my TV Room, but can’t say what would happen if he was sitting in my section of the stadium. Once again. Thank you. That is all. The end.

Maybe they just moved the microphone? I’m not sure “annoying whistling guy” is high on their list of priorities – much as the “Everybody Hits” guy wasn’t.

The key will be Ben’s adjustment when pitchers figure out how to pitch him.

I was at Sunday’s game and I got a little worried about whether Francisco can consistently hit breaking stuff. Otherwise he’s not going to see another fastball over the plate all year.

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I’m more worried about Francisco in RF than I am at the plate. He’s not a bad hitter, but he’s an adventure in the outfield.

Gotta love Ben Francisco. He’s done more than Werth has for the Nats. That’s for sure. But can he stand the test of time? a whole season’s worth? I hope so, especially a postseason’s worth of this kind of offensive output.

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