Can the Phillies Hit? Manuel Wants to Know
Can the Phillies hit a fastball? Can they hit, period?
He would like to find out.
“We’re going to see if they can hit,” he said following a 2-0 loss to the Pirates at Citizens Bank Park. “Believe me, I’m pulling for every one of them. But that’s what we’re going to see.”
For nearly two weeks Manuel has watched the Phillies fall short offensively. They have scored just 31 runs in their past 12 games, including their third shutout loss of the season tonight. Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke did little to impress Manuel, who said Locke did nothing “fantastic.” But he still dominated his hitters.
“He challenged us,” Manuel said. “If I went up there and looked fastball, I would have gotten good balls to hit. We’ve got to hit some of those fastballs. I hope that don’t put a lot of pressure on somebody.”
It might help to have Carlos Ruiz and Delmon Young back in the lineup. Ruiz is expected back Sunday in New York. Young could be back in the next couple weeks, if he proves he can play competently in right field.
But Ruiz and Young are not saviors. They need much more than that.
Jimmy Rollins believes Manuel will eventually see the results he desperately seeks.
“It happens sometimes,” Rollins said. “Throw pitches right down the middle, guys miss them. Paint, guys hit them. It can happen like that. The good thing is it will come around. Everybody works. That’s not a problem. Guys are in the cage, doing what they need to do. It’s just transferring it form the cage to the game. Especially if guys are working on new things, it takes a little while to build a little confidence. Sometimes you have to try something different and it takes a little while.”
So it’s just a matter of time?
“We’ve got a lot of it,” Rollins said. “We’ve just got to make sure we take advantage of it.”