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News » Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-04-30

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-04-30

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-04-30
Given everything that has happened -- legendary broadcaster Harry Kalas' untimely death, two freak accidents that have limited ace Cole Hamels to 17 1/3 innings, closer Brad Lidge's knee problem, 40 homers allowed by the pitching staff, shortstop Jimmy Rollins' .207 batting average -- it's something of a wonder that the Phillies finished the season's first month with a winning record.

Just don't tell that to Charlie Manuel.

To the Phillies' manager, an 11-9 mark in April was OK. It just could've been better. Even with the distractions, the stop-and-start early-season schedule and the nagging injuries, Manuel said he isn't satisfied with only the second winning April in his five-year tenure as manager.

And that was before the offense squandered several opportunities Wednesday night in a 4-1 loss to the lowly Washington Nationals in the series finale at Citizens Bank Park.

"You've got to handle all the adversity that comes at you," Manuel said before Wednesday night's game. "That's part of it. We talk about staying focused on what we want to do. At the same time, we can't use those things as excuses. Our record is what it is.

"Fortunate? Yeah, in some ways, maybe we are fortunate. But it is what it is."

The Phillies went 15-13 in the season's first month last season after going 11-14 in 2007 and 10-14 in both 2006 and 2005. Their success this April comes despite a pitching staff that has posted a 5.63 ERA, the National League's worst.

"Having a winning record in the first month of the season, that's good," Manuel said. "We haven't had too many seasons where we've had a winning record, and that's good. But would I like for us to be better? Hell yeah, I would."

NATIONALS 4, PHILLIES 1: Shane Victorino extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a solo homer in the first inning, but the Phillies fell to the Nationals in the series finale at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies left 10 runners on base and went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. They got only seven hits against Nationals LHP Scott Olsen and three relievers. Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard had two hits apiece. Brett Myers allowed three runs on eight hits and three walks in six innings.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 30, 2009

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