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News » Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-05-13

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-05-13

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-05-13
Upon further review, Charlie Manuel bumped Jimmy Rollins from the leadoff spot, after all.

Manuel, the Phillies' manager, said after Sunday's game that he had few other suitable leadoff options. But after thinking about Rollins' .195 average and .231 on-base percentage, he decided, for at least one game, to move the shortstop down in the order for Tuesday's series opener against the Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park.

For only the fifth time in his career, Rollins batted fifth. Speedy center fielder Shane Victorino shifted to the leadoff spot, Chase Utley batted second and Jayson Werth batted third. The Phillies posted a 5-3 victory over the Dodgers.

Rollins went 1-for-3 with an RBI, but before the game, he said he views himself as a leadoff hitter, now and in the future.

"I don't see where else I would hit in the lineup," Rollins said. "I'm a leadoff hitter. That's what I do. It doesn't matter what the numbers say. I'm going to produce. Pretty much, especially in this lineup with all the power guys, it wouldn't really make sense to keep me in a position down in the lineup where my game is speed when I'm on."

Manuel said he wasn't sure if the change would last beyond one game, although he prefers to keep the lineup intact after a strong offensive performance. One thing Manuel knows for sure: Rollins "has a lot of self-confidence" to get out of his early-season slump.

"Whether he realizes it or not, I think he starts trying a little too hard, and that's natural," Manuel said. "It's what you do. The more you struggle, the worse it gets, and the bigger hole you dig for yourself. It can become a head game. But at the same time, I think he just has to find his swing.

"He's confident. He knows that it's just a matter of time before he gets it. I think that's what's more frustrating for him. He thinks that he should be able to come out of it real quick."

Rollins endured a similar slump to open the 2004 season. He batted .180 through May 6 before recovering to finish at .289 with 190 hits.

So, how will Rollins find his way out of this slump?

"You've got to swing your way out of it," Manuel said.

PHILLIES 5, DODGERS 3: Jayson Werth matched a franchise record with four stolen bases and Chan Ho Park provided his second straight quality start as the Phillies won the opener of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park. Werth, who had two hits, capped his active night on the bases by stealing home in the seventh inning and became the third player in franchise history to steal four bases in one game.

After throwing six shutout innings last Wednesday in New York, Park allowed two runs and seven hits and didn't walk a batter in six innings.

Raul Ibanez picked up a two-run double in the fourth inning to give the Phillies a 4-2 lead.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 13, 2009

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