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News » Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-05-15

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-05-15

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-05-15
After Thursday's 5-3 loss to the Dodgers in the rubber game of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park, manager Charlie Manuel offered a not-so-subtle message that the defending World Series champs need to play with greater fire.

"I know what our guys can do," Manuel said. "We can talk about it. We talked about how we played last year, and we talked about bringing it every day. We've got to get back in that pattern, and guys have to start getting after it."

Of course, it's common for a team to appear lethargic when it isn't hitting, and for the past week, the Phillies haven't hit a lick.

They were 16-for-89 (.180) and scored only 10 runs in three games against the Dodgers, and in the past five games (four losses), they're 27-for-153 (.176) with 14 runs. Over that five-game stretch, Jimmy Rollins is 4-for-25, Shane Victorino is 1-for-27 and Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are both 3-for-23. Jayson Werth, one of the few hot hitters, struck out four times Thursday.

"It's like a yawn," left fielder Raul Ibanez said. "One person yawns in a room, and all of a sudden, everyone starts yawning. I'm not smart enough to explain that. I don't know why it happens. But it's a gifted group of hitters. It's inevitable this team will hit."

Said Howard, "We've had funks before where everybody is scuffling at the same time, and we've gotten out of it. There will be those times when we're scuffling as a team, and there will be times when it's like, 'Can anybody make an out?'"

"Everybody expects to go out and have a good start, but I think we'd rather be 16-16 than 8-16 or whatever. We know we haven't been playing our best ball. But we're in the middle of May, and 16-16 is, what, a game out of first? We'll take that. It's all a matter of where you are at the end of September."

DODGERS 5, PHILLIES 3 (10 innings): Carlos Ruiz laced a two-out, two-run double to tie the game in the ninth inning, but the Dodgers scored two runs against reliever Chad Durbin in the 10th to win the rubber game of the three-game series at Citizens Bank Park and drop the Phillies' record back to .500 (16-16).

The Phillies have lost six of the last eight games, including three straight series, and they're just 8-12 at home. The first five hitters in the lineup -- Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth -- finished 1-for-20 with 11 strikeouts Thursday. Cole Hamels made another solid start, allowing two runs (one earned) and striking out nine in seven innings.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 15, 2009

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