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News » Philadelphia Phillies Notes, Quotes 2009-04-13

Philadelphia Phillies Notes, Quotes 2009-04-13

Philadelphia Phillies Notes, Quotes 2009-04-13
--OF Matt Stairs thought he might bat in the ninth inning Sunday, so he took exactly four warm-up swings in the cage. Then, on the third pitch he saw from Colorado Rockies closer Huston Street, the 41-year-old slugger launched a 90-mph fastball into the right-center field bullpen for a two-run homer that gave the Phillies a 7-5 win in the series finale at Coors Field. It was vintage Stairs, who has a simple philosophy for hitting: Grip it and rip it. "I was just trying to hit the ball as deep as I can," said Stairs, "and I was very fortunate it went out of the ballpark." Sounds simple enough, right? Stairs has 15 career pinch-hit homers, none bigger than in Game 4 of the NLCS last year when his two-run blast defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers. "Stairs is amazing, absolutely unreal," manager Charlie Manuel. "He amazes me because I had that job for five or six years. That's a tough job to do, and he does it pretty good. Hitting a pinch-hit home run is hard, especially when they know what kind of hitter he is."

--RHP Chan Ho Park, who edged LHP J.A. Happ in a competitive spring training fight for the Phillies' final rotation spot, became the latest Phillies starter to get pounded. In his first start of the season (he hadn't started since March 30 in spring training), Park served up four first-inning runs and five runs in 3 1/3 innings. Park said he had trouble throwing his slider effectively. In six games, Phillies starters have a 9.62 ERA and have allowed 11 homers. "It's early," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Once we get into the season more, we'll get a better read. This first week I don't get down on them because we don't win a game. I'd love to see them get off to a good start. But you've got to give a guy a chance and see him more. The more chances he has, if he settles in, he has a chance to have a big season."

BY THE NUMBERS: 9.62 -- ERA for Phillies starting pitchers through six games. Between them, RHP Brett Myers, LHP Jamie Moyer, RHP Joe Blanton, Hamels and RHP Chan Ho Park have allowed 31 earned runs and 11 home runs in 29 innings.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He has to pitch to get stronger. He has to get work in, and that's the only way he is going to get strong. It's just a matter of him getting work. The more work he gets, the better off he's going to be." -- Manager Charlie Manuel on LHP Cole Hamels' slow start.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 13, 2009

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