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News » Philadelphia Phillies Notes, Quotes 2009-04-21

Philadelphia Phillies Notes, Quotes 2009-04-21

Philadelphia Phillies Notes, Quotes 2009-04-21
--SS Jimmy Rollins has been struggling at the plate, so rather than putting him in the lineup Sunday, manager Charlie Manuel told him to spend most of the game taking swings in the batting cage. From the third inning through the seventh, Rollins complied. First, he hit off a machine, and later, he faced batting-practice pitcher Ali Modami. Then, in the eighth inning, Manuel called on Rollins to pinch hit. "I looked at him like, 'Shoot, are you crazy?'" Rollins said. But Rollins belted a fastball from San Diego Padres reliever Edward Mujica for a solo homer that drew the Phillies within 4-3 in an eventual 5-4 victory. So the extra work worked, right? "Not really," said Rollins, 7-for-46 (.152) with a .184 on-base percentage this season. "Home runs are mistakes -- sometimes by the pitcher, sometimes by the hitter."

--1B Ryan Howard made 19 errors last season, the most by a Phillies first baseman since Nick Etten in 1942. So, back in January, he reported to Tampa, Fla., and started working with new infield coach Sam Perlozzo. The results are showing. Howard made three defensive gems Sunday, including two diving stops in the third and sixth innings. Both times, he made well-placed flips to the pitcher covering first base. "The hardest play?" Howard said. "I don't know. They were all pretty tough. I basically just try to go out there, throw some leather around and see what happens."

--C Lou Marson has been feeling as if he's cramming for a test. Marson, called up from Class AAA Lehigh Valley on April 11, has been scanning scouting reports, watching video of opposing hitters and talking with pitchers about what they prefer to throw in different situations. But, really, the best way for Marson to learn is by catching. "Learning the hitters is the big thing, and I can't do that overnight," Marson said. "It'll take experience to learn the hitters and things like that." Until C Carlos Ruiz recovers from his strained right oblique muscle, manager Charlie Manuel said he is likely give starts to both Chris Coste and Marson. "What (Marson) gets, he'll earn," Manuel said.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 -- Home runs allowed by RH closer Brad Lidge through April 19. Lidge allowed only two homers all of last season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Harry Kalas may have -- if you can look past Ben Franklin and William Penn -- been the greatest person ever to grace Philadelphia in the history of this city. As many lives as he affected over the time that he lived in Philadelphia and around this area, who would have had a bigger impact on the city? Who would?" -- Mike Schmidt.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 21, 2009

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