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News » Phillies Notebook: Utley, Victorino talk about the mental side of a hitting streak

Phillies Notebook: Utley, Victorino talk about the mental side of a hitting streak

Phillies Notebook: Utley, Victorino talk about the mental side of a hitting streak
THE 30-GAME hit streak of Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman came to an end yesterday afternoon in Washington's 6-3 win over the Giants, meaning he will not eclipse either Chase Utley's 35-game streak in 2006 - tied for 10th all time - or Jimmy Rollins' 38-game effort in 2005-06, which is the eighth longest in major league history.

But it also means there will be a big weight off of Zimmerman's shoulders when the Phillies travel to Washington this weekend. Utley says he can relate.

"It's pretty much impossible to keep it out of your mind," said Utley, whose streak ran from June 23 to Aug. 3. "But I don't think it really changes, it shouldn't change, your approach or the way you prepare for a game."

How intimidating is a hit streak? Centerfielder Shane Victorino said the stretch he put together earlier this season weighed on his mind, even though it ended at "only" 16 games.

How does a player whose hit streak reaches 30 block it out?

"I'm sure you don't," Victorino said. "I know I didn't, even though I only had 15 games. Still, you want to keep it going. It's in your head: 'I got a hit streak going.' "

Utley kept silent during his streak, at times declining to even acknowledge questions about it.

"It was a daily thing that you knew you were going to be asked about, so it was definitely in the back of your mind," said the second baseman, who hit .405 with nine home runs and 30 RBI during his streak, "but that didn't take away from the fact that you still had to prepare. You still have to try to figure out a way to help the team win."

Double dipRighthander Brett Myers will start the first game of the Phillies' day/night doubleheader Saturday against the Nationals in Washington.

After last night's game, Charlie Manuel said young lefthander J.A. Happ likely will pitch the second game of the twinbill. Happ pitched an inning of relief in the 9-2 loss to the Dodgers but was removed from the game in order to preserve his availability for Saturday.

Credit for LopesOne day later, the topic of conversation at Citizens Bank Park was still Jayson Werth's steal of home in a 5-3 win over the Dodgers. Werth had four steals on the night, tying a franchise record. Charlie Manuel gave a lot of credit to first base coach Davey Lopes, who stole 557 bases during a 16-year major league career and is in charge of the Phillies' running game.

"Basically, we run when Davey gives indications or signs or kind of tells guys when to go," Manuel said. "If I don't want them to run, I can stop them. But that's the only [role] I play . . . I think it's very important that when I turned the baserunning over to him, I kind of committed to him. I not only trust him, but I believe he has shown me how good he can be. He's that good. We're very fortunate to have a guy like that."

PhillersRighthander Chan Ho Park said he suffered a cramp in his calf early in the Phillies' 5-3 win over the Dodgers on Tuesday night, which noticeably affected him several times throughout the game. The cramp eventually worked itself out, and Park is healthy . . . Shortstop Jimmy Rollins batted fifth for the second straight night . . . Dodgers manager Joe Torre told reporters before the game that manager Charlie Manuel has asked him to join his staff for the All-Star game in July . . . The Phillies have hired former Mariners (2000-05) and Diamondbacks (2007-09) pitching coach Bryan Price as a minor league pitching consultant . . . Suspended lefthander J.C. Romero is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Monday. Romero, who has been pitching in extended spring training in Florida, is eligible to rejoin the Phillies on June 3. *

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 14, 2009

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