Jimmy Rollins had been on the tip of everyone’s tongue the past two weeks. Unfortunately, it wasn’t always for the right reasons.
His hitting slump, combined with a tentativeness on the basepaths, had led many to question his value to this Phillies team. Not after Sunday, when Rollins provided the signature moment of the NLCS, blasting a three-run double.
“I was glad I was the person up there at the moment and able to come through,” Rollins said. “But you don’t celebrate until you win four games. And once we get to that point, then you can look back and say that was a big hit.”
Prior to Game 2, manager Charlie Manuel had been bombarded with questions on his struggling shortstop. Why not put him back in the leadoff spot? Why not move him down to No. 7? Why not bench him? But Manuel stuck with “his guy.”
“I know how good he wants to be up there or how much he wants to be up there,” Manuel said. “Stay right with you, son. I’ll go down with you.”
Not playing? That never entered Rollins’ mind. Instead, he worked hard in the batting cage before games and in between at-bats. Sure, Rollins trusted his skipper, but he had faith in his own ability even more.
“God gave me this talent, and I’m going to do something with it,” Rollins said. “You lose confidence in that, like I said, you’ll be going home and I don’t plan on doing that anytime soon.”