The hits will come, according to hitting guru Charlie Manuel. The Phillies manager isn’t concerned that his team has had difficulty scoring runs in April.
“We’re going to hit better,” Manuel said. “I know that. We’re going to get extra base hits and home runs. It’ll be warm at [Citizens Bank Park] in May, and the ball will be jumping off the bat.”
The Phils looked like they had turned the corner Friday, after pinning 10 runs on the Mets. On Saturday, however, the team was held to two runs. With Roy Halladay dealing — he allowed one run in nine innings — it didn’t matter. That’s the way it has gone for the Phils — and they don’t sound too concerned.
“We’ll be hitting,” third baseman Placido Polanco said. “We’re too good of an offensive team not to be hitting. We just need to put nice swings on the ball. Make good contact and you’ll be all right.”
That’s easy for Polanco to say. His .398 batting average is second in the NL, and he already had 41 hits entering last night’s game.
“[Polanco] is such a professional hitter,” Manuel said. “He makes good contact just about every time he’s up. You never have to worry about him.”
You would think that Manuel must be concerned about Raul Ibanez, who hasn’t gotten a hit in his last 30 at-bats. The skipper also dispelled rumors that Ibanez is in a platoon with John Mayberry in left field.
“I’m confident in everybody I put out there,” Manuel said. “We haven’t hit what we’re capable of and we still have a real good record. Our pitching has been real good, and that’s why we have the record we have. But just wait until we start hitting. It’ll happen and we’ll be that much tougher to beat.”