The blueprint to the Phillies’ success has long been hitting. Long ago, when Ryan Howard and Chase Utley were healthy, and perennial MVP candidates.
Now, that feared juggernaut is gone and the Phils must find new ways to win, like playing small ball. The Phillies, behind aces Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, know they have the pitching to get it done.
“We’ve been notorious for hitting the long ball and we haven’t been able to do it,” Hamels said. “All five starters that we have play to win every single game, and we’re pretty confident in the guys that we have are really good players.”
Skipper Charlie Manuel has been tinkering with his lineup card all season. In the series finale against New York, he got some big contributions from newcomers Ty Wigginton and Laynce Nix. That trend must continue, so the Phillies don’t put too much mileage on their millionaire rotation.
“If you don’t score runs, eventually it can wear and tear on your pitcher,” Manuel said. “We don’t want our pitcher to feel like every time he takes the mound he has to throw a shutout or he has to be perfect.”
Or, as Hamels noted, “Keep grinding because that’s where we show our true colors.”