April 20 Camden Courier-Post:
“There haven’t been many hard-hit balls for the Phillies lately, but Jimmy Rollins’ shot to left field was scorched.
With runners on first and second and one out, Randy Wolf tossed a 66-mph curveball that got too much of the plate. Rollins turned on it, sending the ball on a rope to deep left field.
Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun read it off the bat, however, racing across the field to stretch and make the grab.
“That was a heck of a play,” Rollins said. “But it wasn’t smart hitting. If I’d taken the ball right over (third baseman Casey) McGehee’s head, it would have rolled all the way down to the corner.”
For over a week, smart hitting has been rare. The what-ifs have been routine.
In the end, it was a 9-0 Brewers win Tuesday — a game both tantalizingly close and woefully out of reach.
Roy Halladay wasn’t sharp, but until a horrific seventh inning, he kept the Phillies within striking distance.
That six-run seventh inning could have ended harmlessly, too, had Ryan Howard corralled a grounder off the bat of Prince Fielder that spun just out of reach.
The Phillies offense remained inept, mustering just two hits in the game, but had Rollins’ liner dropped, things might have been different.
“Different mind-set, different feel, different everything,” manager Charlie Manuel said.
But this is the line the Phillies must toe.
The margin of error is thin, and those missed opportunities won’t fade into the margins of the box score after another Phillies win.
This team needs a few breaks, and lately, the Phillies haven’t gotten them.
The team has lost back-to-back games for the first time this season, and it is just 4-4 in its last eight games.
“We’ll stay with it,” Manuel said. “We’ve been there before. Well grind it out. We’ll be all right.””
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