“The Phillies are without Chase Utley, Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard due to injuries.
But even without their All-Star regulars, the Phillies are winning with regularity.
Sunday’s 6-5 victory over the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park was their 14th in 17 games and kept them on the first-place Atlanta Braves’ heels — two games back in the National League East.
Manager Charlie Manuel attributed the Phils’ recent consistency to an attitude, planted during the last three runs to the postseason.
“You’ve got to play. I say that all the time,” Manuel said. “I’ve been in the game a long time and I’ve seen, if you’ve got the right mindset, the right kind of desire and passion and fight, this is a game where you stay at it. You help the winning part come along by how you look at things.”
Worrying about missing players, he added, is no path to success.
“Our guys come out to play their hardest every day,” Brad Lidge said after nailing down his 14th save, “because when guys get here — I’m talking about guys from other teams or guys who haven’t been here before — they know the reputation of our team. They want to come in and play as hard as they can because they want to fit in and I think we get the best out of people.
“Because our team is so deep, you take a couple guys away, we still have tons of good hitters, tons of All-Stars, in that lineup. So we’ll keep on putting runs on people and it’ll be really exciting when the big boys get back.”
Sunday’s win featured RBI singles by Ross Gload, playing at first base in Howard’s place, and backup catcher Brian Schneider. Gload is batting .357 as a starter. Wilson Valdez, playing second with Utley out, had two hits.
“(GM) Ruben (Amaro) has done a good job,” left-fielder Raul Ibanez said. “The people he’s brought in are quality players and they’re going to be a big part of the team. To win games with those guys out and knowing they’re coming back shortly is a confidence-builder for everybody.”
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