Oct 222010
 
Phillies C Carlos Ruiz

Phillies C Carlos Ruiz

October 22:

Phillies news and stories from around the web…

Manuel flips Polanco, Utley in lineup

October 22 Camden Courier-Post:

“If Phillies manager Charlie Manuel had his druthers, he would go with one lineup and stick with it.

He hasn’t been able to do that this season.

The Phillies have had a plethora of injuries this season. And even when they have been healthy, they have struggled offensively.

That has left Manuel mixing and matching, trying to get the right lineup against a particular pitcher.

It was no different in Game 5, when Manuel changed his lineup once again.

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Injured or not, Utley isn’t the same right now

October 22 Camden Courier-Post:

“It was only six weeks after Chase Utley had surgery on a torn ligament in his thumb that he told the Phillies he was ready to face live pitching again — two full weeks ahead of schedule.

It was late August, and the Phillies were in the thick of the pennant race. Utley was tired of being a spectator.

So now that the playoffs are here, and every game is under a microscope, Charlie Manuel wouldn’t expect his second baseman to offer up any news about an injury. So when Utley says his struggles at the plate in the National League Championship Series aren’t due to injuries, Manuel has little choice but to believe him.

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Werth gets it done for Phillies with bat and arm

October 22 Philadelphia Daily News:

“At times, it seems as if it would take a cannon to shoot a ball over the rightfield wall at AT & T Park. The power alley is forever, and the brick wall is about two stories high. The only hope is down the line – and even at that, the ball really needs to be hoisted into the night sky.

Jayson Werth’s ball was.

“I hit it good, but I’ve hit a lot of balls good here to rightfield and they’ve gone nowhere,” said Werth, whose ninth-inning home run provided some comforting insurance in the Phillies’ 4-2 win over the Giants in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.

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Halladay, Burrell don’t see eye-to-eye

October 22 Philadelphia Daily News:

“Roy Halladay glared.

At home-plate umpire Jeff Nelson? At complaining hitter Pat Burrell?

Either way, Burrell didn’t like it.

Halladay had just struck out Burrell, the former Phillies slugger, on a borderline pitch to end the first inning, a low offering that Burrell watched. Earlier, Halladay was visibly upset that Nelson did not call another pitch a strike.

As he stalked off the mound toward the Phillies’ dugout, Halladay glared.

In explicit, vulgar terms, with a reference to Halladay’s possible Oedipal issues, Burrell rhetorically asked Halladay what he was looking at.

Still, Halladay glared.

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Rollins flashes some of his old magic for Phillies

October 22 Philadelphia Daily News:

“The single and two stolen bases in the seventh inning came to nothing, but might have meant so much.

Certainly, that sequence in Game 5 last night signaled that Jimmy Rollins is back, recovered from the hamstring injury that cost him 15 starts down the stretch and, nearly as significantly, cost him his explosiveness for 6 weeks.

Rollins did not score last night. Ross Gload lined into a doubleplay and the score remained a 3-2 Phillies lead.

He had done all he could, though, after a ground out and a strikeout.

But this is why his teammates and his manager remain as confident in Rollins’ abilities as Rollins is himself.

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Phillies flying home in pilot’s seat for Game 6

October 22 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Rich Hofmann:

“The 2010 Phillies are the team that drove expectations more than any team in franchise history. It is a big statement, but true. They are the team that managed to convince the two most hard-to-convince cities, Philadelphia and Las Vegas, that they were going to win the World Series. A week ago, the world was sure that a championship was nigh. As the great man sings: High hopes, indeed.

This morning, after a detour to the edge of despair, those hopes remain alive. This morning, in fact, it is possible for the Phillies to look themselves in the mirror and see a team with a real chance – not just a puncher’s chance, but a real and viable chance – to get back to the World Series again.

That is what happens when you win Game 5 of the National League Championship Series, 4-2, over the Giants. For a while, after the Game 4 horror show, it looked as if the whole thing would end up lying in a tumbled, broken mass on the ground. For a while, it seemed that all that remained was the arrival of the coroner, and the final autopsy.

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Halladay gets by with guts and guile

October 22 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Sam Donnellon:

“He said it the other day.

He says it all the time.

“The bottom line is the final score,” Roy Halladay told people dissecting his previous two postseason starts and his well-chronicled struggles against the Giants. “How you get there doesn’t always necessarily matter as much.”

Halladay and the Phillies got there the most excruciating way possible in last night’s 4-2, Game 5 victory. From the moment he tweaked his groin while striking out Cody Ross to start the second, to the final pitch he threw to end the sixth – another strikeout, this was a grind with a big G. Shortening his stride to compensate for the discomfort, sacrificing both speed on his fastball and his customary pinpoint control, the Phillies’ ace also scraped and scuffled through some chilling downpours and some uncustomary emotions throughout, but left with a one-run lead, with his team in position to push this National League Championship Series back to Philadelphia.

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A three-ring circus of a third inning

October 22 Philadelphia Inquirer:

“The way Game 5’s top of the third inning unfolded before a big San Francisco crowd wearing bright colors Thursday afternoon, you half-expected to hear the public address announcer issue a warning about the brown acid.

As it turned out, the psychedelic Phillies’ inning, which featured more oddities than those that reside in the Giants’ clubhouse, would end up being a bummer for San Francisco.

The three Philadelphia runs that inning, scored in blow-your-mind fashion, were enough to keep the Phillies’ 2010 season alive, their 4-2 victory sending the NL Championship Series back to Philadelphia for Saturday’s Game 6.

“That was a strange inning, pretty much from start to finish,” said Shane Victorino. “But we hustled and we hung in there and we made something happen.”

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Manuel: Lidge wasn’t an option in Game 4

October 22 Philadelphia Inquirer:

“Even if Roy Oswalt did not volunteer to pitch in Wednesday’s Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, Brad Lidge would not have thrown the ninth inning, Charlie Manuel said.

More than likely, either J.C. Romero or Kyle Kendrick would have entered the game before Lidge, the Phillies’ manager said.

“We might have tried to do something with those guys,” Manuel said.

The reasoning behind that was twofold. First, Lidge did not pitch more than an inning in any outing during the regular season. Second, Manuel wasn’t about to use his closer unless he had a save situation.

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Giants have rally thongs malfunction against Phillies

October 22 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist John Gonzalez: 

“Nuke LaLoosh has his head filled with all sorts of ideas in Bull Durham, most interestingly that wearing a garter belt under his uniform will distract the minor-league pitching phenom and prevent him from overthinking things on the mound. Trouble is, he can’t figure out how to put it on.

“The rose goes in the front, big guy,” catcher Crash Davis says, helpfully.

That’s the trouble with performance-enhancing underwear – it’s complicated. And it doesn’t always work.

Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff has received a lot of attention for promoting the benefits of his red, rhinestone-studded “rally thong.” Back in September, Huff started wearing the unusual lingerie and bragged that it would produce “20 wins” for San Francisco. More than a month later, with the Giants in the National League Championship Series, rally thongs are everywhere in San Francisco – waved by fans in the stands and passed out freely in the clubhouse.

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Slowly, the tide is turning

October 22 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Bob Ford:

“The subtle change that took place in AT&T Park on Thursday night, almost lost amid the din and the towel waving and the amazingly clutch 4-2 win by the Phillies, just might have been baseball beginning to turn its back on the San Francisco Giants.

These things don’t always follow through, and the Phils are still deep in the woods of the National League Championship Series – their next loss is their last, with two games potentially remaining – but after a couple days of making things hard for themselves, the game suddenly got easier. This time, it was the Giants who made it a calculus puzzle.

“Momentum is the thing in a short series,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “I feel good about our chances going back home.”

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