August 29 Philadelphia Inquirer
“Charlie Manuel is loyal – perhaps, some would argue, to a fault. Before Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Padres, Manuel considered benching Shane Victorino, 1 for his last 23 against righthanded pitching.
But Victorino had decent success in limited at-bats vs. San Diego starter Jon Garland, so Manuel let him be. On Saturday, Victorino scored a run, drove in two runs and threw a runner out at home.
About 18 hours after Brad Lidge maddeningly blew his fifth save of the season Friday, Manuel inserted his closer into a save situation once again, just as he has after every Lidge stumble. Lidge retired the side in order on 17 pitches.
After suffering a four-game sweep at the hands of a hapless Houston team, the Phillies have started this critical West Coast trip with two tense victories over the National League’s best team.
“It says a lot about what this team is about,” Victorino said.
The Phillies lost two one-run games and a two-run game to the Astros. But they have won two such games here at Petco Park. Actually, in games decided by two or fewer runs, the Phillies are 35-23 (.603), the best winning percentage in the majors.
They have not scored more than three runs in six straight games, but still lead the wild-card standings and are lurking behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the NL East.
In San Diego, the Phillies have beaten the Padres at their own game – pitching and defense. Joe Blanton allowed one run in six innings. Victorino helped him with a fine throw to nail Nick Hundley at the plate.”
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