Charlie Manuel addressed the media Tuesday night after the Phillies put up another goose egg to the Pittsburgh Pirates in their 2-0 loss. Their pitcher, Jeff Locke, came into the game boasting a 5.17 ERA and still the Phillies were able to only muster up four hits against him.
A ‘frustrated’ Charlie Manuel decided to call out his players after the game, but didn’t really identify any root cause behind their lack of offense. No one can really come up with a reason why the Phillies offense is so inconsistent this year.
Make no mistake, though, it is a potent offense. Ryan Howard stands as the flagship of that offense, but unfortunately he’s been pretty cold at the start of the season. That is somewhat the norm for him. Right now the right-handed slugger is averaging .274 with 1 HR.
Regardless, the Phillies have a lineup that is capable of putting up a lot of runs throughout the course of the season. With two of our elite players finally injury-free, expect the roster to finally have some firepower come ‘hitting-season.’ Delmon Young and Carlos Ruiz have both started rehab assignments and are expected to return soon. Chooch can return as soon as this Sunday.
I attended Monday night’s victory over the Pirates and was amazed at the lack of attendance in Citizens Bank Park. The place was barely filled. Granted, it was a cold night, the wind was rough, but it’s fair to say that CBP doesn’t get sold out like it used to. Our night’s attendance was somewhere around 35k. Tuesday night’s was the lowest since April of 2008, coming in at around 31,000.
I think that can be a good thing, however. We certainly aren’t the favorites for the NL East anymore, and it’s nice to have that facade of being a superpower disappear. Expectations can surpass talent, as I believe it did in 2010.
Though a lot of the press is searching for answers to the Phillies’ inconsistencies, I still feel comfortable about this team. At least our hitting, anyway.
Here’s what Charlie had to say Tuesday night: