What would you do?
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What would you do?
David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
It's a question that Charlie Manuel asked to a reporter last night who questioned whether the manager should re-visit his line-up given the Phillies' poor offensive showing against the Braves last night.
So, what would you do?
Obviously, a lot of attention is being paid to the lefty-lefty-lefty middle-of-the-order Manuel rolled out last night, particularly because Braves lefty closer Mike Gonzalez struck out Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez with two men on base in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.
But don't forget that a righthander stymied the Phillies for the first eight innings. Frankly, I think a lot of times the righty/lefty talk is overblown. I understand the value of balance in a line-up. But just because I'm right handed doesn't mean you want to see me in the box splitting up Howard and Ibanez.
Keep in mind that, for all the talk of how the Phillies struggle against lefties, they actually hit better against them (.257) last season than they did against righties (.255). As a matter of fact, the team's left-handed bats hit better against lefthanders (.229) than their right-handed bats hit against righthanders (.224).
There is an argument to be made that Jayson Werth should hit fifth in this line-up. It makes particular sense against left-handed starting pitching. But Werth is a much better hitter against lefties than righties, so when a righty is on the mound, does it make sense to stick him between three lefties who, theoretically, should feast on righties? Plus, keep in mind that the Phillies need someone at No. 2 to both get on base for Utley, Howard and Ibanez as well as move Rollins and the bottom of the order over and home (Both of which Werth did last night in the ninth inning out of the two-hole).
It is a pick your poison situation. In the end, it comes down to putting the ball in play, regardless of what side of the plate you hit from.