NEW YORK -- It’s only one win in a long season, but manager Charlie Manuel seemed to be more pleased than usual following Wednesday’s 10-6 victory over the New York Mets at Citi Field
Maybe because it was the way the Phillies won that pleased the manager. This was a game in which the Phillies combined a little bit of everything that Manuel had hoped to see more frequently as we near completion of the first third of the season.
The game included solid starting pitching, a comeback effort, timely hitting, and strong relief pitching (when the outcome was still in doubt).
And the players seemed genuinely excited, maybe because this was the type of game that the Phillies expected to win based on seasons past.
“The dugout was lively and everybody was into it,” Manuel said.
Cliff Lee pitched six solid innings, and is still without a win but he said that didn’t matter as long as the team won. Carlos Ruiz had the key pinch hit two-run homer that tied the score in the seventh.
Antonio Bastardo and Jose Contreras pitched shutout innings in relief when the game was still in doubt. Jimmy Rollins looks like he could be breaking out after a 3 for 5 game that included a three-run home run.
Brian Schneider got another big clutch hit, the double that enabled Manuel to pinch hit Ruiz for Lee, the move that turned the game around.
What Manuel appeared to like the most was that the Phillies grinded this win out. Manuel is a baseball lifer and he appreciates talent, but also a team that can fight. Too often this season that hasn’t been a trait this team has shown.
“When we stay with it like we did tonight, when we outplay the other team, when you are consistent, wanting it, you enjoy playing and have a passion for the game,” Manuel said. “Plus when we execute, we did some good things right in the game.”
Manuel also mentioned that the Phillies have now won two road series in a row. They took three of four in St. Louis and two of three at Citi Field. (Technicall, it's three road series in a row becaue the PHillies swept the Cubs May 16-17 in Chicago).
“Now we have to go home and win some games,” he said.
Amazingly the Phillies are just 11-13 at Citizens Bank Park.
More than win, he feels the Phillies need some victories like this recent one, where a team has to show its character and heart.
It’s only one game and nobody should suggest will turn things around but it did change the mood of the manager.
Besides enjoying the result, Manuel appeared truly proud of the effort and too many times he left the ballpark this season without a similar feeling.