Brad Lidge has a funny feeling the Phillies are about to start playing much, much better than they have played the past couple weeks.
I'm sure Phillies fans hope he's right.
The Phillies beat the Rangers last night at Rangers Ballpark, 8-6. Here's why Lidge is optimistic: the offense. The Phillies have scored 15 runs in their last two games. They had scored just 15 in their previous eight games. Chase Utley went 3 for 5 with two doubles and a home run, his first homer since June 13. He is hitting .444 (8 for 18) in his last four games. Ryan Howard hit a two-run home run, his first homer since June 16. Jayson Werth had two RBIs.
The Phillies scored three runs in the second inning to take a 3-2 lead, thanks to a Howard walk and consecutive singles by Greg Dobbs, Pedro Feliz and Werth. It's the first time the Phillies had hits in three consecutive at-bats since June 13, when they collected four in a row in the eighth inning of a 20-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
That's 12 games without stringing together three hits.
"It's about time," Charlie Manuel said.
This team is built around its offense. If it can't score, its pitching isn't good enough to carry it. So Utley, Howard, Jimmy Rollins and others need to start hitting. Lidge thinks they will. Time will tell.
“He’s trying to find it,” said Charlie Manuel, who had a lengthy talk with Myers yesterday afternoon. “Everything he does, it seems like it doesn’t work. Our game is not an easy game. This game bites you in the ass every day. You’ve seen guys walk up to home plate and look like they can hit everything up there. And that same hitter a month from now, he can’t even wipe his ass with a tent pole.”
That’s Myers at the moment. Myers, Manuel and the rest of the Phillies hope that changes.
In the Phillies Notebook, Geoff Jenkins talks about his 2-for-41 slump.
In The Inquirer's Sunday baseball column, Jim Salisbury tells us what's going on with maple bats ... and more important, why are maple bats such a big deal to players? Also check out Extra Bases, On Deck, Stats 'N' Stuff and Trade Deficit.