Frustration mounting for Manuel, Phillies

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and pitcher Cliff Lee. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

Milt Thompson chatted with Jimmy Rollins on the field before Sunday night's game at Citizens Bank Park.

It's been over three years since the Phils fired the former hitting coach in an effort to fix a slumbering offense. In case you haven't noticed, offense remains a problem.

The Phillies have lost 13 of their last 14; in seven of those games they've scored fewer than two runs.

In Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Braves, the Phillies had two hits in the game's first seven innings; they had just three base runners reach scoring position.


Do Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard have another great year in them?

One of those base runners, John Mayberry Jr., was picked off second base with two outs and Chase Utley at the plate. It was the kind of mistake that never excusable, but it looks even worse when the scoring opportunities are few and far between.

“I can’t explain to you how the guy can be holding him on, how he can have a short lead … and he gets picked off,” Manuel said. “(Plays like that) inexcusable. When you’re playing like we are now, you’ve got to really be concentrating on staying focused and playing the game right and cutting down and eliminating mistakes. ... The more that you see mistakes and the more you see somebody keep making mistakes over and over and over and over, that might tell you what kind of player that he is. If I’m going to be responsible, I think other people have to be responsible too, especially the ones that play the game.”

The offensive effort as a whole was not something that Manuel was particularly pleased with, either. 

“We squared up what, 3 balls? Four balls? In nine innings?” Manuel said. “We had all our righthanded hitters in there. We definitely have to stop this somewhere … I don’t see no really ‘getting after it’ in those at-bats. We look like we take it very casual. Like it’s “we’ll get ‘em next time.’ No, that’s not good enough.”

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