Saturday, December 20, 2014

Game 19: Hot hands

PHOENIX — One game remains on this season-long road trip and for all its ugliness, the Phillies can break even with a victory Wednesday. That's saying something.

Game 19: Hot hands

Pete Orr will be in the Phillies starting lineup for the second consecutive day against the Diamondbacks. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Pete Orr will be in the Phillies starting lineup for the second consecutive day against the Diamondbacks. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — One game remains on this season-long road trip and for all its ugliness, the Phillies can break even with a victory Wednesday. That's saying something.

To do it, Charlie Manuel will use his 15th different lineup in 19 games. He's sticking with the hot hands — Laynce Nix and Pete Orr. And why not?

Jimmy Rollins will sit on the bench for the first time in 2012. He's 3 for his last 33. Orr has one more extra-base hit (four) than Rollins (three) in 59 fewer at-bats. With the day off Thursday, Manuel can give Rollins two full days to clear his head.

Nix was 3 for 3 in Tuesday's win and hit the ball hard. His slash line of .333/.391/.619 is the best for any Phillies player with at least 20 plate appearances. Small sample size and all, Nix has been halfway decent.

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1. Juan Pierre 7
2. Placido Polanco 5
3. Shane Victorino 8
4. Hunter Pence 9
5. Laynce Nix 3
6. Pete Orr 4
7. Carlos Ruiz 2
8. Freddy Galvis 6
9. Cole Hamels 1

Hamels has allowed six home runs in this ballpark in 26 2/3 innings. But he has a 3.71 ERA in four starts with 26 strikeouts against four walks.


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