It seems the Phillies are so on edge, and so confident in their ability to perform on the road, they are looking forward to tonight’s series in Atlanta, where they are in excellent shape to lose more games.
This business about playing tight at home has gone on for five or more years, and it’s time to assume it will only get worse. Players who freeze under home pressure should see limited action, including David Bell, who was singled out in the article I read this morning.
This isn’t cowing to fans. It’s smart baseball, something that has alluded manager Charlie Manuel thus far. Manuel continued to dig his own grave yesterday with questionable choices. For example, why was Ryan Howard sitting in game two? Did his creaky 26-year-old body need rest? To Manuel’s defense, this was the only substitution I disagreed with. There will be plenty of opportunities to sit Howard, including tomorrow, when the team is off.
If you were awake and listening at 7 a.m. this morning, Randy Miller was on 610 radio talking about yesterday's game, also in wonder as to why Howard was sitting.
One interesting tidbit from Miller said there is chatter around the team that Manuel would be better off taking advice from bench coach Gary Varsho.