Monday's win featured the little things that Polly has added all season.
Stats can never be the be-all and end-all in baseball. Placido Polanco, who finished the game 0-for-3, is a perfect example. If you watched the broadcast you heard Chris Wheeler repeatedly praise Polanco's approach to hitting. Nobody is less likely to hit one out these days than Polanco, including Wilson Valdez, and possibly even Brian Bocock. Polly has shortened his swing considerably since getting plunked on the left elbow by a Tim Hudson fastball, a condition that will require offseason surgery. At best, he'll muscle one into the gap; he did this last night by stroking one deep to left-center; but the wind held it up long enough for Matt Diaz to get under it. In my lifetime, I've seen few better situational hitters than Polly roll through town. As successful as the Phils were before bringing him aboard, they were missing a hitter like this. Give him a baserunner and he'll move him along. He'll always hit behind the runner and will always give himself up. He's itching to swing, but in certain situations, he'll kill you with patience, just as he did by drawing a smart lead-off walk to open the seventh inning. Additionally, his health issues haven't affected his glove or arm, which have been spot-on.
For as long as he's able to do the little things, the Phillies owe it to themselves to insert the best possible candidate into the leadoff spot, and right now it's Shane Victorino. The Phils have received everything they could have possibly wanted from their two-hole hitter. He's still one of the best in the business.