LOS ANGELES – As Charlie Manuel answered questions Monday night about how the Phillies could be one-hit (again), he sat and stared at the floor. The manager grabbed a pen and started doodling on a matchup sheet lying on his desk.
He didn’t provide many answers, really because he doesn’t have an explanation for his offense’s malaise. (One of the manager’s favorite sayings this season has been: “If I knew what was wrong, I’d fix it. Trust me.”) His clearest answer didn’t come until Tuesday afternoon when he wrote up his lineup card, the one that delivered an 8-4 Phillies victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jimmy Rollins led off. Placido Polanco batted second, Chase Utley third. Ryan Howard was the cleanup hitter . . . and, well, you get the picture.
“If we’re going to get it done, that’s our team,” Manuel said. “I believe in that lineup. That’s the one that carried us in the past. That’s how it has to be. I’ve stuck with some guys all year long and I don’t see no sense in not playing them now.”
Manuel’s faith was rewarded. The Phillies hit two three-run home runs Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. They tacked on runs when the Dodgers tightened the score and cruised comfortably to victory. They scored as many runs as they had combined in three previous games.