PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel loved the hustle Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco showed in Wednesday's 7-6 comeback victory over Colorado.He hopes to see more of it. "That shows how the game should still be played," Manuel said. Of course, that isn't reality. Some players simply do not run hard down the line during every at-bat. In fact, Manuel said he can name only one player in baseball that he sees run hard down the line every at-bat. "The left fielder for Washington," said Manuel, referring to rookie Bryce Harper. What about Chase Utley? "Yeah, but he hasn't been playing," Manuel said. "Stop and think about that. I've seen guys come to the big leagues young and be tremendous players and all of a sudden they'll run about halfway down the line." Manuel says players tell him they don't run hard because, "'The season is 162 games, everybody else does it,' things like that. If you want to ask me why you accept it, I guess there's 29 other teams that accept it, too. Do I like it? I think you know my answer."
Phillies need another strong second half
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel thinks 90-92 wins might be enough to win the National League East.The Phillies would have to finish 57-35 (.620) to win 90. "Eighty-eight might get you something," Manuel said, referring to a Wild Card. The Phillies have a .614 winning percentage after the All-Star break since Manuel became manager in 2005. That is the second-best mark in baseball. Only the Yankees (.621) have won more after the break in that time. The Phillies also have a .622 winning percentage after the break over the past five seasons when they have won five consecutive NL East championships. That is the best mark in baseball.
The Phillies have been linked to Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis in recent weeks, and the Phillies have had top scouts Gordon Lakey and Ed Wade watching the Red Sox.
It remains to be seen if the Phillies are a fit, but Youkilis can play first and third base, which would prove handy, considering Placido Polanco has had trouble staying healthy and nobody knows what to expect from Ryan Howard once he comes back.
Howard is still rehabbing in Clearwater, Fla., following left Achilles surgery. The Phillies said this week that Howard could begin a rehab assignment in the next week or two. A reporter held out his iPhone as a voice recorder Wednesday, when Manuel asked him if he ever talked to Siri. Manuel got an iPhone this year and uses Siri, the phone's voice-recognition software.
"I talk to her every now and then," Manuel said.
And how does that go?
"She doesn't understand baseball," he said.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Phillies' walk-off victory Wednesday was their first with no RBI recorded for the winning run since May 4, 2008, against San Francisco. In that game, Ryan Howard scored from second base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning on Eugenio Velez's fielding error on a ball hit to second by Geoff Jenkins.
It also was the Phillies' first win this season when trailing in the eighth inning or later.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.