NEW YORK -- The most the Phillies can gain on the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Wild Card standings Tuesday is a half-game after rain postponed their game against the New York Mets at Citi Field.
The Phillies and Mets have rescheduled the game for 7:10 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Cole Hamels will pitch Wednesday's game as scheduled. Tyler Cloyd, who had been scheduled to pitch Tuesday, will pitch the series finale Thursday. Asked if a rainout could come at a good time for a team trying to reach the postseason, Manuel answered matter-of-factly: If the Phillies win these next two games, it's good. If they don't, it's bad.
Manuel certainly hopes the postponement doesn't cool off Jimmy Rollins' bat. He has been on a tear this month. He is hitting .324 (23-for-71) with three doubles, six home runs, 11 RBIs, eight walks, six stolen bases and a 1.007 OPS since Aug. 30.
"He has streaks where he gets real hot," Manuel said inside his office. "A few years ago, when he got in that 38-game hitting streak (2005-06), Jimmy keeps it. Jimmy is capable of holding it for a while, when he starts going good, like a month or two. His hitting gets consistent and he'll hold it for a while, and right now he's swinging real good."
Aug. 30 is a noteworthy date only because it is the game Manuel benched Rollins for not hustling on a popup.
Is it a coincidence Rollins has picked up his play since then?
"I don't know if that motivated him," Manuel said. "I think he knows when he makes a mistake. I think he's just playing good right now. But he's definitely hustling more and things like that. But he's just playing better. He's really helping us."
It could be said about any player on the Phillies, but when Rollins has impressive stretches like this, one wonders why he can't keep it up a little longer.
Or at least be a little more consistent. He is hitting .253 with 33 doubles, five triples, 21 home runs and 62 RBIs this season.
"Why shouldn't I think that of everybody?" Manuel said. "You can always think that. As a matter of fact, I do. That's the whole part of being a good player -- keep trying to improve."
Lee's past 14 starts put him in rare company
NEW YORK -- Cliff Lee dominated the Mets on Monday, continuing a trend.
He allowed seven hits, one run, one walk and struck out 10 in eight innings. He is 4-0 with a 1.63 ERA in his last seven starts, improving his record to 6-7 with a 3.27 ERA.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Lee has pitched at least six innings and not walked more than one batter in each of his last 14 starts. That ties Lee for the longest single-season streak of that nature in modern baseball history (since 1900). Christy Mathewson (1908) and Greg Maddux (1997) also made 14 consecutive starts in which they went six or more innings and didn't walk more than one batter.
Brown showing off his power for Phils of late
NEW YORK -- Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown is showing some flashes of power lately.
He is hitting .259 (7-for-27) with one double, one triple, three home runs, eight RBIs and a 1.115 OPS in eight games since Sept. 9. He hit .243 (28-for-115) with eight doubles, one home run, 13 RBIs and a .659 OPS in his first 35 games this season.
He seems to be pulling the ball more.
"That shows you the kind of hitter he has to be," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He still needs to use the whole field, but at the same time, when the ball is middle in, he needs to stay behind it and be smooth like he hit two balls [Monday]. That's when he's going to improve -- when he learns how he does it and what he needs to do to get there. That's where the power is at."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.