08/24/10 7:34 PM ET
Scoring remains a concern
By Mike Radano / Special to MLB.com
"The pitching has been really good," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I can't say enough about our starting pitching. We are very capable of scoring runs, everybody knows that, but I don't know."
The Phillies entered Tuesday night's game with Houston at Citizens Bank Park having scored two or fewer runs in four of their last five games. The offense had managed to hit just .214 (34-for-159) in that span and an anemic .156 (5-for-32) with runners in scoring position.
According to Manuel, it's not just one thing, but everything as a whole.
That said, this team goes as Jimmy Rollins goes, and the veteran shortstop has struggled for consistency after injuring his right calf before the home opener. Rollins is hitting .252, but has come to life to a certain extent, hitting .342 (26-for-76) over his past 18 home games.
"I think Jimmy Rollins missed a lot of time," Manuel said. "Every now and then, you'll see him have a good day, hit the ball hard a few times, and then the next few days he won't hit much. That's about getting in a rhythm."
Manuel able to pencil in regular lineup
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel did something on Tuesday afternoon that the veteran manager hasn't been capable of doing for the better part of the 2010 season.
For just the seventh time this year -- eighth if you include the home opener, when Jimmy Rollins injured his right calf during his pregame routine -- Manuel's lineup looked like the version drawn up this past offseason when general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. assembled the Phils' roster.
Manuel wrote out the following lineup Tuesday: Rollins, Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz, with Cole Hamels on the hill.
Due to an oft-mentioned steady parade of players to the disabled list, Manuel has made due with bench players such as Wilson Valdez, Greg Dobbs and Ross Gload as only Werth and Ibanez have not made a trip to the DL.
Coincidentally, the last time the Phillies were able to run this lineup on the field came on May 21 against the Red Sox, and Hamels was the starting pitcher.
"I got them in there tonight," Manuel said with a smile. "It's good to have everybody tonight, but we have to start scoring some more runs."
Myers played role in Werth's pickoff
PHILADELPHIA -- It was a mistake that Jayson Werth doesn't need to be reminded about.
"I haven't talked to him," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said one day after Werth got picked off second by Astros catcher Humberto Quintero after an intentional walk was issued to Carlos Ruiz. "More than likely, I will say something, but it's something that speaks for itself. You are going to mistakes. That's going to happen. You have to play the game the right way."
As it turns out, the pickoff was the product of a perfect storm of coincidences that worked against the Phils' right fielder. To that end, it should come as little surprise that Astros pitcher Brett Myers was right in the middle of the bizarre play.
"I could tell when the play developed and Myers turned that he had opened up a lane," Manuel said Tuesday. "I knew what was coming. He was going to throw to second because the guy stayed there to cover."
But it wasn't that Myers made room for the throw down to second that stands out. Since Myers was involved, it came as little surprise that before Myers threw ball four, he turned and wagged his tongue at Werth on second. Kind of silly, but in a way, it worked.
"That's what put me on my heels," Werth said. "But the big reason it happened was, while I still had a field of vision, Brett was in my direct line of the catcher and [Quintero] threw the ball. It was Brett, [Quintero] and [Ruiz], all in the same periphery. So I didn't see anything. I did remember saying, 'What's that?' and see the ball at the pitcher's mound. I was dead at that point.
"The whole time, I was thinking, 'After he threw the first pitch, if he doesn't pay attention here, I could probably steal third.' I'm still thinking like that before that [fourth] pitch, then he looks at me and ... I was smiling as the ball was on its way. So between that and the little smokescreen where I got shielded on -- and that was the main reason -- it was terrible."
Manuel not fond of replay
PHILADELPHIA -- Charlie Manuel isn't a fan of replay, and that remained true one day after the Philadelphia manager was tossed from Monday's 3-2 loss to Houston by first-base umpire Greg Gibson.
Gibson ruled Michael Bourn did not leave the basepath on a bunt in the eighth inning as Ryan Howard dove to tag the Astros' center fielder. Bourn eventually scored the game-winning run and the Phillies relinquished a chance to gain ground on the National League East-leading Braves.
"I've said before they never used to reveal mistakes made by the umpire," Manuel said. "A close play, they would never show it. Sometimes, in my way of thinking, it may have been better left that way. They're human beings, they make mistakes, and it always leaves that guy, the manager or a fan, with a doubt. As long as there is a doubt, there is two sides, you're going to say, 'We got a bad call.'
"To me, I guess I liked not knowing if that makes mistakes. I don't like cutting up an umpire. I don't want to do that. I know that's a hard job and I know you are going to miss plays. I don't know what else to say about that."
Doc offers token of appreciation
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies clubhouse personnel hustled around the clubhouse before the game distributing a pair of boxes.
First, everyone got a Carlos Ruiz bobblehead figurine. Second, the Phillies got a keepsake they will never forget from Roy Halladay.
Halladay had watches engraved for not only his teammates, but all traveling and clubhouse personnel as a tribute to his perfect game at Florida on May 29.
Encased in a wooded box with a glass top was a watch. The top of the box read "Perfect Game, May 29, 2010" and the front read "We did it together. Thanks, Roy Halladay." On the Baume & Mercier is the recipient's name, line score and date.
"I'm completely blown away by it," left fielder Raul Ibanez said. "The way I look at it is, I should have been getting him something, you know? Because I've never even been on the field for one of those. They're so rare. Gosh, that kind of gesture is really moving. It's one of the classiest things I've ever seen."
"Absolutely amazing," manager Charlie Manuel said. "It shows how much he cares. It shows how much he's a part of our team and how he looks at us. That's the first time I've ever gotten something like that. It's very neat. It's very special."
Robertson signs Minor League deal
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies signed left-hander Nate Robertston to a Minor League contract. He will pitch Thursday for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Robertson went 6-8 with a 5.47 ERA in 19 starts this season with the Marlins.
Robertson threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the Phillies on April 18. After the Marlins released him, he made six appearances for Triple-A affiliate Memphis, which is St. Louis' affiliate. The lefty went 2-1 with a 9.45 ERA, but opted out of his contract because the Cardinals had not promoted him to the big leagues
Mike Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.