Charlie Manuel has this habit of giving a player the day off only to summon him mid-game to pinch-hit. Thank goodness.
Last night's beneficiary of a partial day off was Shane Victorino, who'd been hot as a fire cracker until an 0-for Saturday night. So what does Shane do on his day off? Pinch hits, what else! The first time he rode a fly ball deep to left center with men on. The next time he rode the ball over the fence for a game-winning three run homer. I shudder to think where the Phils would be without him, days on and days off.
Brett Myers threw a very good game last night, making only one big mistake. He held St. Louis to two earned runs in six innings, giving up four hits, striking out three, and walking no one. He three sixty-four pitches overall and made enormous strides in what had to be a real confidence booster for him and the club. St. Louis presents a tough lineup, as opposed to the Nationals last week, and Myers met the challenge. The game was also broadcast on ESPN, increasing the audience and, no doubt, the pressure on him. The Phillies have always faltered lately on prime time, so the win was big for all concerned. Coupled with losses by both Florida and New York, the victory also increased the Phils leads over both.
There is no rest for the weary as the Phils get set to host the Marlins for three games at the Bank, beginning tomorrow night. Today the entire team gets the day off...with no likelihood Charlie will relent and call on all of them to pinch hit. Right, Charlie?