Sunday, June 12, 2011

Phils new lineup producing

Charlie Manuel may be on to something. After the Phillies blew the first game to the Cubs, on Ryan Madson's first blown save of the year, Charlie changed the lineup.

Shane Victorino moved up to the two-hole, where he hit often during the Phillies' World Series runs of 2008 and 2009.

Placido Polanco, a prototypical two slot batter was dropped into the five spot ahead of Raul Ibanez and Domonic Brown.

Normally, Polly should not be batting fifth. He's not a power hitter, even though he did hit a grand slam (his 100th career homer) in his first game in the five slot. He's much better suited to bat second and get runners in scoring position for the meat of the order.

But for that to happen, Jimmy Rollins needs to get on ahead of him, and the three-four-five hitters need to produce. None of those things were happening.

So Polanco, the team's most consistent hitter, moves into the five slot which has been a spot of frustration for this club all season.

It's not the most ideal lineup for the Phils, but it puts a batter behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard that is going to put the ball in play and more often than not, produce.

It's worked out so far. The Phils are 2-0 with that lineup with seven runs scored in each game, matching their highest run total of the month when they scored seven against Pittsburgh on June 5.

Roy Oswalt and the Phils look for the series victory today, but Manuel will have to rework the lineup as Polanco gets the day off.

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