Phillies need to clean things up

Jimmy Rollins has been a key piece of the Phillies for a long time, but his run with the team could be nearing an end. Credit: Getty Images
The Phillies lead the National League with nine errors through eight games this season. Credit: Getty Images

Ryne Sandberg likes nothing more than sound, fundamental baseball.

He must hate watching the team he manages then.

The Phillies, in a three-game stretch spanning from Sunday against the Cubs through the first two games at home against the Brewers, have allowed 10 unearned runs.

That’s right, 10 — six of which came from errors. And the Phillies have committed plenty of those as well, leading the National League with nine through Thursday afternoon.

“We definitely have to tighten that up,” Sandberg said. “We have to work at it, we will talk about it. Some of those plays are routine and we have to make the routine plays.”

Though it isn’t reflected on the field of play, the Phillies players know they have to clean it up on the field. But this is the big leagues and it’s easier said than done.

“We just have to bare down and make a couple plays,” Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown said, “that’s really it. It changes the ball game those plays. We have to keep our head up and keep battling.”

Prior to Thursday’s season finale against the Brewers (who have outscored the Phillies 19-8 in the first two games of the series), Ryne Sandberg made sure the grounds crew had the field ready early. His team needed some extra practice.

But Sandberg is optimistic the hard work will pay off in the long run.

“That’s possibly early-season stuff that we’re still in the process of ironing out,” he said.

Pettibone likely to start Saturday

The Phillies will need a fifth starter for the first time Saturday, and after David Buchanan tossed 93 pitches in Lehigh Valley Tuesday, all but eliminating him from consideration, all eyes look to be on Jonathan Pettibone to take the mound.

Pettibone has been out since spring training with shoulder soreness but is feeling better and has big league experience to fall back on.

He made 18 starts for the Phillies last season, posting a 4.04 ERA.

If Pettibone does get called up it will likely only be for two starts. Cole Hamels is expected to return around April 22. Metro



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