Speed pass: Phillies not afraid to use their legs

Shane Victorino has been taking chances on the base paths. He also clubbed his first homer of the season Thursday.

After suffering through four punchless games, the Phillies’ offense finally arrived in a 7-1 rout of the Marlins. It was a good sign watching five players finish with multiple-hit games. But it was more than the bats that impressed Charlie Manuel.

The offensive-minded manager is pumped with his team’s aggressiveness on the base paths. Third base coach Juan Samuel has taken some calculated risks, like waving Ty Wigginton home in the opener last week. And then there are the stolen bases. Juan Pierre and Shane Victorino swiped a pair of bags each during Wednesday’s beatdown of the Marlins.

“It’s good that our guys are stealing bases and using their speed on the base paths,” Manuel said. “We have to get them into a position to let them use their speed.”

You can’t make the first or third out at third base is one of the cardinal rules of baseball, but Victorino took that risk when he stole third against Josh Johnson.

How did Manuel feel about him doing it?  “It’s good as long as you make it,” Manuel quipped. “But the good thing about that is that it shows that this team is not going to sit there and do nothing.”
GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is all for thievery on the base paths.

“I like seeing the stolen bases because it’s all about creating opportunities. If Jimmy [Rollins], Shane and the guys at the top of the order steal bases, that turns into run opportunities and that’s something that we need to do.”

Pat the Bat to return in May

Pat Burrell will retire as a Phillie. The first overall pick of the 1998 draft will sign a one-day, minor-league contract and throw out the first pitch May 19 when the Phillies play the Red Sox. 

Burrell is fourth in franchise history in homers with 251 and eighth in RBIs with 827.

Will Manuel be tempted to use Pat the Bat against the BoSox?

“If I could move somebody else around, maybe,” Manuel joked. 

3 things we saw

The Phils beat the Miami Marlins 3-1 Thursday night at the Bank. Here’s what we saw:

1. Ty one on. We’re still not sure how 1B Ty Wigginton caught a throw by Joe Blanton that appeared destined for right field with a man on second. He somehow held on to the bag. He also blasted a homer to give the Phillies a two-run cushion.

2. Love the glove. Freddy Galvis made two tremendous diving grabs to save runs. Hunter Pence made a sliding catch with a runner on second, which preserved a Phillies lead.

3. Big Joe. Joe Blanton (1-1) pitched like an ace. He outdueled Mark Buehrle, who was perfect through three innings, gave up three hits, one run and a walk in seven frames.


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