Shane Victorino Making Best Leadoff Impression for Philadelphia Phillies

April 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Philadelphia Phillies players make manager Charlie Manuel look like a genius time after time.

The latest blow to the defending National League champions was leadoff man Jimmy Rollins landing on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained calf muscle.

No problem.

Juan Castro filled in nicely at leadoff in the first game without Rollins. In a 7-4 win on Monday against Washington, he hit an RBI double.

Castro had to lead off because Rollins’ name was already on the lineup card. Rollins was pulled shortly before the start of the game.

With a day off Tuesday, Manuel inserted Shane Victorino from his seventh spot in the order to bat leadoff.

Victorino responded with a 4-for-5 night at the plate with a home run, triple, three runs scored, and five RBI. His .161 average jumped to .250 after Victorino’s career night in a 14-7 win over Washington.

The win pushed the Phillies to a National League-best record of 7-1.

Before I get too excited, however, this is the Nationals, last year’s bottom-dweller in the National League East. The Nats are 3-5 so far.

In the Phillies’ four games against the Nationals, they have scored 40 runs.

I don’t care what team the Phillies are playing—if you throw slop up against them, they will score runs. Or if the opposing pitcher walks men on base, watch out. The Phils will capitalize.

Get the starting pitcher out of the game and let’s see how good your bullpen is.

One such opportunistic player is Victorino.

The bigger the stage, the better he performs.

Remember his grand slam against CC Sabathia in the 2008 NLDS? Or the day the Dodgers’ Hiroki Kuroda buzzed Victorino near his head in the 2008 NLCS? The next day, he hit a game-tying home run in the Phillies’ 7-5 victory over the Dodgers in the key Game Four of the series.

“I told (Rollins) before the game, I’m going to take that job from you,'” Victorino said in a Philadelphia Daily News story. “I was joking, of course. He helped me a lot during the game.”

All Victorino has to do, from here in, is get on base and steal some bases.

Victorino stole 25 bases in 2009 and 36 in 2008.

This Phillies team is talented.

They will play better teams than the Nationals after today’s getaway game.

The Florida Nationals will be coming into town over the weekend.

Roy Halladay (2-0, 0.56 ERA) pitches Friday in the opening game against the Marlins.


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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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