He didn't go so far as to say that his team was playing without fire or was too content. Still, Charlie Manuel made it clear on Wednesday that he expects to see more out of his slumping offense than the Phillies have provided so far.
"Our slogan has been we do it because we wanna do it, not because we have to do it," Manuel said before Philadelphia's 2-1 win over the Rockies on Wednesday night. "... If there's anything wrong, it may be because maybe we better want to do it a little better."
The Phillies offense has been mired in a funk for most of the season, scoring less than three runs in 23 of the club's first 42 games. Wednesday night's five-hit outing was the fifth straight for the Phillies, the first time the club has done that since July 1969.
A large part of that could be attributed to injuries. The Phillies have played every game this season without second baseman Chase Utley in the middle of the order. They have been forced to improvise at catcher with injuries to Carlos Ruiz and Brian Schneider. Lately, they also have been without center fielder Shane Victorino, who has been bothered by right hamstring soreness.
"I've always said this, resting this guy, resting that guy, there's a reason why guys are bench players," Manuel said. "You put one in the lineup and a lot of times you can get away with that. You put two in the lineup and you might get away with that. When you start putting three and four and five, then you're running into trouble. ... I'm not saying our team is in a slump. We just don't have what I call our regular players, guys we pay the money to put in the lineup and hit."
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