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World Series, Tampa Bay Rays: Phillies say things could be worse

ST. PETERSBURG — Shane Victorino prefers to look at things in the most positive way.

So after Victorino finished a steak and gravy dinner he described as "delicious" to teammate Jimmy Rollins, the Phillies centerfielder took a rosy view of his team's first two games of the World Series.

Yes, the Phillies went 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position in Game 2, 1-for-28 in the first two games. They're not executing and are making mistakes. But it could be worse, he said.

"Is it guys pressing or guys just not getting it done?" said Victorino, who went 2-for-4. "You want to get the job done, but unfortunately we're not right now. We were able to pull one off (Wednesday) night; we got ourselves in a situation to tie the game late in the game (Thursday), and that's without executing."

Manager Charlie Manuel said the game "might be one of the sloppiest games all year."

"I'm concerned about us hitting with guys on base, because it looks like at times we might be trying a little too hard," he said. "But we can fix that."

How?

"It kind of works itself out."

Without ace Cole Hamels providing the comfort zone, the Phillies didn't look like a team that strode into one of the most dominant home team's ballparks and swiped Game 1 of the World Series.

Brett Myers allowed four runs — three earned — on seven hits and three walks in seven innings.

"I made some good pitches tonight," he said, "and they found some holes."

A night after the Phillies proved they were more than a team of mashers, impressing Rays manager Joe Maddon with their fundamental soundness, they were hounded by physical and mental errors: Catcher Carlos Ruiz ripped a pickoff throw to first base into rightfield. RF Jayson Werth let a first-inning single by B.J. Upton squirt out of his glove and give Upton second and Akinori Iwamura third. Iwamura scored the first run on a Carlos Pena groundout a batter later.

And Werth was doubled off first base to end the fifth when rightfielder Rocco Baldelli caught a Chase Utley liner and fired in behind him.

"We didn't execute. We didn't get the job done," Rollins said.

Although there were chances, with five leadoff hitters reaching and 11 runners stranded, the Phillies' scrappiness was largely neutralized. Twice they failed to score with runners on second and third and one out or less.

World Series, Tampa Bay Rays: Phillies say things could be worse 10/23/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 24, 2008 1:22am]
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