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11/05/09 3:08 AM EST
Manuel laments Phillies' offensive woes
Skipper cites effectiveness of Yankees lefty pitchers
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- As Phillies manager Charlie Manuel contemplates how things might have proven different in this year's World Series, he won't concern himself with wondering what might have happened had he opted to bring Cliff Lee back on short rest in Game 4.
"At the same time, their left-handed pitchers, I felt like, did a good job on our left-handed hitting and stopped them, and that is a big part of our offense," Manuel said. While Chase Utley matched a World Series record with his five homers, the other powerful left-handed presence in the Phillies lineup, Ryan Howard, entered the offseason having just struck out a record 13 times in a Fall Classic. With Howard unable to establish the offensive dominance he displayed during the first two rounds of the postseason, the Phillies were forced to enter this offseason with the taste of disappointment that they'd eluded one year earlier, when they found themselves staging a World Series celebration. "When you play in the World Series, somebody is going home," Manuel said. "I don't know if I like it or not, because all of a sudden you play four out of seven and then you lose and someone tells you go home, the season is over. It seems like it's over real quick." Exactly one week after enjoying a Game 1 victory over the Yankees, Manuel and his players found themselves regretting lost opportunities and looking forward to the chance to begin a journey that they hope leads them to a third consecutive World Series appearance. "I told them go home and have a great winter and enjoy their holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I'll see them in Spring Training with the idea -- our goal is to come back and play again, and hopefully we play the Yankees again," Manuel said.
Swing and a miss
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.