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Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


The Phillies have 15 home runs this season against left-handed pitchers, including none (0) against Jon Niese Saturday in New York.

They are on a pace for 26 for the season, or more than a 50-percent plunge from the 53 they hit last year.

Scott Proefrock, the assistant general manager, does not sound in a rush to join Ruben Amaro in a frenzied chase for some added right-handed-hitting power at the trade deadline. But one Chuck Manuel is making some interesting noises.

“You know what?" the manager said after an 11-2 loss Saturday to the Mets. "If we are going to generate runs and score more runs in the second half, we are definitely going to have to hit left-handed pitching. I don't have to talk about it. All you have to do is look. That kind of tells the story. I don't have to say anything negative about it. Just look at what it is. I mean, that tells the story and that shows that we have to improve.”

“Also, our right-handed hitters have to hit left-handed pitchers better too. If you look, Victorino has a high batting average against lefties. And I think Polanco, too. They are not in the game. The rest of them, all you have to do is check it out.”

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