Charlie Manuel let ‘er rip after yesterday’s sweep-securing loss to the Dodgers:
“I thought we lost that edge quite a while ago, if you want to know the truth. We don’t scare nobody. I’ll tell you something, we used to have a swagger. We used to be kind of cocky in a real good way. And teams used to definitely fear us. I definitely don’t see that fear no more. I don’t see that. I’m sorry. No, I don’t see where we scare anybody. Nobody backs down from us. Matter of fact, they come right at us. They take it right to us.”
I dunno. Doesn’t seem like swagger or fear or anything like that is the issue. The issue is that their cleanup hitter is Ty Wigginton, their second hitter is Juan Pierre and the guy leading the offensive charge yesterday was Mike Fontenot. It’s the quality of the players, not their attitude, that is causing the Phillies problems right now. For that you can blame injuries and the front office, not Cholly or determination or a swagger deficit disorder.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.