Charlie Manuel considered benching Shane Victorino before Saturday night's game against the San Diego Padres because of his recent struggles against right-handed batters.
But Manuel, loyal to a fault, decided to keep Victorino in the lineup and give him one more chance to get out of his funk.
Victorino backed up Manuel's decision by going two for four with two RBIs, a run scored, and an impressive throw from center field that quickly had Nick Hundley questioning his decision to round third and try for a run.
The Flyin' Hawaiian was having none of it and got Hundley by a mile. Brian Schneider applied the tag and that was that.
Victorino's performance, along with a fantastic outing by all four of the pitchers the Phils used Saturday night, gave the Phillies their second consecutive win over the NL West-leading Padres.
That's right. The team that couldn't squeeze out a single win against the Houston Astros has now won two games back-to-back against the Padres, arguably the best team in the NL this season.
But, that's the Phillies for you.
Joe Blanton scattered six hits over six innings, walked one and struck out three.
Blanton has suddenly found his groove and has looked great in back-to-back starts, and this time, with some backup from Victorino, he was able to turn it into a win and even himself out at 6-6 for the year.
Jose Contreras, Ryan Madson, and Brad Lidge each pitched one perfect inning to end the game.
They allowed no hits, no runs, and each struck out one guy. Lidge, coming off an embarrassing balk that resulted in his fifth blown save of the season, got his 18th save of the year by retiring the side in order.
Lidge, another guy Manuel has been 100 percent loyal to, also seems to be justifying the faith Manuel has in him. He just has to cut down on the silly mistakes that really get him into a pinch.
Cole Hamels takes the mound Sunday afternoon for the Phils, so without even seeing the game I can safely surmise that the Padres will win 2-1 after Hamels takes a no-hitter into the sixth and has it blown up by a solo home run.
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