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Frandsen had great teachers in pinch-hitting career

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has said countless times that pinch-hitting is one of the most difficult jobs in baseball.

If that is true, then he should have plenty of respect for Phillies infielder Kevin Frandsen. He hit a bases-loaded, two-out double in the bottom of the ninth inning to clear the bases to defeat Kansas City on Saturday, 4-3. Frandsen is a career .313 (15-for-48) pinch-hitter.

Frandsen said he had some good teachers.

"I've been fortunate enough to play with a lot of guys," Frandsen said. "Mark Sweeney was one of the best pinch-hitters of all time. When I played with the Giants, I got to play behind him. He always said, 'You think in advance. You always be prepared to hit. It's not whether you're going to hit here or here -- just be prepared to hit.' Especially in the ninth inning, it's one of those opportunities where you never know."

Frandsen said he takes pride in his pinch-hitting.

"I just feel like it's a huge part of the team," Frandsen said. "As a pinch hitter, it's a huge team at-bat. There's not too many times you go up there thinking 'Oh, I need a hit for myself.'

"Pinch hitting is about getting a hit for the team and getting on base for whoever is down there or driving guys in to win a game or start a rally. Usually the pinch-hitter is a guy going up there for the opportunity to help out."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for
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