Phillies manager Joe Girardi thinks his offense just needs a change of luck to get going. But when your third baseman is 2-for-17 over the past five games and owns a .198 batting average, sometimes a reset is needed.
"It's been a tough road trip, and I just felt like he [Alec Bohm] could use the day,” Girardi said. “He's a kid that you never want to get the day off. But I mean, the last four or five days ... he's been scuffling.”
“It's actually worse when you're hitting the ball hard and making an out than if you're not hitting the ball at all,” Girardi said. “The frustration, I think, can really set in. So I'm just trying to let him reset a little bit. I thought his at-bats were good [Tuesday] night. I really did. The other day, you know, he probably should have walked in one at-bat, but they made an out ... so he's been victim of that a little bit.”
Bohm isn't the first player who has taken a game or two off to rest and find his groove. Andrew McCutchen was back in the lineup Wednesday night, and for the first time since joining the Phillies in 2019, he batted fifth. McCutchen has batted leadoff 18 times and second once.
McCutchen went into the game with just one home run and 10 hits in 65 at-bats, and his .154 batting average was his worst start ever through 19 games. Girardi said he didn’t put the left fielder lower in the lineup to take pressure off.
“I think there's pressure wherever you hit because everybody wants to do well, and you never know when the big situations are going to come up,” Girardi said. “You know, it's been a tough start for him. He wants to get going, and we want him to get going.”
McCutchen’s spot in the order had more to do with the number of lefties in the Phillies' lineup and the three lefties in the Cardinals' bullpen -- Génesis Cabrera, Andrew Miller and Tyler Webb.
Minor League award
Catcher Logan O’Hoppe, a 23rd-round Draft pick in 2018, was awarded the Bill Giles Award for outstanding efforts during Spring Training in Minor League Camp. The catcher appeared in one game during '20 Summer Camp and spent the rest of the season at the alternate training site in Lehigh Valley, Pa. This spring, he went 1-for-8 but with one homer and two walks.
It was not only O'Hoppe's talent that caught Girardi's eye.
“His heartbeat,” Girardi said about what makes O’Hoppe special. “You know, he's obviously a talented player, you don't win that award. I was really impressed how the game didn't speed up for him. Being a young kid that really hadn't played a whole lot, it looked like he belonged with us.”