PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Chris Stigall talked with Phillies Manager Ryne Sandberg on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT after a successful road trip where the team finished 5-2 against Atlanta and St. Louis (audio included below).
Sandberg was satisfied with the team’s performance but thought, with a few breaks, they could have accomplished more.
“It was a good road trip and as it turned out, we wanted it to be a little better because of the position that we put ourselves in. We had a couple close games at the end that we weren’t able to pull out, but all in all, looking back we played better baseball and it ended up being a good road trip,” he said.
He thought the team really rose to the challenge, playing back to back contenders after struggling at home against the lowly Chicago Cubs.
“The guys really stepped up to the schedule and to the task. It starts with starting pitching. The starting pitchers went out there and set the tone and then the biggest thing was our bats really came alive. Ryan Howard, in particular, was hitting two run homers just about every day,” Sandberg stated
Sandberg said getting on top early has been essential to their recent turnaround.
“That one piece that’s been missing is just scoring crooked numbers early in the game to allow our pitchers to now just attack the hitters and the opponent and put the opponent in the catch-up mode and that’s what we were able to do during those five games,” he said.
After this recent run, Sandberg is convinced the Phillies are still in contention for the division.
“Everyone is bunched together, it’s competitive… A lot of baseball left. I think it’s up for whoever is in there for the long haul. I like where we’re at and what we’ve done for this last week, really the last 12, 13 days. I like what we’re doing. We’re stepping up in the right direction,” Sandberg commented.