Off to a slow start at the plate, Phillies outfielder scores go-ahead run as pinch-runner
By Elliot Smith
Special to MLB.com |
WASHINGTON -- Ben Revere can't put his finger on why April has been such a tough month for him at the plate, but he realizes that his slow starts are an ongoing issue that's been difficult to shake.
"It's just one of those unlucky months," he said Saturday after finding out he wouldn't be in the Phillies' starting lineup against the Nationals. "I think this is the first time in April that I've hit the ball as hard as I have -- I don't know how many times I've lined out to guys, but that's the game of baseball."
But there are other ways to contribute besides with a bat, and Revere did just that Saturday to help the Phillies end a six-game losing streak, entering the game as a pinch-runner in the seventh inning and scoring the go-ahead run thanks to his speed. He stole second, moved to third on a flyout and scored on pinch-hitter Grady Sizemore's hard-hit ball to first in the Phillies' 5-3 victory.
"I just try to do everything I can, especially with me being on first and no outs -- everybody in the whole stadium knows I'm about to steal, so that was big," Revere said. "It's all about fundamental baseball."
Revere is 2-for-14 on the road trip and hitting just .158 on the season, numbers that fall below his normal April output. Revere is a career .229 hitter in April, but from May 1 on, he holds a career .296 average.
"I can't find nothing right now," he said before Saturday's game. "But you have to keep your head up. It's a long season. Hopefully I've got a lot more at-bats and a lot more games to play. If I can do that, I'll be alright. I've started slow before. As soon as the ball starts falling, the sky's the limit."
Revere struggled in Spring Training, as well, hitting just .205 in 23 games, and he noted that for some hitters, including himself, finding a groove can take a while.
"It does," he said. "Some guys just don't hit that well in April. I've seen guys who are hitting .500 in April, and by the end of the season, they're down to .230. Then you see a guy around the Mendoza Line for most of the first half end the year all the way up to .300. You never know what's going to happen. Like my grandfather says, 'It's not how you start, it's how you finish.'"
Revere has been out of the starting lineup for three consecutive games, but the speedster showed Saturday he always keeps his head in the game.
"You just have to have energy for your team," he said. "That's what matters. I was trying to get the funk out of this locker room a little bit."
Elliot Smith is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.