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My Two Cents It Takes a Village To Get B

    • 358 posts
    December 4, 2022 6:56 AM EST

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Brett Phillips was having a big night for Tampa Bay on Monday, so it was almost stunning that they actually lost 3-2 to the Detroit Tigers. A big night for Phillips usually has that ''make a movie out of this'' kind of feel to it.Hollywood, you know.That happened on several nights in April, where he was making sliding catches as a pitcher and Those are Brett Phillips moments, feel-good moments, make-us-all-smile moments. Hollywood moments.But there is also the reality of baseball, and the fact of the matter is that local hero Brett Phillips, the pride of Seminole High School, has been Nico Hoerner Jersey really struggling of late. Prior to Monday, he was just 2-for-32 at the plate since April 29 with 16 strikeouts. That's an .062 average.That's all the fans see, too, what goes on in the game. What they don't see is all the work that Phillips was putting in behind the scenes, trying to change things. He put in hours and hours of work, in the batting cage, in front of TV monitors, in the weight room.And he wasn't alone. It takes a village to get this fixed. No one knows that more than Brett Phillips.Phillips went 3-for-3 on Monday night, with a single, a home run off the catwalk and a hustle double that helped tie the game in the eighth inning.And when the night was done, Phillips explained all the work that's been going in to fixing this me s. Because it has been, without question, a total team effort.The first thing Phillips did after the game was thank hitting coaches Chad Mottola, Dan DeMent and Brady North. He also gave a lot of credit to Rays' applied biomechanist Jillian Hawkinsas well as special a sistant Denard Span.Ive Albert Almora Jr Jersey been struggling lately. Its no secret, Phillips said. Its encouraging to have had the at-bats that Ive had tonight. Its a small step, and hopefully in a positive direction, and just continue to move forward. Were getting there, slowly but surely.''Finding the magic formula is never easy, but Phillips has been doing this for a long time. It's all about finding the right balance, and he and his team had detected a flaw, and have been working hard in fixing it."Talking about Jillian, our biomechanist, I showed her a video of back when I thought I was at my best, when I was in the minor leagues in 2014 or 2015,'' Phillips said. "I haven't felt that. I gave it to her, and that's what she does. She analyzes the body and how it works. She talks with the hitting coaches, and it's just been a group effort. They're in the trenches with me."We know how bad I've been, but tonight was very encouraging for myself. This team needs me to step up and produce, right? I depend a lot on my defense, but they're going to need me and my offense, too. For my coaches to be grinding through that with me, and helping me as much as they have and believing in me, It's helped me a lot.''During his interview with the media Monday night, Phillips grabbed a bat and showed what's been going wrong and more importantly how they are going about how to fix it,."When I was getting to a good load Mike Montgomery Jersey position and I was about to hit, my barrel was out,'' Phillips said during his description. "A good angle allows you to go directly to the ball. For me, I could only hit low and away because that's where my barrel fell. So if you pitched me up, I just couldn't get to it. She recognized that. We've been trying to get that point. It's been a mental block in the cages trying to get to that angle."It's a grind but that's what baseball is all about, making adjustments and moving forward.''It's been more than a year since Phillips has had a three-hit game, dating all the way back to a May 6, 2021 game against the Los Angeles Angels. In one night, his batting average went from .145 to .185, and he wants to build on that.Scroll to ContinueOne night is nice, but it doesn't cure everything. Phillips knows he needs to build on that going forward. Isolated moments aren't enough.Brandon Lowe is a good example of that. Last week, we had a nice chat about how the Rays' second baseman fixed things after hitting two home runs on May 7 at Seattle. He was hitting under .200 at the time, too,Since then, though, he's just 4-for-20, a .200 average, with no homers and just one RBI over five games. He's dealing with a back injury, and was put on the injured list on Monday. Top-hitter Manuel Margot (hamstring) is on the list, too.But for Lowe, that Brad Brach Jersey one game didn't change anything.The point? One good night is no guarantee for future succe s. It's just a starting point, and consistency needs to kick in, especially with guys out of the lineup. Phillips knows the rest of the lineup needs to step up, despite their early season struggles.Monday night showed the Rays' flaws as an offensive team. Hitters No. 5 through No. 9 in the order all five of them, Vidal Brujan, Kevin Kiermaier, Mike Zunino, Taylor Walls and Phillips all started the game hitting below .200.Phillips had a good night, but the other four were a combined 1-for-14. Brujan had the only hit, but he was thrown out at second trying to steal. So they literally had no positive impact on the game offensively.That needs to change."We have to have guys step up, Phillips said. We cant always depend on doing it late. Our pitching has done great all year long. Weve got to help them out early in the game and get a lead, so thats what were going to try and do. Weve all got to step up now with some guys out, and thats just the reality of it. Good teams, they get production from one through nine.Rays manager Kevin Cash knows that all too well, too. The Rays, at 21-15, are still on pace to win 95 games, and that's with the bats being relatively quiet so far. He's not overly concerned right now, because he does know the potential of this roster.Weve got to do a little bit more offensively early in the ballgame, Cash said. Were just not getting it done to the point that were capable of. I know were banged up, but weve still got plenty of guys that are more than capable of putting a little bit more pre sure on pitchers, and we didnt do that (Monday). Weve got good hitters, theyre just kind of on a team rut.For Phillips, having a good night meant a lot. He wears his ''Baseball is Fun'' t-shirt and hat for fun, but it's also what he's all about. He loves playing baseball, but don't think for a minute that a horrible slump like he's been on doesn't rip him apart inside.He wants to be succe sful, wants his team to win, wants to make sure the music is cranked up in the clubhouse after a win. He wants to have fun, too, like he did on the home Rowan Wick Jersey run, when he sprinted around the bases just in case after the ball clanked off a catwalk. It got a good laugh from everyone, too, one of those ''Brett doing Brett'' things.This is his hometown team, too, and he wants to see the Rays win. He knows he gets to play a role in that. This is his sixth year in the big leagues, and