Phillies Notebook: Phillies' Brown starting to show power

Posted: August 21, 2012

MILWAUKEE - Domonic Brown's biggest hit in the Phillies' 8-0 win over the Brewers on Sunday was a three-run double that cleared the bases in the third inning. But it was his last two at-bats that caught the attention of manager Charlie Manuel. The first was a blistering line drive that Milwaukee shortstop Jean Segura caught and then threw to second for a doubleplay. The second was an RBI single up the middle in the eighth inning.

"In his last couple of at-bats, the balls that he hit, he had real good balance," Manuel said. "His swing was smooth. That's what you look for."

Brown's double came on an outside pitch that he sliced to the leftfield corner. In the 3 weeks since the Phillies called him up, the lefthanded-hitting outfielder has hit a lot of balls the opposite way. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Brown, who also drew a walk against Brewers lefty Randy Wolf, finished Sunday hitting .269 with a .355 on-base percentage. But his double was just his fourth extra-base hit in 67 at-bats, and Manuel believes Brown's power will come when he starts driving the pitches that he sees over the plate.

"Some of those balls that he's been hitting to leftfield and left-center have been inside," Manuel said. "Not all of them have been away, but it looks like when they get ahead of him, they try to throw him away. He had a good day today. Especially the last couple of at-bats, he really got through the ball. That's a good sign. That's what experience and stuff will do for you."

New leftfielder

When the Phillies acquired Ty Wigginton from the Rockies over the offseason, they said the veteran had the potential to spend some time in leftfield, where he started 16 games for Colorado in 2011. On Sunday, he made his first start of 2012 there, and the Brewers wasted little time in testing him. Nyjer Morgan led off the first inning with long fly ball to leftfield. Wigginton did not appear to get a good read on the ball, which ended up sailing over his head for a triple. With the Phillies leading, 5-0, in the seventh, Manuel switched out Wigginton, moving Dom Brown from rightfield to left and putting Laynce Nix in right.

Dome delay

The roof, the roof, the roof was wide open when rain started to fall over Miller Park early in Sunday's game, resulting in a rain delay that officially clocked in at 7 minutes. Although the stadium features a retractable roof, it takes about 10 minutes to close, which was enough time for the infield dirt to begin gathering water. Two batters into the bottom of the first, umpires called time and allowed the grounds crew to perform some touch-up work as the roof finished closing.

Utley rests

Chase Utley was not in the lineup for the first time since July 15, a stretch of 30 straight starts in which he hit .241 with a .383 on-base percentage, .500 slugging percentage and six home runs in 108 at-bats. The second baseman missed most of the first 3 months of the season with a chronic knee condition that also sidelined him for a couple of months in 2011. His replacement, utility man Michael Martinez, hit a two-run homer off of Randy Wolf in the second inning to give the Phillies an early 2-0 lead.


Contact Dave Murphy at dmurphy@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter @HighCheese. For Phillies coverage and opinion, read his blog at philly.com/HighCheese.

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