(Note: I started writing about how Manny should thrive against a team like the Phillies, a team that has a line-up stacked with strictly left-handed batters -- Utley, Howard, Ibanez -- and guys who switch hit, but spend most of their time hitting left-handed -- Rollins, Victorino. Unfortunately for me, the stats don't back that argument up at all. Rollins and Victorino are both really good right-handed -- in fact, looking at his OPS splits, Victorino is actually a lot better right-handed -- and Utley kills lefties and righties. Only Howard is appreciably worse against lefties. So that one's a non-starter. Still ...)
I chuckled when I saw this line from Manny in last Wednesday's Journal Sentinel:
"I've got to do a better job of attacking the hitters and getting outs," said Manny, echoing the sentiments of every Brewers fan who has been subjected to one of his patented 100-pitch, five-inning, never-stop-nibbling-at-the-corners clusterfucks.
So what does Manny do tonight? Seventy-seven pitches, 45 strikes, three walks in four innings.
Manny Parra is the poster child for not trusting your stuff. I don't think there's any debate that he's got the goods -- a plus fastball, good off-speed pitches -- but he pitches like he's Jamie Goddamn Moyer. He's so deep into his own head that it's almost comical.
Now, at this point, I'm legally obligated to parade the caveats: he's still young. He's only in his second full season. And, yes, we're still only two weeks into the year.
But yet ...
Dude knows what he has to do to succeed. It's apparent from that quote in last week's paper. He gets it. But, based on his work thus far, it seems there's still a pretty sizable gap between Manny knowing what he has to do and Manny doing what he has to do.