Michael Young's two-run homer helped the Phils in a 7-3 win over the Giants. (USA Today Images)
To some, the trade deadline can be a distraction.
Not to Michael Young.
“I’ve been doing this since I was four,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be glad when it’s over. But I get peace of mind when I’m playing.”
Young, playing amidst a torrent of trade speculation, kept his eye on the ball, literally and figuratively, Tuesday night. His two-run home run in the sixth inning helped key a 7-3 win over the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park (see Instant Replay).
The win, of course, snapped an eight-game losing streak that caused clubhouse dissension and turned the Phillies into deadline sellers. All eight losses came on a road trip that concluded Sunday.
“It’s nice to get back in front of the home crowd,” Young said. “I don’t think they held that road trip against us too much. There’s no way around it. We needed a win and it’s nice we got one.”
Carlos Ruiz also smacked a two-run homer, his first of the season. Like Young, he is a candidate to be moved before Wednesday’s 4 p.m. deadline.
Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon are also trade possibilities. Lee is a long shot to go because the Phils are asking for multiples of top prospects and a vital organ. Papelbon is a long shot to go because of poor recent performance and a high salary.
“I wouldn’t call the trade deadline a distraction,” Young said. “The bad part is we lost games to put us in this position. I’ve been on both sides of it. It’s nicer when you’re going to add.”
Though there are hurdles, Young is the most likely Phillie to be traded (see story).
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “But I do know if something happens the Phillies will give me a call.”
The call would be a necessary precursor to a deal because Young has a full no-trade clause.
Manager Charlie Manuel has seen his team melt in the days before the trade deadline. He’ll be glad when it’s over.
“It has been a distraction,” Manuel said. “Very much a distraction. There’s been a lot of talk about it and that plays a part with how guys think and everything. I’ll be glad when it’s over.”
A crowd of 36,492 showed up.
“Being home helped,” Manuel said. “The atmosphere helped. Losing eight in a row … that’s a pretty good losing streak.”
The Phils’ previous six games (all losses) had been against first-place clubs. The Giants, who won the World Series last year, were easier opponents than St. Louis or Detroit. The Giants entered the game having lost 22 of their previous 30 games to fall into last place in the NL West.
Giants starter Barry Zito allowed four hits and five runs in 3 1/3 innings. He is 0-7 with a 9.97 ERA in nine road starts this season.
Meanwhile, Phillies starter John Lannan had what Manuel called “a John Lannan game.” The left-hander went seven innings and allowed three runs.
“He took us to a good place in the game,” Manuel said.
Antonio Bastardo and Justin De Fratus took the Phils the rest of the way.
Cody Asche made his big-league debut as a pinch-hitter and popped out.
Domonic Brown remains on the disabled list with concussion symptoms and could be out another week, Manuel said.
Despite being six games under .500 and 11½ games out in the NL East, Manuel presses on.
“We’ll come out and try to win tomorrow and see if we can’t get something going,” he said.