One of the more active players in the Phillies' dugout these days is an adrenaline-fueled Geoff Geary.
On the mound, however, he has been all cool, helping the team out of tough situations.
Geary has allowed just one of 17 inherited runners to score, which leads the majors. In the sixth inning of Thursday's loss to Washington, the righthander entered with the bases loaded and one out, but he got out of the inning without allowing a runner to score.
Don't think that he doesn't feel the stress.
"Lately the odds are against me, and getting out of it, you feel great," said Geary, who has a 2.45 ERA. "I'm so amped up after I'm done, I'm pacing back and forth in the dugout. It's a little more relaxing when there's no one on base."
Going in with little wiggle room requires a different mind-set.
"You don't have room for mistakes," Geary said last night. "I can't throw a pitch waist high and close my eyes and hope my outfielder runs into a wall and catches it. No, I have to throw pitches in certain locations and hope the umpire's going to call the pitches."
Manager Charlie Manuel said that his mental approach has helped Geary face the tough situations without melting.
"He comes in, and he's aggressive," Manuel said. "He can throw his breaking ball and fastball over the plate and get ahead of the hitter. He's getting good at that. It's determination. He's feeling good about himself."
The 30-year-old Geary recalled advice that former Phillie Turk Wendell once gave him about relaxing and soaking in the atmosphere.
"There's a lot of things that could go on in your head," Geary said. "It's see the glove, hit the glove. I try my best to not even worry about the runners on the base. I'm going with what's going right."
Success vs. Willis. Despite Dontrelle Willis' success against lefthanded batters, Manuel said he had no intention of sitting Ryan Howard today.
Howard is 3 for 8 (.375) against the Marlins lefthander, including a home run.
"That sticks out," Manuel said.-Shannon Ryan