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Phillies confidence jolted by recent skid

WASHINGTON -- The Phillies are 4-17 since the all-star break and it is clearly a team that is pressing. The most common word used in the quiet clubhouse after Sunday's 6-0 loss to the Washington Nationals was "frustration."

Even though Jimmy Rollins said the team hasn't lost its collective confidence, manager Charlie Manuel had a different view.

"We've got some guys on some team that have been here a while who know how to win and how to play," Manuel said. "But sometimes when it goes bad, we don't have with (Ryan) Howard out that pop or power that sends us through games to score some runs and come back losing 4-0 or 6-0 like they did last night."

Manuel was referring to a Nationals team that trailed 4-0 in the second inning on Saturday and came back to beat the Phillies 8-5.

"When they got down 4-0, they came battling back," he said. "We really have to work hard to get back there. When we get off to a slow start or a bad start, we have to put together a big game."

In other words, these days, when the Phillies get down, they need a monumental effort to get off the canvas.

While Rollins said the team remains confident he did allow that individually it could be different in some cases.

"There is no confidence issue," Rollins said. "Maybe as an individual player you go around to each player and that could be an issue with them."

This is all of a sudden a team with many young players, including 10 who have competed this year for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Everybody talks about how the Phillies have to bounce back, how they have no choice but to keep fighting.

It's just recently, this is a team that appears to go into a fight understanding it has little chance to come out unscarred after the first punch is thrown.