The run that defeated the Padres tonight required agility from the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins, who eluded the tag of catcher Yorvit Torrealba and touched home plate, a play made close when Padres center fielder Luis Durango quickly charged a hard single and threw a strike. Not that Phillie manager Charlie Manuel, one of my favorites, gave Rollins anything close to a 10 on the gymnast's scale. "It ain't tough," Manuel said of the acrobatic move. "Hell no, if you know how to slide. The angle of the slide is what made it good." When a Philly writer asked Manuel whether it was wise to wave home Rollins (it was a no-brainer), Manuel replied incredulously: "He's going. What the hell, Columbus took a chance, man."
The Tattooed One held the Phillies to one run in seven innings, and if shortstop Miguel Tejada had less wear on his tires, maybe the Phillies don't score at all off him, the third-inning groundball getting by Tejada for the run-scoring single. Latos has allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last 13 starts. He lowered his batting average allowed to .192. His numbers in the last 19 starts: 12-2, 1.61 ERA. "He knows how to pitch," said Roy Oswalt, who did Latos one better, sending the Phillies into the ninth with a 2-1 lead.