PHILADELPHIA - Ben Revere epitomizes the Phillies so far this season.
The center fielder does some things well. Revere entered Wednesday batting .303 (10-for-33). He had scored seven runs and stolen five bases.
But he's also made some glaring mistakes that have cost the Phillies games. Philadelphia has been as inconsistent as Revere. The Phillies (3-4) hosted the Milwaukee Brewers (5-2) in the second game of a key early-season 10-game homestand Wednesday night.
"You just have to keep playing no matter what," Revere said after the Phillies lost their home opener to the Brewers on Tuesday. "Sometimes you're going to make mistakes, but you can't have your head down."
Revere's mistakes have been easy to notice, because they've come at key times.
The Texas Rangers picked him off second base with one out on April 1. The play cost the Phillies a potential big inning in a game they would lose 3-2.
Revere also misplayed fly balls in Sunday's 8-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs and Tuesday's 10-4 defeat to the Brewers. Revere has made two errors in seven games this season. He made the same amount in 87 games last season. Revere broke his ankle last summer and missed most of July and all of August and September.
The Phillies still express confidence in Revere.
"It's still early in the season," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "(Revere) made some good plays in Texas."
The Phillies acquired the 26-year-old Revere in a trade with the Minnesota Twins in December 2012. Revere's defensive issues first presented themselves last season. He takes awkward routes to fly balls and often has to use his speed to chase the ball down at the last moment. Revere does not have a strong arm. Runners often take an extra base on him.
In fairness to Revere, center field can be a tough place to play at Citizens Bank Park. The position has its nooks and crannies along the outfield wall and measures 409 feet from home plate at its deepest point. Revere is also essentially replacing one of the game's best defensive center fielders in Shane Victorino.
The Phillies have made defense a priority under Sandberg.
"It's about repetition," Revere said. "Some days, the wind is going to be doing things with that ball in the sky. When I first got traded, that's what they told me. Again, my reads - it's part of the game, and you just have to keep at it."
Revere has little margin for error. He has no power at the plate. Home runs erase mistakes, but the 5-foot-9, 165-pound Revere has never hit a home run in 1,435 plate appearances. Since 1947, no player - except for pitchers - has been to the plate that many times without hitting a ball over the fence.
Despite his early-season miscues, if the 2014 Phillies are to be successful, they need Revere to play well. He must use his speed to get on base and create scoring opportunities.
"It's a good thing we play 162 games," Revere said. "We have a good ball club here. We just have to be ready to go."
Extra innings: Phillies second baseman Chase Utley was out of the starting lineup Wednesday night for the second straight game with the flu. Sandberg said Utley was available to pinch hit if needed. ... Jayson Nix replaced Cody Asche at third base in Wednesday's lineup. Sandberg said Asche needed a rest because he tweaked his hamstring in Tuesday's game. Sandberg said the injury is not serious. ... The Phillies did not make an official announcement but all signs point to Jonathan Pettibone starting Saturday's game against the Miami Marlins. That contest will be the first time the Philadelphia needs a fifth starter this season. Pettibone was 5-4 with a 4.04 ERA in 18 starts last season.
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