October 1 csnphilly.com:
ATLANTA – After being coy about his postseason pitching plans for several days, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel confirmed the obvious on Friday:
Roy Halladay will get the ball in Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park.
Manuel said he will go with Roy Oswalt in Game 2 next Friday with Cole Hamels getting the nod for Game 3 on Oct 10.
Oswalt and Hamels will need some work before then. They will both get innings in Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Hamels will start the game and Oswalt will get some work in relief.
Manuel caused a brief stir before Friday’s series opener against the Braves when he said that he was “concerned” about Hamels. He added that Hamels probably would not start Sunday’s game. As Manuel spoke, Hamels was throwing off the bullpen mound at Turner Field under the watchful eye of pitching coach Rich Dubee.
Shortly after Hamels completed his bullpen session, Dubee announced that the left-hander would start on Sunday.
So what was this “concern” that Manuel spoke of?
Turns out that Hamels has been battling a head cold and the Phils wanted to see how he made out in the bullpen before they announced him as Sunday’s starter.
Dubee has no concerns about the condition of Hamels’ arm.
“That’s damn good,” he said.
The Phils sent Kyle Kendrick to the mound in Friday night’s game. On Saturday, they will start rookie Vance Worley. In March, those two right-handers could battle for the fifth starter’s job. This weekend, they are trying to thwart Atlanta’s bid to win the NL wild card. Atlanta needs to win one of the three games in the series to earn a tie for the wild card and two of three to win it.
Even though his team has clinched a postseason berth, Manuel said he plans to honor the integrity of the game and try to win every game.
“It’s kind of what we plan on doing,” Manuel said. “It’s what we came here for, isn’t it?”
Throughout the series, Manuel will try to execute the dual mission of keeping his regulars sharp while making sure they get some rest as a long regular season comes to a close.
Jimmy Rollins, back in the lineup for just two games after missing three weeks with a strained right hamstring, will continue to get at-bats through the weekend. Placido Polanco, who received a cortisone injection in his sore left elbow on Tuesday, will get playing time on Saturday and Sunday. Bullpen stalwarts Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge will likely get some work on Sunday.
“It’s important to get some guys some rest, but it’s also important to have them ready [for the postseason],” Manuel said.
It seems as if 23 of 25 roster spots for the NLDS are locked up. The final two spots could come down to a couple of decisions: Do the Phils go with a second left-handed reliever, Antonio Bastardo, or do they carry right-hander Danys Baez? And do they carry Greg Dobbs or Domonic Brown on their bench?
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