Game 3: Martinez, Blanton or Happ?

And the Phillies’ Game 3 starter in the National League Division Series is:

  • J.A. Happ.
  • Joe Blanton.
  • Pedro Martinez.

Charlie Manuel would not say who it would be following today’s 5-4 loss to the Rockies in Game 2 at Citizens Bank Park. Manuel said the Phillies would discuss their options for Game 3 on the flight to Denver, but Happ, Blanton and Martinez each said they are willing and able to pitch Saturday.

Martinez seemed to think it will be him.

“I’ve been around long enough to know that it’s my turn,” he said. “According to the way everything went today, I’m supposed to get some action in there. And I’m looking forward to getting an opportunity to help this team. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do that.”

Blanton (12-8, 4.05 ERA) threw 19 pitches in relief to five batters today. He said Manuel knows he can bounce back quickly.

Happ (12-4, 2.93 ERA) replaced Blanton in the seventh, but faced just one batter after a line drive hit him just below his left knee cap. The Phillies said Happ has a bruised lower left leg. X-rays were negative. Happ threw a couple practices pitches after the ball hit his leg, but he didn’t stay in the game. A leg injury could preclude Happ from being an option Saturday – Manuel said after the game that “right now I’d say it’s between Blanton and Pedro” – but Happ said he is fine, and could have remained in the game if he had a few more minutes to compose himself.

“Absolutely not,” said Happ, asked if he considers himself out of the mix. “I feel like I’d be ready. I don’t anticipate it being an issue.”

Told that Manuel said Saturday’s starter likely would be Blanton or Martinez, Happ was surprised.

“He said that?” he said. “I should probably go in there. I think we’ll have to talk.”

Martinez (5-1, 3.63 ERA) has pitched just once since Sept. 19, and not since Sept. 30, when he threw just four innings against Houston. He said the long layoff would be more of a concern than forecasted cold temperatures and snow.

“Concerns?” Martinez said about the weather. “I’m going to enjoy the snow. Maybe I’ll be rounding the bases in a snowmobile.”

Game 3? Who ya got?

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14 Comments

Not a good day for the Fightins. Thought they might do what the Dodgers just did and pull a win out in the bottom of the 9th. (The Cardinals closer, Franklin, blew the save…..kept thinking about our own closer)

Hope Happ’s knee is okay. Saw him interviewed on the post game show. He’s just a terrific player/person. Very poised yet honestly said he wants to talk to Charlie about starting Sat.

M/M Hamels: hope all goes well on this exciting day.

Dumbest comment on this blog I have ever seen was the one by pherrisphain that is posted in this entry.

That was as confused as I’ve ever been watching baseball. We kept seeing pitcher after pitcher come in, and wondering why. Charlie was managing like it was game 5 when he was down in game 2.
I guess it’s Pedro on Saturday, since he’s the last man standing, as it were. All in all, a strange and unsatisfying day at the ballpark.

The dumbest move I have ever seen was bringing Happ into the game after the dumb move of bringing Blanton into the game.

“I’ve been there,” he said. “For this club, what I’m lacking right now, I might give them at the end. Experience. A cold-blooded person that doesn’t matter how big the game is. I’m going to stand right there. And if anybody fails, they can always count on the old goat to go out there and kind of stand up. I might do that.” Pedro Martinez, after his first start with the Phillies

Maybe Cole should be a good dad and take paternity leave for the rest of the playoffs?

Blanton or Happ can easily pitch on Saturday. Why is everyone thinking it has to be Pedro? Happ threw like 3 pitches and has a little boo boo on his knee. Blanton threw a few more. Scrape yourselves off the turf, cowboy up and play baseball. That’s what you’re paid for.

I agree. what’s the big deal? Blanton pitched one inning, and Haap not even. There’s an off day tomorrow, and a late start on Saturday. How much *rest* do they need?!
I was at the game. We all thought it was a riot, when Cliff Lee came in to pinch-run for Stairs, and gave him a big round of applause. But….who was left off the bench? No one. And we used most of our relievers AND starters. It was Lee or Pedro. LOL!

The thing I don’t understand is why they took all those pitchers and still wound up using starters in relief. Kendrick, Lidge and Durbin were sitting around while Happ and Blanton pitched. Meanwhile, they sure could use more bench help. Tying the game was an option, then they’re left with the 8 guys on the field (plus Bako). I guess part of the problem is that Bruntlett is the only other viable option – and that doesn’t fill me with confidence either.

Having Stairs as a pinch hitter is nice, but they wind up running for him, so any at bat is almost an automatic 2-player deal. That was the big issue with Burrell, and part of the reason Ibanez was such a great acquisition. What’s the point in having a player come off the bench if his success means you have to run another guy out there? He doesn’t hit a home run every time up.

Having Lee come in and run might have been amusing, but as they say, it’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.

Everything seems to have gone so wrong after a great game 1. The woeful offense returned to game 2, Hamels was erratic just like the rest of the year and now Manuel seemingly goes insane and panics throwing all of our starters out there with plenty of other pitchers avaiable. I know everything is always questioned, but why put Blanton and/or Happ out there – Kendrick or Durbin?? I even question Myers given his lack of use lately. Furthermore, the issue with pitching during the day seemed to be in Hamels head and then his wife is on the edge of spitting out their first baby, so why not put Happ in game 2 and then let the proud new daddy pitch AT NIGHT on Saturday??? Now, we’re faced with throwing the old man out there and looking down the barrel of going down 2 to 1. It’s so odd how things change so quickly.

For a guy who is supposed to be a players’ manager, Charlie seems to have a singular lack of confidence and loyalty in Happ. The kid has done everything they have asked and they still keep his head spinning. I don’t get it. The rational move here would have been to keep Happ out of the game and get him ready for game 3. That at least should be the plan in game 3 so he can go in game 4. Even better that game 3 is Sunday (iffy weather tomorrow) and Happ can be the guy. I don’t understand at all what is going on.
Is Charlie panicking?

Need to remember that none of us have access to how these guys REALLY feel. Of course they will all say that they are fine except for ” Hollywood” Hamels. Only the player, manager and trainer have the best info. But If all are well and I’m the manager, I’m tabbing Pedro to pitch. He’s WON more BIG games than the rest of the starting staff, combined, the weather will be COLD for whom ever pitches and Happ could use one more day to make sure that he is TOTALLY okay. Besides, I’d pitch Happ on Sunday ( if the Phils win Saturday) when I’m SURE that he is okay. If the Phils lose Saturday, I pitch Lee on short rest with Happ in reserve since the Rockies do not hit lefties THAT well. Lee has the whole off season to rest. If the Phils are DOWN 2 games to 1 , all bets are off and all hands are on board READY to pitch.

Anybody notice the Yanks/Twins get games off between the first 3 games, meaning the top 2 starts can easily go twice in the short series. What happens to the Phils/Rox? No breaks like that.

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