It's Pedro In Game 3

pedro 1.jpgAnd your Game 3 starter is … Pedro Martinez.

Is this a surprise? Not really. Martinez basically said he would be starting following Game 2 yesterday.

“First of all, we think he’s very healthy,” Charlie Manuel said. “The first thing you’re going to ask me is about the weather. He has pitched in cold weather. He pitched in Boston and also pitched a playoff game against us when I was in Cleveland where he came in with a bad arm. He went about five or six innings in a playoff game, and it was cold that night.

“He’s says he’s ready and up for it.”

Manuel said the Phillies will hold back Joe Blanton because it gives them a stronger bullpen. That indicates to me that J.A. Happ, who Manuel said is OK after suffering a bruised left leg yesterday, will be the Game 4 starter. Of course, that could change. I mean, I never thought Manuel would use both Blanton and Happ yesterday.

“We feel like Blanton’s a horse,” Manuel said.

But I have one concern about Martinez, other the fact it’s going to be ridiculously cold tomorrow night and I wonder how he will handle it. He has thrown just four innnings since Sept. 19. Martinez said yesterday his biggest obstacle would be the layoff, not the weather. I agree.

“I feel like Pedro is capable of going anywhere from 85 to 100 pitches,” Manuel said. “And I think he can get you into the sixth or seventh inning if his command is good. … Pedro is in very good shape, a lot better shape than last year. He’s throwing quite a bit better. He keeps himself ready to go. He throws a lot on the side, and he’s ready to pitch.”

If he’s not ready to pitch, the Phillies could be down 2-1 in the best-of-five series facing elimination Sunday. Regardless, with Pedro on the mound Game 3 is an event. I’m looking forward to it.

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Heidi Hamels gave birth to a son, Caleb Michael Hamels, at 9 a.m. this morning. Congrats to Heidi and Cole. No word on when Hamels will rejoin the team.

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Ruben Amaro Jr. said Jamie Moyer has been in the hospital since Wednesday with some type of blood infection. Amaro said Moyer is OK, but could spend another night in the hospital.

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15 Comments

“He has pitched in cold weather. He pitched in Boston and also pitched a playoff game against us when I was in Cleveland where he came in with a bad arm. He went about five or six innings in a playoff game, and it was cold that night.”

**Years ago.**

Does Cole’s son have a name that we know of yet?

There is way too much uncertainty with the pitching staff to suit me. It changes like the wind from one day (or one hour) to the next. I don’t like it.
Holding back Blanton because it gives them a “stronger bullpen” reminds me of what they used to say about Greg Gross. They didn’t make him a starter because it gave them a stronger bench. It seemed like they were leaving one of their better options on the shelf.
Maybe I’m too much of a Blanton fan, but I don’t think he’s nearly as good out of the bullpen as he would be starting. Let the relief pitchers pitch relief. They were good enough for them to win 93 games and they should be good enough for them to win 10 more.

I truly love how entertaining Pedro can be in press conferences. He’s been to the big show and knows the pressure it can bring. I think the weather is going to effect everyone on the field. I wonder if Rollins will wear his “Elmer Fudd” hat like he did during the WS last year?? Also wonder how big a crowd they’ll get in the stands??

I don’t have a HUGE issue with the uncertainty of the pitching staff. It’s the play-off’s, and almost anything goes.

Todd…….Any truth to the rumor that they *might* push tomorrow’s game to Sunday? My son heard it on either sports radio, or online. The last I heard, the weather was supposed to be just as bad on Sunday. But that was a few days ago.

muleman, the bullpen was the biggest liability for the team all throughout the season (and I’m not just talking about Lidge), and they’re our biggest weakness now. There is no reason a starter can’t throw in relief. People are too obsessed with pitchers having “roles.”

I agree, phylan. Just throw the damn ball! (and don’t let the batter hit it. LOL!)

phylan & norma: I wish it were that easy. I guess the “roles” were OK last year though, right? That’s all the pitchers talked about was how they were comfortable in their roles. Sure, it flows backward from Lidge’s problems, but there is still the issue of game prep, and for a starter it’s much different than just “throwing the damn ball.” Hell, they don’t even know who the closer is.

Besides, wouldn’t you rather have Blanton and Happ throw 7 innings instead of 2? I would. I’m just not a fan of doing something for 6 months and then changing it for the last 4 weeks. It smacks of desparation.

We all know that the bullpen has been a disaster this year, so Charlie is in a bit of a no-win situation, but that being said, I think he has made some big mistakes over the last month:

1) Letting Pedro throw 130 pitches during that Sunday night game against the Mets. Everyone (including Miller and Morgan) questioned it at the time. Yes, he was pitching a gem, but 130 pitches for a 37-42 year-old guy (there’s a 5-year margin of error with Dominican players) who hadn’t really been stretched out yet was insane. Pedro was never the same after that.

2) Pitching Myers in 4-straight games not long after he came off the DL. He ended up straining his shoulder. Amaro neglected getting bullpen help at the deadline, assuming that Myers and others would come off the DL and slide into the bullpen, but Charlie rode Myers into the ground as soon as he got back.

3) Thursday’s use of Blanton AND Happ, which forces us to use Pedro and his stiff neck in winter-like conditions. Blanton and Happ were arguably the 2 most consistent starters over the course of the season, and for neither of them to start one of the first 3 games of the NLDS is ridiculous. If Pedro doesn’t have it in game 3, we are in big, big trouble. Was it worth going “all in” in game 2 at the risk of screwing up the rest of the series?

Charlie is a very lovable guy, but I think that he has really butchered things here. You have to wonder how much Jimy Williams is missed.

“Nothing that any of you write here on this blog will change anything.”

Including what you just wrote.

Nothing that any of you write here on this blog will change anything. A lot of the analysis is really pretty embarrassing. That is probably because it is based on absolutely no knowledge of what is happening in the clubhouse and the manager’s office. I am assuming that no one posting here has any sources inside the clubhouse. Is that a safe assumption? Here’s an idea, just watch the games and see what happens.

Thanks for the idea, bolenbak. Why don’t we just shut down the entire internet, and put all columnists, bloggers and message board posters on leave until after the post season? Who cares about anyone else’s opinion, no matter how irrational they may be. Can I have your autograph, bolenbak? You are so much smarter than the rest of us, oh great one!!

I guess 85-100 pitches is acceptable, just as long as there not all in the first 3 or 4 innings…
~peter
Outside the Phillies Looking In
http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com

TO all you guys getting on Pedro’s back (or neck) relax. Blanton and Happ are able to pitch today as well, if needed. If not, one of them starts game 4 with Lee going in game 5. While ideally they would have been used as starters, the pitching staff isn’t ideal this year. Blanton did a good job out of the pen, (threw 19 pitches) and Happ threw 4 before taking that line drive. Theoretically, they can both pitch today, and then split the starter’s role tomorrow if needed, each going 3 innings, before turning it over to the “pray and see” staff in the pen.

finkbomb, thanks for helping to bolster my point! No, you can’t have my autograph.

Unfortunately muleman, you’re right. Enjoy the games everybody.

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