How Will the Rotation Look?

Thumbnail image for lee b 1007.jpgHow would you set up the Phillies’ World Series rotation?

Charlie Manuel said earlier today he would discuss that with Rich Dubee, Ruben Amaro Jr. and others this weekend. I would not expect the Phillies to make an official announcement anytime soon, but it’s obvious that Cliff Lee will start Game 1. I would start Cole Hamels in Game 2, despite his recent struggles. As much as he has struggled — he is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts this postseason — he still has one of the two best arms in the rotation. He was one botched double play from allowing one run through five innings in Game 1 of the NLCS. He allowed three solo homers in Game 5, but he wasn’t getting knocked around the ballpark (i.e. walking people and giving up four or five hits an inning). I still take my chances with him on the road.

I know everybody would like to see Pedro Martinez pitch Game 2 at Yankee Stadium, but I’d rather have him pitch Game 3 at home. Martinez went 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in five starts at home this season. He went 3-1 with a 5.66 ERA in four starts on the road, not including the seven shutout innings he threw in Game 2 of the NLCS. Martinez also is 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA in his last five postseason appearances against the Yankees. I’d rather have Martinez pitching in front of the home crowd in a place he has been more successful than in a place where he will be hearing “Who’s your daddy?” chants.

Manuel said he more than likely will use right-hander Joe Blanton and left-hander J.A. Happ in the bullpen to start the series, but either of the could start Game 4. The Yankees have an .846 OPS against left-handers and an .837 OPS against right-handers. The Angels have a .793 OPS against right-handers and a .788 OPS against left-handers. Maybe they go with Blanton against the Yankees and Happ against the Angels, although Blanton is 0-3 with an 8.18 ERA in four career starts against the Yankees and is 3-7 with a 3.48 ERA in 15 appearances against the Angels. Happ allowed four hits and two runs in six innings May 23 in a 5-4 loss to the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. He has never faced the Angels.

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Lee said he would be willing to pitch on short rest, but I only see that happening if the Phillies drop their first two games and they get into desperation mode.

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Amaro said there remains a chance somebody like Brett Myers could make the postseason roster. Who would they bump? Left-hander Antonio Bastardo has faced just two batters this postseason. Maybe they go elsewhere.

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17 Comments

I hope they drop Bastardo and add Myers on. Myers has the experience and has time to rest up and heal. This is the big stage and we need all of the folks who we know can get the job done. Plus since this may be his last go with the Phillies, I’d like to see Myers get the chance to pitch.

So, help me out with this. Todd wrote this on the Phillies web site: Much of how the rotation lines up depends on how long the American League Championship Series lasts and who wins.

Why would it matter how long the series lasts? The World Series starts on Wednesday regardless.

There is a chance the ALCS will be rained out tonight. In a perfect world it will be and the Angels will win game 6 therefore extending the ALCS as long as possible. Of course the most perfect world would be for the ALCS to be extended to Tuesday. Oh well, one can dream.

pherris: A glance at the Bronx weather forecast shows a 90% chance of rain right up through 11:00pm. However, with Selig at the wheel, who knows what could happen. They could play 6 games and end in a tie.
Monday and Tuesday look good, though, as much as I’d like to see a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday!

Mule: the reason for caring how long the ALCS lasts is simple. THe longer it lasts the more starting pitchers have to go for the Angels and Yucks. In other words, they won’t have the chance to arrange their rotations as they want, but will be dependent on who pitched last when, on how many days rest etc. Imagine if CC has to pitch game 7, he can’t pitch game 1 two days later, can he?

f.i.j.: The way I read it, Todd was referring to the Phillies’ rotation, which has nothing to do with how long the ALCS lasts. Certainly, I understand it from the AL viewpoint. Did you really think I didn’t know that?

I think depending on which pitcher of the opposite team we face depends on who we put on the mound, so the length of the ALCS has much to do with how we place our pitchers on rotation. if they for instance can only put on the mound a 3rd or 4th starter because of rest then we can go with Martinez or even Blanton and save Happ and Hamels for stronger opposition pitchers…
just my theory on what Todd meant…
~peter
Outside the Phillies Looking In
http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com

Lee, Hamels, Pedro…and add Myers.

outside: That’s probably what Todd meant, but I don’t believe in matching up pitchers. You put your best arms out there regardless of who’s on the other side. Clff Lee pitches against the Yankees or Angels, not the other pitcher on the mound.

At this point, a win is a win, regardless of who is on the other side. Why should the Phillies wait for the other team to decide? They’re the defending champions, so f*** what the Yankees do. Put your rotation up and dare them to match up. Waiting is defensive and passive.

jimmymack: There’s no way Myers is starting a WS game. Get serious.

Mule: I think it was a matter of doing match-ups, which I also, don’t agree with. As for Myers, it’s clear that he’s in the pen if he’s on the roster, no one thinks he can start. The question in my mind, is do we want Myers or Kendrick to replace Bastardo. Kendrick gives us a long reliever and frees up Blanton and Happ a bit from that job. Myers brings in experience and late inning possibility.

I don’t agree with matching pitcher to pitcher, either. But who knows what Charlie’s thinking? And he’s usually right! They’re probably thinking a Lee/C.C. match-up. (If the Yucks even make it!) But if C.C. can’t pitch the opening game, Lee could get pushed back. And who wouldn’t want to see Lee pitch at home, anyway!!! I’m dreading the possibility of seeing Hamels ptich again, when I’m at the game on Halloween. That would be all 3 play-off games I was at. And not a stellar performance in any of them.

f.i.j.: I think Myers is shot. Otherwise, they would have included him in the LCS roster. I’d have liked to see them use Bastardo more. I like his arm

norma: I wouldn’t push Lee back. He’s clearly their best pitcher now, and having him pitch the opener would be a nice statement.
Hamels makes me nervous too. Some people think he’s arm-weary and it’s hard to argue. As great as he was last year, he just doesn’t seem to have it, and hasn’t been very effective for a while. I’m not sure that he can turn back into the 2008 Hamels anytime soon.
I heard Bottalico asked Madson if he isn’t throwing his cutter too much. Madson responded that it was his fastball. Oops. I think a few of these pitchers can use the 6 days off.

As for the Yankees, I’m rooting for them. I want to beat the best and I especially want to beat the Yankees. I don’t want any rain out’s, game 7 “all hands on deck” deals or freak injuries to give them any excuses. Fortunately, I don’t know any Yankees fans, so I won’t have to listen to their lame reasons for losing either series, whether the Angels beat them or the Phils do.

I don’t think they intend to match pitcher to pitcher. More like matching the rotation to the lineup, whether it’s the Yankees or Angels. Lee, of course, goes first. But after that it may depend on the lineup they face if they go strong righty or lefty after Lee. That even goes to the bullpen, if they keep Bastardo or Myers.

phan: C’mon, how much difference does it make, Angels or Yankees? It’s the World Series for Pete’s sake.

10/28 Lee
10/29 Hamels
10/30 OFF
10/31 Pedro
11/01 Lee
11/02 Blanton
11/03 OFF
11/04 Hamels
11/05 Lee

That’s what I’d do.

“More like matching the rotation to the lineup, whether it’s the Yankees or Angels.”

OK, so the Yankees have 3 switch hitters (Teixeira, Swisher and Cabrera) and the Angels have 4 (Figgins, Hunter, Morales & Isturis). So what’s the huge match-up difference? Throw your best arms, and if you don’t know by now who they are, you’re in bad shape.

Mule…I wasn’t adding Myers to rotation , just the post season roster in place of Bastardo.

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