Manuel Tweaks Lineup for Game 2
The Phillies have hit just .212 in the postseason, and just .147 against Giants left-hander Jonathan Sanchez in five career starts against him.
Charlie Manuel tried to shake up things with a tweak to his lineup before Game 2 of the NLCS. He flipped Chase Utley and Placido Polanco, which had Utley hitting second and Polanco hitting third.
“Same reason I always do it,” Manuel said.
He wanted to split the left-handed hitting Utley and Ryan Howard, which he has done on occasion this season against left-handed pitchers.
Manuel said Saturday he would “think” about hitting Jimmy Rollins first, but he never seriously considered it for three reasons: Rollins has hit .067 (1 for 15) with two walks and three strikeouts in the postseason and he has hit just .063 (1 for 16) against Sanchez while Shane Victorino, who is hitting leadoff, has hit .400 (6 for 15) against Sanchez.
Manuel said Joe Blanton remains his starter for Game 4, but he left some room to change his mind Sunday.
“That’s still our plan,” he said. “But we’ll just take it day to day and see what happens.”
If the Phillies trail the series entering Game 4, they could start Roy Halladay on short rest. Halladay has pitched on short rest five times in his career as a starter. (He started on short rest two other times, but those followed relief appearances.) Halladay is 4-1 with a 1.70 ERA (seven earned runs in 37 innings) in those five starts, but he has made just one start on short rest since 2004.