Rollins Back at the Top, Halladay Ready to Go

rollins 1019 2009.jpgTheir World Series aspirations on the line, Charlie Manuel made a significant change to his lineup for Game 6 of the National League Championship Series tonight against the Giants.

Jimmy Rollins is leading off.

It is the first time Manuel has used this lineup this season: 1, Rollins, shortstop; 2. Placido Polanco, third base; 3. Chase Utley, second base; 4. Ryan Howard, first base; 5. Jayson Werth, right field; 6. Victorino, center field; 7. Raul Ibanez, left field; 8. Carlos Ruiz, catcher.

“He’s got more legs underneath him,” Manuel said, referring to Rollins. “His foundation at the plate has been better. The other day when he showed me he could run (Thursday in Game 5) … I’ve always looked at him as our leadoff hitter, and he is the guy. It’s not that Victorino can’t do it. Victorino also has some success in the postseason hitting down in the order in the sixth and seventh hole.”

Rollins has hit .263 (5 for 19) with one double, four RBIs and two stolen bases in the series. Victorino has hit .150 (3 for 20) with one double, two RBIs and one stolen base.

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Roy Halladay told Manuel today he is OK.

Halladay mildly strained his right groin Thursday in Game 5. He pulled the groin in the second inning, but pitched six innings in the 4-2 victory.

“He said he’s ready to go,” Manuel said, asked if Halladay could pitch in relief this weekend. “He said anytime I need him he’s ready to go. That’s what he told me. But I’ll go back and check with our medical staff, too. But Roy’s going to be fine. I feel good about him.”

But would Manuel risk pitching Halladay with an injured groin knowing they would need him in the World Series, if they get that far?

“I can pretty much answer I’m not going to use him tonight,” Manuel said. “We’ll see tomorrow. If we get to tomorrow we’ll see. We’re going to get to tomorrow. I don’t want to say if we get there because we are going to get there.”

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

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