It's a picturesque autumn day here at Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies have just begun their workout. They'll play a simulated game, during which Pedro Martinez is expected to be among the pitchers throwing. When he will throw in an actual World Series game, however, remains to be seen.
Charlie Manuel stated the obvious today, saying Cliff Lee will indeed start Game 1 on Wednesday against either the Yankees or the Angels. But Manuel did not commit to a Game 2 starter. When asked if he could see himself starting somebody other than Cole Hamels in the second game, he replied, "I'm not ready to answer that yet."
Hamels has had a rough go of it thus far this postseason. He hasn't completed six innings in any of his three starts and in Game 5 of the NLCS allowed three solo home runs while throwing 94 pitches in 4 1/3 innings. Hamels has allowed 11 runs, 20 hits, and six home runs in 14 2/3 innings.
But Hamels did pitch well at Yankee Stadium this May, allowing two runs on eight hits and one home run in six innings of a 4-3 Phillies win.
Particularly confoudning has been Hamels' struggles against left-handed hitters. Lefties are 9-for-15 with three home runs and two walks and just two strikeouts off of Hamels. Righties are 11-for-47 with three home runs, 10 strikeouts and no walks.
I still expect Hamels to start Game 2. Martinez's appearance in the simulated game today is a good indication the Phillies are lining him up to start Game 3 at Citizens Bank Park, where he has pitched very well since signing with the Phillies in June. Although a lot depends on how many pitches Martinez throws today, pitching him today would make sense in setting him up for a start in Game 3 on Saturday, when he would be on five days rest after today's sim game.