As expected, Cole Hamels will start Game 1 for the Phillies tomorrow against lefthander Clayton Kershaw. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he was not ready to announce his starter for Game 2, although he provided several strong clues that indicate it will be veteran righthander Pedro Martinez. Like last series, righthander Joe Blanton and lefthander J.A. Happ will be available to pitch in the bullpen in the first few games of the NLCS, Manuel said. Unless Manuel decides to start Cliff Lee on three days rest in Game 2, an unlikely possibility, then Martinez is the only other player who would be ready to start Friday.
Martinez threw a simulated game on Tuesday, facing hitters for the first time since his final regular season start on Sept. 30. Manuel said he thought Martinez could throw anywhere from 75 to 90 pitches, perhaps even reaching 100. He said Martinez's stuff is still there, and he would be comfortable starting him in an NLCS Game.
"He threw a simulated game yesterday, and what I saw, I liked his stuff," Manuel said. "(Pitching coach Rich) Dubee and I stood there, and we were talking while he was throwing, and his stuff is there. That speaks for itself."
So right now, here is how the match-ups look:
Game 1 - LHP Cole Hamels at LHP Clayton Kershaw
Game 2 - RHP Pedro Martinez at RHP Vicente Padilla
Game 3 - RHP Hiroki Kuroda at LHP Cliff Lee
Game 4 - LHP Randy Wolf at RHP Joe Blanton
Game 5 - Kershaw at Hamels
Game 6 - Kuroda at Lee
Game 7 - TBA
The Phillies have not announced their roster, but it sounds like Chan Ho Park will be a member of it. The veteran righthander said he was healthy enough to pitch, and Manuel said he felt like Park was ready to contribute in the NLCS.
That means at least one person who was on the NLDS roster will not be on the NLCS roster. Manuel said he had not talked to that player, or those players, yet.