Friday, August 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Labor Day at Citizens Bank Park

Well, Game 2 of the National League Division Series has officially devolved into a circus.

Labor Day at Citizens Bank Park

Well, Game 2 of the National League Division Series has officially devolved into a circus.

Three-fifths of the Phillies starting rotation has appeared in the first seven innings of a game they enter the bottom of the seventh trailing 5-3.

The first to appear, Cole Hamels, allowed three runs in five innings and then left the ballpark to be with his wife Heidi, who went into labor at some point this afternoon. It isn't clear when Hamels knew about his wife going into labor - he knew yesterday that she could deliver at any moment - or if Manuel's decision to remove him from the game was impacted by the development. Hamels had already thrown 83 pitches and was due up in the batting order when Manuel replaced him with Joe Blanton.

Blanton pitched a scoreless sixth inning, then allowed the first two batters he faced in the seventh to reach base, prompting Manuel to call on J.A. Happ to face lefty Seth Smith. But Smith drilled a comebacker that struck Happ in the right leg, knocking him from the game.

Happ threw several warm-up pitches but was obviously hurting. Scott Eyre entered the game with the bases loaded and no out and allowed just one run - on a sacrifice fly - to salvage a 5-3 deficit.

How this impacts things going further is unclear.

How hurt is Happ? Can Blanton start Game 3 on Saturday despite throwing 19 pitches today? Does this mean Pedro Martinez will be the man instead of Blanton or Happ?

Oh, and there is a winter weather system blowing through Colorado that could start scattering snow showers across the region tomorrow.

Given how this season has gone for the Phillies, none of this should come as a surprise. Still, Manuel has certainly left himself open for criticism if the starting rotation unravels from this point forward.

David Murphy Daily News Staff Writer
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