Rollins leading off, Phils favored

Three short hours until Game 6 here, and there certainly seems to be a positive vibe percolating throughout the city. The feeling amongst the populous: Game 5 was the big one. Vegas seems to be reflecting this thinking, as the Phils are going off at -160 right now, making them the heaviest favorites they have been since Game 1.

Of course, they lost Game 1, and if they lose tonight, there will be no Game 7. Win, and it's the first decisive Game 7 in postseason history (the Phils won a decisive Game 5 over the Astros to advance to the World Series in 1980. You know the story from there).

Jimmy Rollins certainly feels the mojo. The other night, he talked to fans via a Comcast SportsNet camera and urged them to get rowdy. Hopefully, he isn't arrested later for inciting a riot. Whatever the case, he is batting leadoff tonight. I like the move by Charlie Manuel a lot. Rollins has actually been swinging one of the better bats on the team here lately (I know, I know, damning with faint praise), and the other night stole two bases to put himself in position to score a run. It was his first stolen base since early-September.

"The last couple of games I've seen him play, he's got more legs underneath him," Manuel said. "His foundation at the plate has been better. The other day when he showed me he could run, like I've always looked at him as out lead-off hitter, and he is the guy. He's very knowledgeable how to run the bases and steal and stuff."

Here is the line-up:

  1. Jimmy Rollins SS
  2. Placido Polanco 3B
  3. Chase Utley 2B
  4. Ryan Howard 1B
  5. Jayson Werth RF
  6. Shane Victorino CF
  7. Raul Ibanez LF
  8. Carlos Ruiz C
  9. Roy Oswalt RHP