Pre-game notes: Bullpen, Mayberry and more

Jose Contreras has pitched in four of the last five games. (Suchat Pederson/AP Photo)

Pitching coach Rich Dubee shot down any concern about righthander Ryan Madson today, saying the veteran set-up man was simply given a night off on Thursday after pitching four times in six days. Manager Charlie Manuel had caused ears to perk up after the game when he mentioned that Madson was "sore," but Dubee said Madson is not injured.

"Tired, achy -- whatever you want to say," Dubee said. "It was a night off."

Tonight, the question is whether the Phillies will have closer Jose Contreras at their disposal. The 39-year-old righthander has pitched on four of the last five days and five of the last seven, so there is a good chance he will not be used tonight. Neither Manuel nor Dubee like to discuss the availability of their relievers prior to games, lest they give the opposing manager a strategic advantage. That was the case again today. Contreras has converted all five of his save opportunities this season and has yet to earn a run in eight innings. He also has nine strikeouts and four walks and has allowed just one extra base hit.

We monitor it. We talk about it. We have conversations about it: where they're at, what they're feeling like. It's a daily occurence.

The freshest arms in the bullpen at this point are righthanders Kyle Kendrick and Danys Baez and lefty Mike Zagurski. Antonio Bastardo could reprise his role as set-up man -- the 25-year-old lefty recorded four outs in the seventh and eighth innings last night -- tonight. He threw 23 pitches last night, but that was after a three-day layoff. If the Phillies wanted to give Madson another day off, they could even use Bastardo to close a game. Bastardo has pitched eight scoreless innings this season, with 11 strikeouts, four walks and three hits, none for extra bases.


Same ol' line-up tonight. Manuel said he thought about playing right-handed hitting John Mayberry against lefty Clayton Richard, but wants to keep Raul Ibanez in the line-up with the hope that he swings his way out of his current funk (.209, one home run).

  1. Shane Victorino CF
  2. Placido Polanco 3B
  3. Jimmy Rollins SS
  4. Ryan Howard 1B
  5. Ben Francisco RF
  6. Raul Ibanez LF
  7. Carlos Ruiz C
  8. Wilson Valdez 2B
  9. Cole Hamels LHP


  1. Jason Bartlett SS
  2. Orlando Hudson 2B
  3. Jorge Cantu 1B
  4. Nick Hundley C
  5. Ryan Ludwick LF
  6. Cameron Maybin CF
  7. Will Venable RF
  8. Alberto Gonzalez 3B
  9. Clayton Richard LHP

Two guys who need to have big nights tonight: Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins. If the Phillies are going to break out for more than four runs, which they have not done in 10 straight games, I think the offense is going to come from the top of the order.

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